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Mark Jackson: Clippers fans should boycott Game 5 due to Donald Sterling allegations

Apr 28, 2014, 7:12 PM EDT

Mark Jackson appeared on the Dan Patrick Show, and Patrick asked the Warriors coach whether he could coach the Clippers if Donald Sterling remained the team’s owner. Jackson:

I cannot be the head coach of the Clippers. Like I said, there’d have to be some dialogue. I believe that people can be changed and healed and saved and delivered. It’d have to be some dialogue, and it’d have to be a process with him wanting him wanting to change his thought process and his beliefs. But as it is right now, I could not coach for him.

Patrick also asked how the players should respond to the allegations:

People probably pressured and said the Clippers should boycott and all that. I didn’t agree with that at all. At the end of the day, you’ve got some young, successful guys that dreamed of playing at this level. You’ve got a coach that dreamed of coaching at this level. And they’re being paid very well to do it.

If I were a fan – I’m being paid. Now I’m paying to watch – I wouldn’t show up to the Staples Center. In an ideal world, I’d prefer the Clippers and the Warriors play in the Staples Center with no fans. That made a statement. That speaks volumes. It could be on TV, and we could treat it like it’s normal, but I think it would make a heck of a statement saying you won’t tolerate what was allegedly said.

To everyone telling the Clippers’ players, coaches and fans what to do – shut up.

It’s so easy to give those directions when you don’t have to take the downside of them.

But try being in those shoes. It’s not so easy. These are extraordinary circumstances. There’s no roadmap for how to respond here.

Jackson’s response on coaching the Clippers bothers me, because he doesn’t have to make that choice. Doc Rivers has a nice salary, front-office control and a championship-caliber team. He’s supposed to throw all that away because Sterling allegedly said something racist? That’s a judgment Rivers should make for himself, because he’s the only person in position to do so. It’s completely unfair for Jackson to apply peer pressure for a certain outcome.

But Jackson’s suggestion for fans is even worse, because it would benefit him directly by removing Golden State’s homecourt disadvantage in this series.

Do I think Jackson is being purposefully self-serving? No, though I won’t completely rule it out. But that his suggestion helps the Warriors must be taken into account.

It’s not a money thing. Those Game 5 tickets are already sold. Sterling is getting that cash.

Why didn’t Jackson advocate a fan boycott of Game 4 in Oakland? That would have sent a message, and like Game 5, not affect the gate revenue for any owner.

Jackson is pushing a principled stance of boycotting – one he’s strongly opposed to for his role in participating in the game – when he doesn’t have to eat his tickets. Playoff tickets don’t come cheap, and I’m sure many fans want to support the players and Rivers. Whether going to the game endorses Sterling is a judgment fans must make for themselves, because they’re the only ones in position to do it.

At least Jackson wasn’t scolding the Clippers’ players for not boycotting. You can find that plenty of other places, though.

Everyone – including Jackson, Chauncey Billups, Jalen Rose, George Hill and Jerryd Bayless – is entitled to their opinion. But they’re not in the shoes of the people they’re speaking for.

The Clippers’ players, coaches and fans are doing the best they can. I have no clue what they should do, and I suspect many of them don’t, either.

It’s so much easier to say what you’d do when you don’t actually have do it. I wish a few more people would acknowledge that before saying what they’d do – because they sure don’t have to follow through.

  1. csbanter - Apr 28, 2014 at 7:17 PM

    On so many other sites Jackson has been called out for suggesting Clips fans stay home , meanwhile nothing was suggested for Warriors fans in game 4. Adam Silver better do something tomorrow because the sports world is off its axis because of this.

  2. mackcarrington - Apr 28, 2014 at 7:21 PM

    Of course he would like to see an empty arena for a road playoff game.
    Besides, those seats are already paid for.

  3. antistratfordian - Apr 28, 2014 at 7:25 PM

    I agree. Clippers players should probably boycott it too.

  4. baywatchboy - Apr 28, 2014 at 7:33 PM

    Exactly. Lisa Leslie said that if she were captain of the team, she would tell everyone not to play? How does she know that’s what she would say or do? If you ask any NBA player who they play for, I would imagine that a vast majority of them would say that they play for themselves, their teammates and the fans long before anyone would mention that they play for the owner.

    The players should play the games, the coach should coach and the fans should go to the games and cheer on the players that have done nothing wrong. In the future, I imagine that Sterling will have a harder time attracting players and coaches, but they will come because the NBA is the only game in town.

    Just suspend Sterling from having any interaction with them team, don’t allow him to attend any games and let him sweat it out. Fine him the max (I believe 1M) and donate that to charity. It won’t hurt him, but it will help the charity (or charities).

  5. sisisisisisisi - Apr 28, 2014 at 7:43 PM

    Mark Jackson, are you for reaL?

    What a hypocrite!


  6. haaaaasoooooo - Apr 28, 2014 at 8:02 PM

    You’re suspect. All of ya, suspect.
    I believe I’m gonna need a retainer to stay home, Mr. Jackson. How much you got on you? In cash.
    Really. The away team’s coach thinks all the home fans should NOT come to the arena? What the…….
    DS has a one year suspension coming. And I’m pretty certain he could care less. Who does he look like???? Man, my ADD is kicking in. SQUIRREL!

  7. armstrongsmissingball - Apr 28, 2014 at 8:07 PM

    So the players get paid to play and coaches get paid too who cares about the people selling popcorn beers and any restaurants/valet people outside the game that have to pay bills. Don’t let one extremely ignorant man ruin your community.

