Sterling Solicited Prostitute’s Personnel Opinions

In support of its landmark discrimination case against current NBA team owner Donald Sterling, the U.S. Dept. of Justice (DOJ) submitted to federal court on July 9, 2009, a sworn statement by Alexandra Castro from a previously unrelated court case.

Donald Sterling solicited prostitute's advice on NBA team personnel matters

(Sterling ‘consulted’ same woman he called a ‘prostitute’ on team personnel) 

Castro, who was a past acquaintance of the NBA owner, included the following characterization of her relationship with Sterling in the 2003 statement filed by the DOJ in support of its 2009 case against Sterling:

“During our relationship, Mr. Sterling consulted me on issues he was considering almost every day including, among others, whether he should hire Alvin Gentry to coach the Los Angeles Clippers (although I had no experience in such matters), how he should respond to requests by players for the Los Angeles Clippers for increases in their compensation (Mr. Sterling and I often had dinner at the Arena Club with agents for a number of players) … “

In the same case United States Attorneys also submitted a deposition of attorney Raymond Hersh, a founding partner of Los Angeles law firm Hersh, Mannis & Bogen who formerly represented Castro. Hersh’s sworn testimony, which was also from a previously unrelated court action, included the following about what Castro had told him about her relationship with Sterling:

“They had a relationship where she cooked, drove, cleaned, was consulted on remodeling apartments, who went to dinner with agents, who should be hired — she didn’t make the decision, she said, but she was consulted about who to hire in the Clipper organization and what should be done, what he was thinking.”

Four months after the U.S. Dept. of Justice submitted the sworn statements from Castro and Hersh to a federal court, along with a mountain of other evidence, NBA team owner Sterling agreed to pay the largest discrimination settlement in the history of United States jurisprudence.

So who is Alexandra Castro and why was Donald Sterling soliciting her opinions on player salaries, inviting her to meet with the agents of Clippers players and consulting her on who the next head coach of the Clippers should be?

In a 2003 sworn deposition, Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling described Alexandra Castro under oath as ..

“.. a prostitute … she was a total freak and a piece of trash … “

In the same deposition Sterling described, while under penalty of perjury, his relationship with Castro ..

“It was purely sex for money, money for sex, sex for money, money for sex.  The girl was providing sex for money.”

“I probably didn’t tell my wife .. maybe I did something morally wrong.”

Sterling’s sworn characterizations of Castro - and the exact nature of their relationship - are contained in 2003 Los Angeles Superior Court papers documenting a lawsuit brought by the NBA team owner against Castro.

During what court documents indicate was a relationship between Sterling and Castro from 1999-2002, the Los Angeles Clippers owner voluntarily transferred the title of a Beverly Hills home he owned to Castro and her mother.

After Castro spurned Sterling, ending their relationship, the Los Angeles NBA team team owner filed a lawsuit to get the house back.

The ensuing legal dispute, which effectively forced Castro to make sworn court statements about their relationship in defending herself against the billionaire tycoon’s litigation, ultimately resulted in her retaining the home.

Those same sworn statements about Sterling in Castro’s court response to his 2003 lawsuit were later used against the Los Angeles Clippers owner by the Dept. of Justice in the aforementioned federal discrimination case that cost the NBA team owner nearly $3 million.

And it was, again, those same sworn statements about Sterling in Castro’s court responses to his 2003 lawsuit that also revealed to NBA Commissioner David Stern that one of the league’s club owners solicited opinions on team personnel matters from a woman he claimed, under oath, was “a prostitute …  total freak and a piece of trash.

At least if you believe the United States Department of Justice.

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LAT Ad: Sterling Sentences Griffin, Gordon To Life

Last week L.A. Clippers General Manager Neil Olshey conspicuously blared to Ramona Shelburne of the ESPNLA.com that Blake Griffin would be a Clipper for life:

Clippers For Life Ad: Blake Griffin and Eric Gordon

(Bold claim, eh? Too bad font isn’t. Or legible for that matter.)

Olshey:

“I can guarantee you he will only ever be a Clipper. If [Oklahoma City Thunder general manager] Sam Presti arrived on Kevin Durant’s doorstep at midnight on July 1st with an extension, understand that Blake Griffin lives two blocks away from me in Manhattan Beach so it’s going to be a much shorter commute for me.

“Blake will continue to do what he’s doing. So will Eric Gordon and so will the rest of the All-Rookie players we’ve drafted over the years.

