You may recall last summer that the Clippers acquired JJ Redick and Jared Dudley as part of a three-team trade where they also gave up Eric Bledsoe. The Clippers were hesitant to do the deal supposedly because Sterling would not sign off on it. The thinking was that Sterling did not want to give up Bledsoe.
While that part appears to be true, Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reports that another aspect of his reluctance to do the trade was because he did not want to pay a lot of money for a white player.
Here’s what Woj wrote:
Mostly, he’s never loved paying white players. In that way, he has an absolute plantation prism with which he sees players: He always preferred long, strong, physical players. To him, that’s a basketball player: Big, black and strong.
When Sterling became reluctant to honor Rivers’ sign-and-trade agreement for J.J. Redick, there was a belief race played a factor. As one league source said, “He thought it was too much to pay for a white player.”
Yes, Sterling didn’t want to so easily part with Eric Bledsoe, despite Rivers telling him they could never afford to pay Bledsoe in restricted free agency next summer. That was part of it, yes, but those who knew Sterling – who had history with him – believed largely that his disdain for paying $7 million per year for a white player caused him pause.
On Sunday Clippers coach Doc Rivers spoke about his team’s reaction to Sterling’s racist comments and mentioned that Redick was just as upset as anyone else on the team over the remarks. Now we know he has every reason to be just as upset; he apparently was a target of Sterling’s prejudiced thinking as well.