Greg Cote

Greg Cote: Sterling sets new gold standard for awful owners

The resting, waiting (and waiting) Heat inherit the winner of Game 7 of the Nets-Raptors series Sunday as the NBA postseason prepares to move on to its second round — and further past the scandal and stink of banned-for-life Los Angeles Clippers racist-owner Donald Sterling.

I’m supposed to be impartial but am secretly hoping it’s the Nets. I can’t get out of my head the delicious image of Toronto mayor Rob Ford, after a crack cocaine relapse, lurching merrily into a Heat practice to meet LeBron James, tripping over a ball rack and careening face-first into an ice bath.

By the way, I thought the national firestorm that nominated Sterling as the permanent new grand marshal of the all-time Awful Sports Owners parade saw a missed opportunity here in South Florida. Came and went the chance for Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria to present himself grinning in a full-page newspaper ad below the bugling headline:


Sterling does lend perspective, doesn’t he?

America has a rich history of bad sports owners such as the Knicks’ James Dolan and Redskins’ Dan Snyder, but normally “bad” just means endless losing, terrible decision-making or acute cheapness. Rarely does it involve off-field stuff like what the Colts’ Jim Irsay is going through, or the infamous racist, anti-Semitic views of the late Reds owner, Marge Schott.

The Clippers scandal actually ended up making me money. I’d forgotten, but, a few months ago, on a crazy hunch while in Las Vegas, I got million-to-1 odds betting there would be a spring sports scandal involving $2.5 million and men named Sterling and Silver.

(I did not fare as well on the bet that last season’s Super Bowl quarterbacks would be named Platinum and Rhodium).

Oprah Winfrey Floyd Mayweather Jr. Diddy
Rick Ross David Geffen

Peter Horachek Dale Tallon

Dennis Hickey Leslie Nielsen

Jeff Ireland

Teddy Bridgewater’s

Jameis Winston

Al Golden Ray Lewis


Matt Cain

Robinson Cano


Parting thought: Bob Costas

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