Wizards react to Sterling's racial comments
Allegations of racially charged comments by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling that surfaced over the weekend remain a prominent topic of conversation in the NBA world and beyond. As the Wizards met with the media on Monday afternoon before heading to Chicago, they responded to questions about the ongoing matter.
"One thing I know, he lost a lot of millions, a lot of money saying that," center Marcin Gortat said outside the Wizards practice court at the Verizon Center. "I just don't know what he was thinking, saying stuff like that. That's just ridiculous. I mean, when he was buying the team, he didn't see things around in the league? I don't know, it's weird. I can't imagine why he would stay stuff like that.
"I don't think there is a place for him in the league being in the environment we are."
Head coach Randy Wittman reiterated points he made on Sunday before Game 4 when asked about Sterling.
"Forget the NBA. There's no place for that in society, NBA, Wall Street, your radio or TV stations. It's sickening that we're dealing with something like this. That we're having to talk about something like this."
Drew Gooden played 24 games for the Clippers during the 2009-10 season.
"I was surprised, but where there is smoke there is fire," the veteran forward said. "There's been accusations about Mr. Sterling about having racial discrimination cases against him and things he's said in the past of that nature."
Current member of the Clippers' roster chose to play in Sunday's matchup with the Golden State Warriors despite the situation involving the team owner. John Wall said he would have done the same thing.
"Yeah, I'd play because I love the game of basketball. I would focus myself on the organization and playing basketball because that's what I love to do," he said.
As for reaction to Sterling's comments and his place in the league, the 23-year-old point guard said, "Nah, that's not my decision. He made his comments. He made his statements. As basketball players, you just have to go out there and compete because you love the game. That's for the NBA to figure out."
Now players, coaches, league observers and the national media await for NBA commissioner Adam Silver to reveal the results of the league's investigation.
“It’s going to be interesting," Wizards guard Garrett Temple said before Sunday's matchup with the Bulls about the test facing Silver. "What, he’s been three months on the job? And he has to deal with an issue like this. It’s unfair to him. It’s tough, but I’m assuming he’s probably called Mr. Sterling, but it’s going to be a difficult situation for him to take care of, and he’s probably going to act swiftly as he said. And he needs to do so. It’s a very tough issue. A lot of different sides. But it’s more than basketball.”
The league will reportedly hold a press conference on Tuesday in advance of the Clippers and Golden State Warriors Game 5 matchup.
Olympian and league star Kara Lawson joined the Washington Mystics this offseason. Connected to the NBA players union as an executive committee member with the WNBA players associations, the Northern Virginia native and prominent hoops broadcaster expressed her disappointment with the racially charged situation.
She also made it clear that in addition to the Wizards, she's backing the Clippers in the NBA playoffs.
"I think a lot of people are jumping off the Clippers bandwagon because of this. I'm not one of those people," Lawson said at the Mystics media day on Monday. "It kind of made me cheer more for them to be honest. As a player, you understand just how much you put in, how much you invest to try and get to this point and maximize your ability at this time of year.
"Now all of a sudden to have this big distraction kind of hanging over something you've been working towards all year I just think is unfortunate. For me , I'm really hoping the Clippers do well. I support those guys and the whole union whatever stance they decide to take in this."