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Prominent Clipper season ticket holder says if players revolt on Sterling, he wants his money back

May 23, 2014, 8:44 AM EDT

Celebrities At The Los Angeles Clippers Game Getty Images

So far, the players union (and players in general) are happy with how Adam Silver and the league are handling the Donald Sterling situation. The league not only banned him for life and fined him $2.5 million, but also the league has started the process to force a sale of the team. The union also realizes that the Sterlings — both Donald and Shelly — are likely to fight this in court, which could drag out the process. Maybe into next season.

If it were to drag out too long and the Clippers players started to revolt and say they wouldn’t play for Donald Sterling, they have the backing of one prominent Clippers season ticket holder.

Steve Soboroff — a prominent Los Angeles business man and the current President of the Los Angeles Police Commission — told ABC 7 in Los Angeles if the Clippers players go he wants the money back for his courtside seats.

“If they stick together, I am with them. If those players go to the Lakers, I am going to become a Laker fan,” said Soboroff.

That means he would want his money for his Clippers season tickets back.

“It’s a lot of money. I can use that money. I’ll go wherever (the players) go,” said Soboroff.

How good are Soboroff’s seats? He was sitting next to Rihanna for a Clippers playoff game, she borrowed his phone to take a selfie, dropped it and cracked the screen. As an apology she donated $25,000 to the Los Angeles Police Foundation charity fund and signed the phone, which was then auctioned off for the same charity and raised $66,500. So yes, he has good seats.

Other season ticket holders are on board with this as well… but it’s not going to come to this.

The players want to play and the Clipper players want to stick together — they realize they are contenders, they don’t want to break this up. Especially not with the NBA making an effort.

There was some rumblings from players union VP Roger Mason that if this isn’t resolved by the start of next season the players could strike, or ask to be released from the Clippers. Other players shot that down (including LeBron James, who was said to lead the revolt) saying that is not in the works. Basically that was just a union rep trying to keep pressure on the league to move forward. That’s what union reps are supposed to do.

Just consider what Soboroff said another motivation for the league not to change course.

  1. deadeyedesign23 - May 23, 2014 at 9:16 AM

    Jesus what a misleading headline. You make it sound like he’s saying “I don’t want these uppity players getting any ideas” when he’s actually supporting them.

  2. reesesteel23 - May 23, 2014 at 9:31 AM

    Come break my phone Rihanna

  3. thatsjustchipper - May 23, 2014 at 9:46 AM

    If the players revolt, they then void their contracts and the Sterlings keep the cash. They’ll have plenty to pay back their ticket holders, 5 times over.

  4. jimsjam33 - May 23, 2014 at 10:17 AM

    Tell Steve that when he fails to renew and becomes a Laker fan I will purchase his tickets .

  5. tampajoey - May 23, 2014 at 10:29 AM

    The NBA players threatening to revolt is a total freaking joke! Like any of these clowns would give up their multi-million dollar careers. What are they going to do… fall back on their education? LMFAO. Most of them would end up working at McDonald’s. The NBA players would work for Adolf Hilter to keep their lifestyle.

    • jasper36 - May 23, 2014 at 11:04 AM

      LOL you sound jealous. Why should they give their hard earned money.

    • asimonetti88 - May 23, 2014 at 11:14 AM

      “What are they going to do… fall back on their education?”

      They could always go to Europe and play for millions of dollars.

    • jimeejohnson - May 23, 2014 at 11:48 AM

      You sound like the right wing loser you are.

      • jimeejohnson - May 23, 2014 at 11:49 AM

        TamponJoey that is: a real, right wing scumbag.

      • tved12 - May 23, 2014 at 1:45 PM

        You’re really bringing politics into this? I don’t care which party he supports, nor do I claim to know it, he’s just a moron.

    • tampajoey - May 23, 2014 at 8:53 PM

      To all you clowns that disagree… you all live in a fantasy land.

  6. socalgal64 - May 23, 2014 at 10:30 AM

    Proving that everyone was right about bandwagon Clippers “fans” all along.
    “If they stick together, I am with them. If those players go to the Lakers, I am going to become a Laker fan,” said Soboroff.

    • tved12 - May 23, 2014 at 1:46 PM

      Is that as bad as the bandwagon Lakers “fans” who jumped ship to the Clippers as soon as they didn’t have a winning season?