“When it comes time for him to be a free agent, we won’t be losing. We’re not losing now. We’re 10 out of 14 now with our All-Star center [Chris Kaman] sitting around in a suit. The future looks pretty good. The only question will be, in two or three years with Blake, is how much more we’ll be winning.”

Tempting fate? Apparently you didn’t see hall of fame Clippers Owner Donald Sterling’s recent copy change to his daily cut-and-paste Clippers ad in the print-only edition (of course!) of the Sunday LOS ANGELES TIMES.

The ad, which ran at the bottom of page 2 of the LA Times sports section, was its normal, bloodied-up hack job, except for one newly-inserted sentence shoehorned into the copy that read: Read more…

Blake Griffin’s Girlfriend Is Absolutely Unreal

In the past few weeks, various websites and blogs have been reporting on Blake Griffin’s new girlfriend, a student at USC named Jasmine Shein.

Jasmine Shein not Blake Griffin's girlfriend

(wrongwrongwrongwrong)

Griffin and Jasmine Shein were first linked by a sports blog called playerseason.com on Dec. 22 of last year with this post:

This is Blake Griffin’s new girlfriend Jasmine Shein. The two met each other in LA, where Jasmine is a student at USC.

All reports tell us that these two actually met on facebook and have been seeing each other in LA for a few months.

The post by the obscure site elicited no reaction across the web. That changed though thanks to a subsequent entry on a notorious sports gossip website. Read more…

Breaking: Clippers Sign Leron, Eye Derick Fisher?

Despite unprecedented room under the salary cap, the Clippers have so far elected to completely ignore the greatest NBA free agent class in history.

Clippers sign Leron

(MEDIA: MUST CREDIT CLIPPER DARRELL)

Ah, but don’t be fooled by wily Donald Sterling & Co. He didn’t come to be L.A.’s most notorious slumlord by not showing up for meetings with prospective, elite employees who could help take his business operation to the next level.

Scratch that.

Okay … let’s go straight to the source when it comes to credible Clippers news: The undisputed mascot leader of Clipper Nation, Clipper Darrell (Darrell Bailey).

This Clipper Darrell Tweet today sent shockwaves through sports media all the way from Pacoima to Huntington Park: Read more…

Geffen: No Personal Interest In Owning Clippers

After reading today’s Peter Vecsey NEW YORK POST claim that Donald Sterling is considering handing control of the Clippers ship to David Geffen, I made some calls to some well-connected friends in Hollywood.

David Geffen's Boyfriend Jeremy Lingvall Behind Bid For Clippers

(Geffen’s boyfriend Lingvall behind mogul’s interest in Clips)

From what I’ve since been told, it turns out that Vecsey is at least in the ballpark. The 66-year-old Geffen does have a passing interest in the Clips. But his own personal interest isn’t what’s motivating a potential investment in the NBA franchise.

Read more…

Welcome To Another Edition Of SbB’s “Al Says”!

Ben Bolch of the LOS ANGELES TIMES drops off this gem:

Al Says: Feature Steve Phillips Jumpoff

Reporting from Atlanta - Baron Davis called it heartbreaking. Eric Gordon said it was not up to par.

Al Thornton?

“It was a decent trip,” the Clippers forward said Wednesday night at Philips Arena after his team concluded a two-week journey with a 103-97 loss to the Atlanta Hawks. “We could have done a lot better, but it was a decent trip.”

Asked what he meant by “decent,” Thornton fell silent for several seconds.

“What was our record on this trip, anyway?” he inquired.

Informed it was 2-6, Thornton chuckled and said, “I guess not so decent, then. My bad.”

Not mentioned: two of six losses were to the 4-44 Nets and 11-38 Minnesota with the 14-day excursion ultimately resulting in head coach Mike Dunleavy’s ouster.

Al Says: Vlad The Impaler

New interim Clippers coach Kim Hughes reacted to Thornton’s comment today to Andrew Siciliano on KSPN-AM in Los Angeles.

Al Says: Jose Canseco MMA

Read more…

Clips Take Caps Lock Out On Isiah Thomas Report

UPDATE (5:15p ET): Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com reports that the Clippers are denying they are considering Isiah Thomas for a position with the club.

Clippers deny interest in Isiah Thomas

Shelburne adds: “This feels like story came from Isiah… Can’t see why the Clippers would want to pay $10 mill worth of coach next year.”