  8. Tim's Neighbor - Apr 28, 2014 at 8:10 PM

    I only make important statements about racism when it doesn’t inconvenience my SPORTS! plans.

  9. campcouch - Apr 28, 2014 at 8:13 PM

    If he broke the law,declared his intent on genocide or purposely denied any of the players an opportunity to pursue life,liberty or financial security,I’d be down with whatever boycott. But this old man said the same stuff that people in black,white,hispanic and Asian communities do as well. Unfortunately for him someone recorded his ramblings. I had plenty of friends growing up that would tell me at school that their mom or dad didn’t want them hanging out with me but couldn’t explain why. I knew why,but never blamed them. Their parents probably didn’t dislike me personally,but some communities have taboos about social integration. and that’s across the board. These players,like myself have never felt the power of true blatant racism.That was a battle fought long before myself and they were born. Being called a name by a few individuals or hearing the ramblings of an old world man isn’t racism,it’s ignorance. If anything,help him understand,otherwise he’ll just be a billionaire who will still have friends and still hold on to his skewed view. A boycott does nothing to improve the situation.

  10. jollyjoker2 - Apr 28, 2014 at 8:43 PM

    paint me black or red or any color you have to and call me names is it will make you feel better – but just pay me darn well until I get enough – then I will move on.

    • therealhtj - Apr 28, 2014 at 8:58 PM

      You just described every Clippers player and staff member since the day Sterling bought the team.

  11. durno99 - Apr 28, 2014 at 8:54 PM

    I bet they are still cashing their checks from him! But telling fans to forget about the money they payed for tickets. Hypocrites for sure….

  12. jerdogthompson - Apr 28, 2014 at 9:13 PM

    I couldn’t honestly come up with a more self serving idiotic comment than what Jackson has said. Yeah what about game4? Or better yet, how about when Jackson comes on tv to tell how much he loves his wife all the while he’s sleeping with a STRIPPER!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Doc is correct, the biggest statement the team can make is to WIN!!! And win they shall and Jackson will be looking for a job next season just as the NBA will be shopping for a new owner. The NBA has the power to effectively force the sale of the team and will. Not only that, they can levy a fine much larger than 1mm and will do so.

    DTS will not have the ability to attend games or have any interaction with the team going forward PERIOD. Whether it’s Magic or some other billionaire group, the Clippers will NOT BE OWNED BY DTS next season. Guaranteed.


  13. stoptrippn - Apr 28, 2014 at 10:25 PM

    You hurt him by playing hard…win the division. After the season ask to be traded. No player will play for the pig

  14. cubb1 - Apr 28, 2014 at 11:08 PM

    Jackson will do anything to gain an edge. Of course, he’d rather play in an empty Staples Center. If he suggested that Golden State fans should also stay home, I would believe his motives are genuine.

  15. nawlinsmitty - Apr 29, 2014 at 12:18 AM

    A very misguided, ignorant article by someone who has no clue.

  16. sumkat - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:06 AM

    Too bad Jackson isn’t on the Clipper staff.

    As much as possible, the Clippers should try to ignore this. It’s the playoffs, you have a chance to play for a title. Make your statement after the year. They are grown men, and they feel how they feel and are going to do what they are going to do. But if I were in that situation, after I sat down and thought about it, would just try to block it out.

    You want out of there? Completely understandable. But it’s not going to happen now. I’d have no issue with any of these guys in their last post season press conference, whenever that may be, saying “it was a good season, and I love my teammates, but i’ll never play a game for that man again”.

    If they get distracted and lose a possible chance at a title run, they will probably regret it in the future (especially if they never get on a team this talented again). It’s not like they would be certain of going to a contender if they were traded, and they aren’t certain to get owners that have any idea what they are doing if he’s forced to sell (not that you could get much worse than Sterling), it usually take new owners a couple years to get their stuff together and learn the league

    We’ve all (well, most of us) have worked for bosses we hated, at jobs we couldn’t stand, for pay that was entirely too low. When you are in that position, you bolt the first chance you get. But until you get that chance, you put your head down and work. The only difference is, me and you are just doing it to pay the bills. They are doing it to achieve their life long dream.

    Won’t be easy, but like I said, being in the playoffs with a team this talented (and healthy) doesn’t happen every year. I wouldn’t throw the season away just to send a message to the owner. I’d send the message after the year

  17. bayafan - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:22 AM

    Why would warrior fans boycott game 4 in Oakland? It would make no sense and would send a stupid message. One of the dumbest statements I have seen by a writer on here.

  18. savvybynature - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:38 AM

    Fans should go, but all the white people with tickets should give them to friends or co-workers or random people of color. That way the arena is filled with the exact type of people that Sterling didn’t want there at the same time that he is banned from being there. Poetic Justice, served.
    Boom, I just solved this for ya. Make it happen Internet.

    • davidly - Apr 29, 2014 at 5:36 AM

      That idea occurred to me, as well. And while I think it is probably the best potential “action”, dude’s biggest issue was his girlfriend taking them.

      Maybe they would all wear Magic Johnson masks?

  19. 00maltliquor - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:39 AM

    LOL of course he does! Takes away the home court advantage!

  20. bigmeechy74 - Apr 29, 2014 at 2:16 AM

    Man… I am so SICK of this story. It’s so BORING. I know a lot of you are tired of hearing about it too but won’t admit it.

    • mackcarrington - Apr 29, 2014 at 2:27 AM

      It may be boring but this is big. You may not appreciate or understand how big, but it is big.
      Nothing like this has happened in sports before.

      • bigmeechy74 - Apr 29, 2014 at 12:19 PM

        I don’t care.

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