Sunday, April 27, 2014

What Was Donald Sterling Thinking?

What was 80 year old Donald Tokowitz, aka Donald Sterling, thinking in his one hour Mel Gibson diatribe with V. Stiviano, his girl friend, aka “The Mistress?” He wasn’t. The old geezer was instinctively acting out of vanity and hubris. Donald Sterling is a very vain philanthropist. We know because he takes out ads, up to a full page, in the Los Angeles Times touting his charity in the community. Just this morning a half page ad ran, a thank you from the Department of Nephrology at UCLA for the largest gift yet given to basic kidney research at UCLA. As Carly Simon would sing “You’re so vain.” We also know the hubris because he has gotten away for decades with being a misogynist, sexist pig with a history of racial discrimination. Donald Sterling is a financial genius in his own mind. He paid $12.5 million for the Clippers in 1981. He was earning about $12.5 million a year even when they were chronic losers. The self-made real estate billionaire has a history of losing judgments for discriminating against African Americans, Hispanics, Koreans and tenants with children. How could he be a racist? The Los Angeles Chapter of the NAACP awarded him the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013. It was scheduled to again grant him the award on May 15, 2014. Donald Sterling is invincible in his mind. Elgin Baylor, one of the NBA’s all-time great players, was the Clippers General Manager for years, doing Sterling’s bidding. He was unceremoniously fired a few years and filed suit in 2009 for wrongful termination. He claimed Donald Sterling ran the Clippers “with the vision of a southern plantation-type structure.” Donald Sterling won the case, proving he’s always right. The Los Angeles Clippers had to make a major decision years ago. They could stay in Los Angeles at the new Staples Arena, or they could move to Anaheim in Orange County, develop a fan base of their own, and get out from under the shadow of the Los Angeles Lakers. The rumor was that Sterling would not move the Clippers to Anaheim, where they played a few games a year, because he did not want to leave the “Los Angeles Hotties.” V. Stiviano was not the first. The Clippers remained in Los Angeles. Donald Sterling was a caricature of Dr. Jerry Buss, the late Lakers owner. The 80 year old reprobate succeeded for decades with no blowback. David Stern, the recently retired Commissioner of the NBA, had heard many complaints over the years about Donald Sterling, but he did nothing – at least publicly. David Stern knew, but never had the tape. Didn’t Donald Sterling learn the lesson from Marge Schott, the owner of the Cincinnati Reds, who was run out of Major League Baseball for her racist comments? Apparently not. What was Donald Sterling thinking with most NBA players being African Americans? He wasn’t. Donald Sterling is of the species that believes a kept woman should be a potted plant that reflects beauty on him. He spent at least $1.8 million on her in cars and baubles, including a 2012 Ferrari, 2 Bentleys, and a 2013 range Rover, a duplex apartment and a stream of cash for living expenses. She returned the favor by appearing in public with others, African Americans. That struck at Sterling’s vanity. Donald Sterling’s estranged wife is seeking restitution V. Let’s look at it from a different perspective. When I was a young man, perhaps in high school, but probably in college, I always thought when I saw an older man with a young honey draped around his arm, that I was looking at two idiots, unless she was his daughter, granddaughter or perhaps his niece. Once I reached my 50’s, I knew they were two idiots. Old geezers, sugar daddies, codgers, big daddies, or letches with young honnies, gold diggers, trophy wives is a recipe for disaster. The 89 year old J. Howard Marshall married the 26 year old Anna Nicole Smith. He died 18 months later, leaving a will that purported to disinherit his family from his prior marriage. The resulting legal battle enriched many lawyers. Five men and a corpse claimed paternity of her son when she died of an overdose in Hollywood, Florida. The 60 year old Paul McCartney did not have a prenupt when he married Heather Mills. Nor did search the intern to discover Heather’s x-rated photos. 82 Year old billionaire Kirk Kirkorian celebrated in 1999 a 28 day marriage with 34 year old Lisa Bonder, and then millions litigating “Who’s the dad” with Steve Bing. Barbara Piasecka, who came to America with $200, hit the jackpot as a 34 year old maid when she married 76 year old J. Seward Johnson, Jr. (of Johnson and Johnson fortune). Let us not forget 83 year old Summer Redstone and 44 year old Paula Fortunato. The best is yet to come from that marriage with Redstone having problems with the children of his first marriage. What was Donald Sterling thinking? He wasn’t; he was acting like a foolish old man.

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