ORIGINAL POST: Jeff Goodman of FoxSports.com reports Friday:

Isiah Thomas Mike Dunleavy Donald Sterling

NBA Hall of Famer and current men’s basketball coach at Florida International University Isiah Thomas has emerged as one of the candidates to run the Los Angeles Clippers.

According to a source close to the situation, the Clippers have reached out to Thomas — who coached the Indiana Pacers and also the New York Knicks — to take over coaching, general manager and president duties.

He would replace Mike Dunleavy, who was relieved of his coaching duties earlier this week but remains the general manager.

Goodman’s report is all the more delightful when you consider that 11 months ago, Dunleavy said on the record that he turned down Thomas’ offer to work for the Clippers for free - in any capacity!

Lisa Dillman of the L.A. TIMES:

Thomas is doing what he can to try to get back into the game, and with his daughter set to attend Loyola Marymount, he offered to work for the Clippers without getting paid because he is still receiving money from the Knicks, Dunleavy said.

“Isiah came to us,” Dunleavy said in a telephone interview Thursday morning. “I wasn’t going to be a jerk and say, ‘I can’t talk to you.’ But there’s no position in the organization for him.”

While Dunleavy may sound like he’s somewhat sympathetic to Thomas, to reveal that Thomas was willing to work for free was clearly a low blow.

Then there’s January, 2008, when Dunleavy slammed Thomas for running the Knicks into the ground.

Read more…

Yeah But What About Him Lucking Into Dunleavy?

The LOS ANGELES TIMES has video of righteous observations from an appropriately smug Phil Jax on the delightful plight of Donald Sterling. (And Clips.)

“I’m of that generation that believed in karma. If you do a good mitzvah, maybe you can eliminate some of those things. Do you think that Sterling’s done enough mitzvahs to eliminate some of those? How about all those other incidents that we have on file?”

Wait, then what would you attribute Sterling’s generous dispensation to this young lady to? Perhaps that anonymous (attempted at least) act of generosity is what gifted the Clips Rumpledstiltskin.

LA Clippers’ “Laker Envy” Becomes More Obvious

Switching gears from the normal “holy cow check out the details on this sports news story hey!” formula. It’s a Friday and we’ve got something different and interesting. None of the details have changed since 1991 - and even then, not materially since 1982. You call it “old news,” we call it “evergreen.” Semantics: good for business, good for you.

Lakers Clippers Logo 1
(Not seeing it yet? Just wait.)

The guys over at BOTH TEAMS PLAYED HARD recently started a study on ranking the NBA logos from worst to first (hey, it’s the offseason), and we expected to see the Clippers near the bottom. Sure enough, they’re at #26 - but is it warranted?

A fellow ShareBro over at SLC DUNK pointed out to us earlier today (and as BTPH also dutifully noticed) that the Clippers and Lakers had surprisingly similar logos. We looked at them next to each other - as shown above - then shrugged our shoulders and said “eh.” But there’s something to it, as a simple but elegant adjustment will show below the break.

Read more…

Speed Read: Former NFL LB Is A Calif. Murderer

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any weirder in sports crime - O.J. Simpson still hasn’t found his wife’s killer but we can’t be assured that Dirk Nowitzki’s baby momma didn’t have something to do with it - former NFL linebacker Eric Naposki is arrested for being the gunman who killed Newport Beach (Calif.) millionaire William McLaughlin. If you’re looking for more information on him, don’t check his former teams. The Patriots have already spiked his former alumni player page.

eric naposki

According to the ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, Naposki — who was the paramour of McLaughlin’s girlfriend, Nanette Johnston — shot McLaughlin six times in an infamous 1994 slaying that sent shockwaves through the Southern California socialite circles and the medical aristocracy, since McLaughlin was the man who invented the process to separate plasma from blood.

Naturally, the case is being buried underneath all the Vick attention, but it’s a truly stunning turn of events. This is a cold case 15 years old, and suddenly dual arrests, one of which goes to a guy who played for both the Patriots and Colts in the late 1980s? Didn’t see that coming.

