According to the New York Post, banned for life Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. The 80-year-old owner has become a national disgrace when leaked audio recorded him making racist comments to his then-girlfriend. The recording led to his lifetime ban and promise from commissioner Adam Silver he’d attempt to force Sterling into selling his team.
Via the New York Post:
Disgraced racist Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling is battling cancer — surprising those around him by beating the final buzzer for as long as he has, sources told The Post on Thursday.
“They thought he would die two years ago,” one source said of Sterling, who on Tuesday was banned for life from the NBA for his now-infamous recorded racist rant.
“People have been predicting his imminent demise. I’m sure he has the best…drugs money can buy,” said the source, who works closely with pro sports teams. “He can do anything to keep himself alive.”
The source said some of the medication Sterling has been taking is responsible for the puffy appearance of his face.
Another source said Sterling, 80, was specifically suffering from prostate cancer.
The Post also notes that Sterling would not pay for prostate cancer surgery for then-Clippers assistant Kim Hughes more than a decade ago. Hughes told The Journal Times of Racine in 2011:
“I contacted the Clippers about medical coverage and they said the surgery wouldn’t be covered. They said if they did it for one person, they’d have to do it for everybody else.”
Because it’s the Post, there are a few more revelations in their story from yesterday. Among them:
-He’s reaching out to friends hoping they’ll disprove claims that he’s a racist, but his friends aren’t complying because they fear Sterling is recording them.
-He doesn’t understand the public rage at the recordings that were released, the biggest sign yet that his thoughts on racial relations are a testament to antebellum plantation-thinking.
-He’s in negotiations to talk with 20/20’s Barbara Walters for an ABC special as a way to respond to the public recriminations.
-He has fled his his Malibu mansion, fearful that listening devices are recording his every word.
When ESPN confirmed the report and asked the Clippers about it yesterday, Blake Griffin magnanimously said, “If that is true, my thoughts and prayers are with him. Nobody deserves to go through something like that.”
Chris Paul, called it “truly unfortunate,” while coach Doc Rivers said he didn’t know about it but hoped it wasn’t true.
The NBA’s 10-member advisory/finance committee held its first meeting on the Sterling matter yesterday and said in a statement they “unanimously agreed to move forward as expeditiously as possible” to terminate Sterling’s ownership and force him to sell. They’ll reconvene next week.
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