When the Clippers and Warriors take the court tonight for game five of their NBA playoff series, the biggest storyline of the game will continue to be Clippers owner Donald Sterling and his recent racist comments. But now that commissioner Adam Silver has banned Sterling from the NBA for life and has announced plans to force him to sell the team, those who made plans to stage protests at the game or boycott it altogether will have to alter those plans – and that includes players and fans.
The corporate sponsors who have bailed on the Clippers this week won’t return until after the team has a new owner. But fans with tickets to tonight’s game who had been considering staying home in protest may now change their minds and attend after all. And Clippers players will have to reevaluate whatever form of silent protest they may have planned for tonight, though they could still opt for a show of support for Sterling’s ban.
In any case the Clippers and Warriors face off tonight in what is sure to be a national media circus, regardless of attendance levels within the building.