      • sportsfan18 - May 23, 2014 at 2:47 PM

        But everyone KNOWS that Fakers fans are fake…

      • limonadamas - May 23, 2014 at 7:14 PM

        Who exactly are you referring to? I don’t know anyone who “jumped ship.” It’s nice being able to make unsupported generalizations though. Go internet!

      • tved12 - May 27, 2014 at 1:05 PM

        Right, because Clippers games used to always sell out. I’m sure they had a ton of fans just waiting until they got good so they could start showing up… Oh wait, those are ex-Lakers fans filling the seats? Could have fooled me.

  7. 1historian - May 23, 2014 at 10:43 AM

    I’m taking a poll –

    1) Does Soboroff look like he’s one of the ‘99%’ or one of the ‘1%’

    2) Can this whole thing get any dumber?

    3) Is there anyone out there who is naive enough to believe for ONE second that the Clippers’ players would refuse to play next season if Sterling is still the owner?

    • tved12 - May 23, 2014 at 1:47 PM

      This isn’t a poll, it’s three questions…

    • sportsfan18 - May 23, 2014 at 2:52 PM

      As for your 2nd option, YES, things may always get worse, more strange, dumber etc…

      As for your 3rd option, YES, there ARE many idiots out there.

      YOU can’t really be so naive to think that EVERYONE has enough brains to realize them sitting out wouldn’t really happen…

      Name a position on something in the world and there will ALWAYS be those on EACH side of it…

  8. beach305 - May 23, 2014 at 10:51 AM

    Actually the player’s could break their contracts and the NBA would help them do it. The last thing the NBA wants is the PR nightmare of telling black athletes that they have to work for a racist owner.

    • sportsfan18 - May 23, 2014 at 2:59 PM

      Well the NBA has KNOWN for decades that the black players were playing for a racist owner…

      Due to having DECADES of history of him BEING the owner while it was KNOWN he was racist, that is NOT the reason they are forcing him out.

      It’s money. Always has been and always will be.

      There was enough (way more than enough) of a backlash due to the incident and when THAT many are united in their thoughts, opinions on something they are able to insist on change even without saying it.

      This incident grew legs quickly and took on a life of its own. It became apparent quickly that he had to go.

      Businesses were pulling their advertising with the team/league…

      I agree he should go by the way…

      But if somehow this incident did NOT grow so quickly and have such a unified response against it and the money was insignificant, then he would have continued on as owner the way he had after being sued for discrimination by minorities in buildings he owned…

      He was racist 20 yrs ago, 20 months and today. So for someone to say the league can’t tell a black player to work for a racist owner is not correct. Been happening for decades.

      He is not any more racist today than he was 5 yrs ago. Yet for some reason it was OK for him to be an owner last year, 5 yrs ago, 10 yrs ago even WITH the same views he holds today…

      What happened hit the league in the pocketbook and THAT mandated swift action…

      • limonadamas - May 23, 2014 at 7:24 PM

        Agree with most of your statement. The only thing is that it’s sometimes hard to ascertain motivation based on inaction.

        Recent events forced the league’s hand and made it very clear what the course of action needed to be. However, given that Sterling’s a litigious bastard, I could easily see a scenario where everyone was disgusted with him, but no one felt like they could do anything about it without completely going nuclear. Sterling would drag things on and on (kind of like he’s trying to do now) until the pressure broke.

        Our legal system favors those who have resources in this way: if you have means, you can appeal and appeal to the point that it’s not worth it anymore due to the legal fees –> hence all the settlements in the past.

  9. duhwighthoward - May 23, 2014 at 11:23 AM

    Nice to know my tax dollars go to paying for this jerk’s Clippers tickets. How about shaping up your department first? You could start by stop shooting the black people.

    Second, how about some decent training? I lived two blocks away from their training facility. In between was one of the biggest gathering spots for crackheads, junkies, and dealers. And the deals and drug use went on right there in plain sight right along the main thoroughfare. Perfect location to train cadets on drug busts. Never happened.

    • jimeejohnson - May 23, 2014 at 11:50 AM

      Good ole L.A.!

  10. Robert - May 23, 2014 at 3:56 PM

    Clippers = sold to the Seattle group or to Kansas City.

  11. titansbro - May 23, 2014 at 10:22 PM

    You’re freaking high if you really think any player will sit out & not get paid.

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