April 28 2014 01:21PM
What a weekend, especially if you're a sports fan. We saw a lot great, some good and bad and unfortunately one really ugly.
The alleged recording of LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling making racist comments to his girlfriend in a private conversation was hard to listen to, but it illustrates how far we still need to go in society before we are accepting of others.
Here is part of the audio that TMZ unveiled originally, and then Deadspin produced and extended version.
This isn't the first time Sterling has been in trouble with the NBA and I'm very curious to see what the league does. Does the commissioner have the power to force Sterling out of the league and sell his franchise?
I believe we can learn a lot from his comments. Many of us are guilty of some form of racism, intolerance or bullying from time to time. Often it might be in a private conversation between friends or your spouse or significant other, similar to the above conversation, and I wonder how many of us have voiced similar thoughts in private?
I heard a lawyer suggest Sterling's girlfriend had been coached to ask him certain questions and that this was a set up. In California it is illegal to tape a private conversation and she already has a lawyer, so I don't see this story ending quickly.
I feel many of us get upset over his comments, obviously because it is disheartening to hear them, but also because we look at sports as entertainment and a release from everyday life, and we don't like it when we are reminded that sports figures, athletes, coaches, trainers, owners and all those involved with the sports we love are just as likely to have similar faults to us.
I listened to many people suggest it is too bad that Sterling's comments are overshadowing the best first round playoffs series the NBA has ever witnessed, and from a sports fans perspective I agree, but from a societal point of view, this situation can teach us that we still have room to improve when it comes to accepting others.
It will be fascinating to watch how the NBA handles this situation. Will commissioner Silver have the legal power to act swiftly? The other question is why did it take this long for the NBA to react. Sterling has a track record that suggests he is a racist. He was taken to court for refusing to rent to certain minorities. I know this is separate from his NBA team, but it seems the NBA was just hoping he'd just go away. I'd hope they take more of a stand and show some leadership this time.
We can't ignore Sterling's comments, but we can't let them overshadow a great weekend in sports.
- The Blues fell apart in the third period, and once again they are out in the first round. The Hawks have more top end skill and it showed throughout this series. The Blues have to hope that Tarasenko, Schwarz and Steen can emerge as game breakers.
- In 2011, the Sharks were up 3-0 on Detroit then lost three straight before
winning in game 7. The Kings have won two straight and are now back in the series. The good news for Sharks fans is that their team has been here before, so maybe they can lean on the previous experience of choking for three games in a row, and not four.
- What a comeback by the Ducks. Tyler Seguin has now been on both sides of an epic comeback/collapse. He obviously loved the Bruins final 10 minutes in game seven last year much more than he did the final three in Dallas last night. I love that no lead is safe in this year's playoffs, and hopefully that trend continues into the 2nd round.
- For 11 months leading up to the draft last year Seth Jones was projected by everyone to go #1. A few weeks before the draft the Avalanche said they wouldn't be taking him. Many questioned their reasoning, but 10 months later no one can debate they didn't make the right call taking Nathan MacKinnon. This year Sam Reinhart and Aaron Ekblad are #1 on most lists, but that doesn't mean the Panthers feel the same way. Sam Bennett could go #1, and Leon Draisaitl, despite many unproven allegations of a "lack of battle" could also be an excellent pick. The 2014 draft will have some surprises.
- The Raptors/Nets game yesterday was one of the most entertaining NBA games I've seen in a long time. Kyle Lowry hobbled around on one leg the entire game, and he played great. DeMar DeRozan couldn't hit a shot in the 2nd half, but he made two excellent defensive plays late in the game. The Raptors are making it hard not to cheer for them.
- Vince Carter nailed a 3-point buzzer beater to give the Mavericks a surprising 3-1 series lead. He missed an identical shot for the Raptors years ago, and it is always good to see people bounce back.
- I'm surprised how tame the Flyers/Rangers series has been compared to the rest. That series hasn't had nearly the animosity or physical play that we've seen in the west conference series and the Pitt/CBJ.
- It sure would be nice to be in a city with NHL playoffs. Hopefully soon. But I highly recommend you take in a game or two of the WHL final between Edmonton and Portland. It was great hockey last year and I'm sure it will be just as exciting this year. The Oil Kings will host games 3 and 4 on May 6th and 7th at Rexall.
- The Oil Kings are damn good. They've had nine players drafted since Derek Laxdal and Steve Hamilton were hired, while Cody Corbett signed a UFA deal with Colorado and they will have four, possibly five, more players drafted this year. I think it is time both of those coaches are promoted. Read here.
- You should also check out the Edmonton Rush playoffs. Their first ever home playoff game will be Friday May 16th.
- A huge Thank You to all of you who played in our 3rd annual WSOP poker tourney. We raised $12,000 for the MS Bike Tour. Extra congratulations to our two winners. On Saturday, Louise Lieu become our first female winner. On Sunday, Sanjeev Bhardwaj took home 1st place and a seat at the WSOP main event in July. Good luck to both of you and thank you to Paulo, Jennifer and the staff at Century Casino for hosting our event.
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