Former NBA star Spencer Haywood expressed his own thoughts on the most discussed NBA scandal in a long long time, involving the LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
Haywood “thanked” Sterling for his racist remarks that were made public, adding that he “united America and the NBA Family”.
“This is so big and so special that it’s leading America to a better place. What Adam Silver did up on that podium is the best thing that could have happened in America and in pro sports at this time. Today was a step in the right direction,” Haywood said.
Reminding that on April 25, 2014, TMZ Sports released what it said is an April 9, 2014 audio recording of a conversation between Sterling and his girlfriend or former girlfriend. Sterling was recorded making racist and outrageous statements in the conversation. An NBA investigation, which included an interview with Sterling, determined the voice to be authentic.
Following the investigation, NBA commissioner Adam Silver banned Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life and fined him $2.5 million after a firestorm of controversy. The move was praised by many former NBA players, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Kevin Johnson and Charles Barkley.
“Sport has made some of the most significant changes in history and has often been in the forefront of political movement – Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Babe Ruth, to name a few. All of a sudden, once again, sports is causing everyone to stop and look. This is justice,” Haywood wrote in his blog.
He further praised commissioner Adam Silver for making a strong statement regarding Sterling.
“Adam (Sterling) doesn’t know it yet, but what that skinny, bald-headed guy up there did is not only going to go down in sports history, but American history,” Haywood wrote. “It wasn’t just a b.s. press conference. This man felt it in his heart. When I heard the Commissioner start by acknowledging Chuck Cooper, Earl Lloyd, Nate “Sweetwater” Clifton, Bill Russell, and Magic Johnson…I knew he was on it.”
Haywood went on to add that for for anyone who was worried what it would be like to have a new Commissioner, seems like Silver has passed the test “with flying colors”.
Haywood mentioned both current and former NBA players, praising their reaction to the NBA Commissioner’s statement.
“I am so proud of the reaction of the NBA Family. From the NBA Commissioner, to Kevin Johnson and the NBPA, to Otis Birdsong and the NBRPA, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Chris Paul and the Clippers, LeBron James, Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki, and the rest of the young players, I am so proud of you. This is the first time I’ve seen the young players respect – I mean really show respect for – the older players and the game itself,” he said.
“What Mr. Sterling said and did was a good thing. He might be a bad person to a lot of people, but there’s good in what he did,” Haywood noted. “You have prompted a monumental moment in sports history, and we are alive to witness it. So, thank you Donald Sterling.”
“If you mess with sports, you are messing with some serious stuff. And if you mess with the NBA, you are messing with the most serious stuff,” Haywood concluded.
Haywood was a 5-time NBA All-Star, who played both in the NBA and ABA. He appeared in 84 ABA games, averaging 30 ppg and 19.5 rpg.
In the NBA, Haywood played 760 games, holding career averages of 19.2 ppg, 9.3 rpg. Overall, Haywood played 844 games (ABA, NBA), averaging 20.3 ppg and 10.3 rpg in 34.8 mpg.Follow @exnbadotcom
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