BOSTON (CBS) – Celtics broadcaster and former C’s legend Cedric Maxwell joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Felger & Massarotti program Tuesday afternoon to react to the big news surrounding the NBA.
And no, it’s not the playoffs.
Clippers owner Donald Sterling received the maximum punishment of a lifetime ban issued by commissioner Adam Silver for his racist remarks caught on tape and released by TMZ.
It’s a different sport, but Maxwell used a baseball analogy in reacting to the news.
“I thought it was a home run. It was precise. I thought it was surgical. I thought it was definitive. I thought everything about it was positive, from a former player to a broadcaster and somebody that’s been around the game, [Silver’s] stance was excellent,” said Max.
A big topic of discussion on Monday’s Felger & Massarotti show was the role of Doc Rivers in all of this. Now, he’s certainly not responsible for the insensitive remarks made by his owner, but Rivers had to have known, on some level, what he was getting into when he agreed to coach the Los Angeles Clippers.
However, Max believes there’s no way Doc could have foreseen a situation like this arising, despite the owner’s spotty record on tolerance and acceptance.
Maxwell spent two seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers so he’s known about Donald Sterling for quite some time. And while he’s not defending what was said, how it was collected is bothersome to the former NBA veteran.
“The way the information was gathered I did not like that. Two wrongs do not make it right. Now, it might make it even, but it don’t make it right. I am not letting Sterling off the hook for what he said. It was horrible. It was outrageous. And the commissioner did exactly what should have been done,” said Max.
This led into a bigger discussion involving former Patriots tight end Jermaine Wiggins, who’s in studio every Tuesday from 2-4pm. Wiggy applauded the actions of V. Stiviano, Sterling’s 31-year-old mistress, for recording (and some might even say “baiting”) the 80-year-old during a racially-charged conversation.
Max responds that we’ve all said and done things we regret — just without audio recorders present.
“This is my side of it. You [Wiggy], me, Felger, whoever it might be, if you’re conversation is taped without your knowledge, all of us would be in trouble. We’ve all said things. Again, I’m not letting Sterling off the hook. I just don’t like the way the information was gathered,” said Max.
“Now once it’s been gathered. . . is the information valuable? Yes it is. But if you’re telling me that somebody can tape my conversation and use that against me, I don’t like that.”
Wiggy goes on to say he would have nothing to worry about because he’s never spewed racial propaganda like that, but Maxwell has a hard time believing him.
“I’ll say this my friend: I think you’re a little unusual, when it comes to the fact that you’ve never said anything about any other race you might not like. I’ll say from time to time I’ve said things that have not been appropriate, but it has not been recorded. Look, I’m not defending Donald Sterling. What he did was horrible. But I will not applaud somebody for doing something like that. Although the information was valuable, I’m still not going to applaud her.”
Max added that during his time with the Clippers Sterling was a relatively new owner to the league, so he never experienced any of the bigotry seen later on with players like Baron Davis, etc.
But Max, like mostly everyone else, knew about Sterling years later as lawsuits and accusations started piling up.
Listen below for the full discussion: