Owner of the NBA franchise that once called San Diego home, Sterling is being investigated by the league regarding allegations he made racially charged comments in a recorded conversation with a woman. Portions of that conversation were released over the weekend by both TMZ and Deadspin.
The Clippers, currently in a first-round Western Conference battle with the Golden State Warriors (series is tied 2-2), are set to host Game Five of the series Tuesday evening at Staples Center. Before that happens, however, the NBA players' union has asked Commissioner Adam Silver to rule quickly, preferably before the Clippers play host to Golden State. Silver, who just recently took over from longtime commissioner David Stern, is expected to make an announcement before Tuesday evening's game.
Sterling, who already had a reputation as one of the NBA's stingiest owners when it came to the wallet, is alleged to have stated to his reported girlfriend that he did not want her bringing black individuals to Clipper games at Staples Center. In response to those reported comments, the Clippers protested before Sunday's Game Four loss in Oakland to the Warriors by turning their practice jerseys inside-out, thereby hiding the team's name and logo.
Could Clippers Relocate Back to San Diego?
For those not aware of the NBA's history in San Diego, the Clippers came to America's Finest City from Buffalo (Braves) back in 1978, becoming the San Diego Clippers.
Six years later, the team headed north to Los Angeles, playing in the L.A. Sports Arena for a number of years before sharing tenant status with the more successful Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center beginning in 1999. Despite the move to Los Angeles, the team has still yet been able to capture an NBA title.
So, would there ever be a scenario where someone buys the Clippers if Sterling sells the team and/or is pressured to leave the NBA due to his reported comments?
It is highly unlikely the Clippers would ever call San Diego home again, especially given the fact that the aging San Diego Sports Arena (Valley View Casino Center to the corporate world) lacks the facilities to host a professional NBA or NHL team for that matter.
For now, the Clippers are likely to stay put in Los Angeles.
Whether Donald Sterling remains owner, however, that is an entirely different story.