Hate and Basketball

So the Los Angeles NBA owner gets a lifetime ban. I think the braintrust of a sport can do that to players–and they have. Mainly for gambling. Why wouldn’t they be able to do that to coaches? Or owners?

The tricky spot is forcing Mr. Sterling to sell his team. I read somewhere today–maybe on ESPN–that litigation might be brought to the table. Meanwhile, I suspect that determined players, sponsors, and Los Angeles locals could, if they chose, throw the whole franchise off the cliff.

Mr Sterling might be entitled to own a team. But he has no right to have people buy tickets or advertising. And players can tank, refuse to play, or otherwise disengage. They could have boycotted their playoff game the other night. Given the way they played, that might very well have done so, so to speak.

The whole value of a team is predicated on a community acceptance of competition, support, patronage, and so on. Nothing is worth millions if nobody comes to see it, use it, or enjoy it.

Tough thing for Mr Sterling is that to get near-maximum value for the team, he needs to sell soon. Even if people decide not to throw the team off the cliff, it could decline greatly in value over the next several weeks. Forbes says the team today is worth $550M. How would $10M look in 2015?

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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3 Responses to Hate and Basketball

  1. David D. says:

    “Tough thing for Mr Sterling is that to get near-maximum value for the team, he needs to sell soon. Even if people decide not to throw the team off the cliff, it could decline greatly in value over the next several weeks. Forbes says the team today is worth $550M. How would $10M look in 2015?”

    Uh no. If anything, Forbes has undervalued the franchise. Professional sports franchises are prestige buys for billionaires and demand far outweighs supply even with prices approaching 10 figures. Doubtless several groups and individuals are already interested. In recent years, even small market teams have fetched half-a-billion or so. The Clippers are in a major market with bankable stars at a time when the NBA is actually doing quite well. This won’t be a fire sale which the NBA itself would not want.

  2. David D. says:

    By the way, Todd, if you relish relegation battles and have some time this morning, you should check out the BBC’s live web coverage of the final day of the Championship. Still lots to be decided.

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