Blake Griffin's Tells Super Creepy Story About Donald Sterling In Jeter's Players Tribune
If you had forgotten just how bizarre Donald Sterling was, here's an apt comparison by Clippers power forward Blake Griffin: "Donald was like a weird uncle."
Senior editor Blake Griffin's latest entry into Derek Jeter's Players Tribune detailed his bizarre first interaction with Sterling in 2009. Whether Griffin is just a gifted storyteller or the story is simply that creepy, I had to take a second halfway through reading it because of how grossed out I was.
Something about holding Donald Sterling's hand makes me want to barf 3,000 times.
[Players Tribune] Donald Sterling had me by the hand. You know that thing elderly women do where they grab the top of your hand with just their fingers and lead you around? That’s what he was doing. We were in Malibu for his annual White Party, and it was the first time I was meeting him since the Clippers had drafted me in the spring of 2009. He led me through the house to the balcony overlooking his tennis court. The whole party was set up out there. White tents. White umbrellas. White cloth. I showed up in all white. Everyone showed up in all white. Then there was Donald, standing on the balcony overlooking it all, wearing all black. “Isn’t this just fabulous?” he said.
I was hoping to escape down the stairs, find one of my teammates and blend in with the rest of the crowd. I tried to pull my hand away. Nope. Things were about to get weirder. Two blonde models showed up on either side of me. They had clearly been hired for the event. I knew this because they were wearing size XXXX-L Clippers T-shirts tied at the stomach. I looked at Sterling. He had a big dumb grin on his face. I looked at one of the girls, as if to say, “Uhhh, you don’t have to do this.” She looked back: “Uhhh, yes I do.”
So I walked down the stairs with the two girls arm-in-arm, hoping that was the end of it. That was not the end of it. At the bottom of the stairs, Donald grabbed my hand again. I tried to do the old shake-and-release move. No dice. He kept holding on. “Blake, isn’t this fabulous? I need to introduce you to everyone.”
Donald Sterling literally introduced me to everyone. Here’s how he did it, every single time, to every single group of people, while holding on to my hand:
“If you’re wondering how a known racist can own an NBA team without anyone batting an eye, first ask yourself how the owner of an NBA team can scream at his team’s best player in front of thousands of people and hundreds of cameras without anyone even caring.”
“Everyone, have you met our newest star? This is Blake! He was the number one pick in the entire NBA draft. Number one! Blake, where are you from?”
Then I’d say I was from Oklahoma.
“Oklahoma! And tell these people what you think about LA.”
Then I’d say it was pretty cool.
“And what about the women in LA, Blake?”
It was the same conversation with every group of people. When he would start having a one-on-one conversation with someone, I’d try to slip away, and he’d reach back and paw my hand without even breaking eye contact with the person. Whenever he didn’t have anything left to say, he just turned around and walked us over to the next group.
“… Have you met our newest star?”
It went on like this forever. At one point, a guy who had clearly been to a bunch of these parties turned to me and said, “Just keep smiling, man. It’ll all be over soon.”
It's sad that people like Sterling manage to accumulate such unimaginable wealth and power despite being so tragically horrible, and sadder still to think that it's taken the media until 2014 to dredge up enough dirt so as to get him out of an NBA front office.
Photo via Getty
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