Then again, who saw the Magic win coming, either? After watching Cleveland breeze through its first two playoff series, sitting at home while waiting for the Celtics and Magic to finish beating each other up. When they finally returned to action on Wednesday, they jumped out to a lead, though that didn’t do anything to give them a win. No, instead, the Cavs dropped their first game of the playoffs, raising serious questions over whether the cast around LeBron James can keep up with Dwight Howard and a Magic team that looks more and more playoff tested.

rashard lewis magic

Of course, the Game 1 win dampens some of the rampant speculation that the Eastern Conference Finals are rigged. It’s hard to say that the Cavs are set up for a cakewalk to the Finals when they win Game 1 on the road.

Now all those pregame concerns are being replaced with Orlando braggadocio, with at least one Orlando columnist claiming that the team turned Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena into “a mausoleum.” Ouch. It’ll be interesting to see how LeBron reacts to that.

lebron james

Speaking of basketball, the Lakers are still in the playoffs, but they’re hardly the biggest basketball story going on in their own city. Ok, maybe they are the biggest story in L.A., but the Clippers are stealing some of their thunder, for good and bad reasons. First, they win the NBA Draft Lottery for the right to pick Blake Griffin. Then, less excitingly for fans of the red and blue (are any left?), is this incredibly damning portrait of owner Donald Sterling, who looks like a bigger and bigger racist with each article that gets published.

donald sterling

The most recent accusations were lobbed by ESPN The Magazine, which we tripped across via DEADSPIN, and they go into scary detail about his slumlording and overt racism in granting the right to live in his shantytowns.  Here’s your gratuitous over-the-top pullquote, courtesy Mr. Sterling’s written records themselves (no one told him about this new invention called a “shredder”?)

When Sterling first bought the Ardmore, he remarked on its odor to Davenport. “That’s because of all the blacks in the building, they smell, they’r enot clean,” he said, accoding to Davenport’s testimony. “And it’s because of all the Mexicans taht just sit around and smoke and drink all day. He added: “So we have to get them out of here.” Shortly after, construction work caused a serious leak at the complex. When Davenport surveyed the damage, she found an elderly woman, Kandynce Jones, wading through several inches of water in Apartment 121. Jones was paralyzed on the right side and legally blind. She took medication for high blood pressure and to thin a clot in her leg. Still, she was remarkably cheerful, showing Davenport pictures of her children, even as some of her belongings floated around her.

Can’t David Stern steal back the top pick? I mean, top media market aside, is it really worth putting a talent like Blake Griffin in L.A. if it means helping Sterling make money? We’re certainly not sure it is.

Meanwhile, it was only a matter of time until the floodgates about Milton Bradley conspiracy theorists came out of the woodwork. Well, consider them here to stay, after two radio hosts on Chicago station THE SCORE debated whether Bradley was a good contributor for the Cubs. Not surprisingly, the takes of the two hosts were vastly different, though the boiled down to once major concern: Is Bradley a clubhouse cancer? Or is he just infairly maligned by the media?

milton bradley cubs

The issue at heart is a legitimate one, since the media continues to trot out a ditribe about how Bradley brings only negatives to a team. According to analysis from MOUTHPIECE SPORTS, which we’ve always heard and read as well, Bradley is actually known as a terrific teammate, by Jake Peavy, Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Theriot and, most recently, Bobby Scales.

That sure makes it seem like Bradley is the victim of unfair media criticism, though who really knows with a guy so volatile he rips an ACL while arguing a call at first base. Not third or home, first. Yet that in itself seems to prove that he’s got a lot more passion that he’s getting credit for, so we’re not sure what Matt Abbacatola was talking about. Do you?

  • You thought you were tough? You got nothing on this 104-year-old golfer. Yes, 104. And he insisted on having a round. That, friends, is amazing.
  • Evidently Larry King’s “Shattered Glass”-esque story about horse racing was only the latest episode in his career of lying about famous sporting events and moments. Paging you, Mr. Sandy Koufax.
  • Is it possible that Tony Kornheiser is just a jerk? We all know that Joe Theismann hated him. Did Mike Tirico burn out on him, too?
  • Speaking of Theismann, we’re sorry, but we can’t get enough of this whole Keyboard Cat fad, and if we don’t use this now, we’ll never get a chance to. Sure it’s macabre, but then there’s a cat! Playing a keyboard!

  • SI decides hockey is just relevant enough to compile a list of the sports most rugged players. Thanks SI. Of course, it is a pretty solid list, considering the fact that Owen Nolan is near the top. That’s all we needed to know.

Which sports injury would you most like to have turned into a “Keyboard Cat” moment?

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