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THE STERLING AFFAIRS Bonus: 10 Years Later

THE STERLING AFFAIRS Bonus: 10 Years Later

Update: 2024-05-31


This episode of The Sterling Affairs, 10 years later, revisits the scandal that rocked the NBA when racist remarks by Clippers owner Donald Sterling were leaked. Host Ramona Shelburne reflects on the moment the news broke and the impact it had on her reporting. She also interviews colleagues Mark Spears, Zach Lowe, Steve Mason, and John Ireland to discuss the lasting effects of the scandal on the league, the players, and the Clippers' image. The episode explores the lack of black ownership in the NBA despite the league's predominantly black players, and the power dynamics between owners and players. It also examines the Clippers' journey to reinvent themselves under new owner Steve Balmer, including their new arena and their pursuit of a championship. The episode concludes with a discussion about the Clippers' "curse" and whether they can finally break through to win a title.



This Chapter introduces the episode and sets the scene for the 10-year anniversary of the Donald Sterling scandal. Ramona Shelburne, the host, reflects on her experience covering the story and how it still feels relevant today.

The Women at the Center of the Story

This Chapter focuses on the women at the heart of the scandal, Shelly Sterling and Vee Stiviano. Ramona shares her attempts to interview Vee, who has remained largely silent for the past 10 years. She also discusses Shelly's current life and her relationship with Donald Sterling.

The NBA's Lack of Black Ownership

This Chapter explores the lack of black ownership in the NBA, despite the league's predominantly black players. Mark Spears, an NBA writer for ESPN, discusses his disappointment with the league's lack of progress in this area.

The Clippers' Curse

This Chapter delves into the Clippers' long-standing "curse" and whether it has been broken since Donald Sterling's departure. Ramona and her colleagues discuss the team's struggles to win a championship despite having talented players and a new owner who has invested heavily in the franchise.


Donald Sterling
Donald Sterling was the former owner of the Los Angeles Clippers. He was banned from the NBA for life in 2014 after racist remarks he made to his girlfriend were leaked. The scandal led to Sterling being forced to sell the team, which was a significant moment in the history of the NBA.

The Sterling Affairs
The Sterling Affairs is a podcast hosted by Ramona Shelburne that explores the scandal surrounding Donald Sterling and its impact on the NBA. The podcast features interviews with key figures involved in the story, including players, coaches, and other NBA personnel.

The Los Angeles Clippers are a professional basketball team that plays in the NBA. The team has been plagued by controversy and struggles to win a championship, but they have made significant progress under new owner Steve Balmer.

Steve Balmer
Steve Balmer is the current owner of the Los Angeles Clippers. He purchased the team from Donald Sterling in 2014 and has invested heavily in the franchise, including building a new arena. Balmer is known for his passionate and eccentric personality.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a professional basketball league in North America. The league is known for its high level of competition and its global popularity.

Black Ownership
Black ownership in the NBA is a topic of ongoing discussion. Despite the league's predominantly black players, there is a lack of black ownership in the NBA. This issue has been highlighted in recent years, particularly in the wake of the Donald Sterling scandal.

Player Power
Player power in the NBA is a growing trend. Players are increasingly using their platform to advocate for social justice and other causes. They are also becoming more involved in business ventures and are demanding more control over their careers.

Clipper Curse
The Clipper Curse is a term used to describe the Los Angeles Clippers' long-standing struggles to win a championship. The team has been plagued by bad luck and injuries, and many fans believe that the curse is a result of Donald Sterling's ownership.


  • What was the impact of the Donald Sterling scandal on the NBA?

    The Donald Sterling scandal had a significant impact on the NBA. It led to the league taking a more proactive stance on issues of race and social justice. It also highlighted the power dynamics between owners and players, and the need for greater diversity in ownership.

  • Why is there a lack of black ownership in the NBA?

    There are a number of reasons for the lack of black ownership in the NBA. One reason is the high cost of owning a franchise. Another reason is the lack of access to capital and investment opportunities for black entrepreneurs. The league has also been criticized for not doing enough to promote black ownership.

  • How have the Clippers changed since Donald Sterling's departure?

    The Clippers have undergone a significant transformation since Donald Sterling's departure. Under new owner Steve Balmer, the team has invested heavily in its players, its facilities, and its brand. The team has also become more respected in the league and has a new arena under construction.

  • Do you think the Clippers can break their curse and win a championship?

    The Clippers have a talented roster and a committed owner, but they have yet to win a championship. Whether they can break their curse remains to be seen. The team's success will depend on a number of factors, including the health of their key players and their ability to overcome the challenges of playing in a competitive league.

Show Notes

It’s been ten years since Donald Sterling was banned for life from the NBA. In this very special bonus episode, we check in with our Sterling Affairs’ mainstays: Shelly, V., and of course, the Los Angeles Clippers. A whole lot has changed for the allegedly cursed team in the past decade, from a new owner to a new arena. But can they actually take home a title? 

Guests: Marc Spears, Zach Lowe, Steve Mason, John Ireland

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THE STERLING AFFAIRS Bonus: 10 Years Later

THE STERLING AFFAIRS Bonus: 10 Years Later

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