Former Los Angeles Clippers star Blake Griffin says the team didn’t boycott Game 4 of the 2014 playoffs against the Golden State Warriors because they weren’t playing for Donald Sterling in the first place.
TMZ published voice recordings of Sterling making racist statements to his mistress before Game 4. The Clippers and Warriors were seriously considering boycotting Game 4 after the incident, but ended up playing.
“We were trying to decide what to do, and everybody was saying we should boycott, we shouldn’t play,” Griffin said, via Ramona Shelburne of ESPN. “The idea was like, OK, we haven’t been playing for him in the first place. We didn’t gather up before jump ball and say, ‘Donald Sterling on three! One, two, three!'”
Instead of boycotting the game, the Clippers decided to stage a silent protest by turning their warm-up jerseys upside down and throwing it in a pile at mid-court.
The NBA banned Donald Sterling for life and forced him to sell the Clippers. Steve Ballmer bought the team after placing a bid of $2 billion.
Under Ballmer, the Clippers became a functional organization once again. LA arguably won the 2019 summer, as the team signed Kawhi Leonard in free agency and traded for Paul George from the Oklahoma City Thunder.
For the first time in franchise history, the Clippers are legitimate title contenders.