NBA Commissioner Adam Silver yesterday announced Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s lifetime ban. The severe punishment was met with cheers league-wide.
But if the ruling had been different, last night’s Clippers-Warriors would have turned into a surreal scene.
The visiting Warriors had plans to stage a dramatic protest before tip-off.
The plan was set, the product of a 30-minute players meeting.
The Warriors were going to go through pre-game warm-ups and take part in the national anthem and starting line-up introductions. They were going to take the floor for the jump ball, dapping up the Clippers players as is customary before games.
Then once the ball was in the air, they were just going to walk off. All 15 of them.
“It would have been our only chance to make a statement in front of the biggest audience that we weren’t going to accept anything but the maximum punishment,” Curry said. “We would deal with the consequences later but we were not going to play.”
The message was intentionally bold and controversial, point guard Stephen Curry said. And if they had their way, the Clippers would have joined them in exiting the court.<\blockquote>
Such action in a playoff series would have been shell-shocking. Perhaps fear something like this would happen played a part of the league’s decision.
As it happened, the game at the Staples Center went on as scheduled. The crowd was frenzied and basketball took center stage. In many ways, it was exactly what the doctor ordered.
A cynic might suggest the Warriors plan was only a plan and there’s a big difference between words and actions. And while it’s impossible to say they would have followed through, it’s safe to say the league is better because they didn’t.
[H/T: Mercury Sun]