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.

Follow Brooks on Twitter or join him on Facebook for real-time updates.

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…

Baron Davis Debunks ‘Faulty’ ESPN ‘Insider’ Claim

Tuesday ESPN NBA insider Chris Broussard wrote on ESPN.com of Baron Davis:

Baron Davis does not weight 260 lbs

Davis, a Hall of Fame talent who’s spent half his career underachieving, can put L.A. in the playoffs if he’s engaged or in the dumpster if he loafs. Midsummer reports weren’t good, as sources said the 6-3 point guard was up to 260 pounds, 45 pounds above his listed playing weight.

The above photo of Davis was taken a week ago at a charity benefit in Los Angeles.

Of Broussard’s claim, Davis subsequently took to Twitter: 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.

Blake Griffin To Have Season-Ending Knee Surgery

I would say unbelievable but we are talking about the Clippers, so that’s not entirely accurate. From Clippers official website:

Blake Griffin Smiling

After experiencing some discomfort during his recently-accelerated rehabilitation program, Clippers’ forward Blake Griffin was examined Tuesday afternoon by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.

As a result of that examination, it has been determined that the healing in his left patella area has not improved to the expected required level. Griffin will undergo a surgical procedure in the near future, with a recovery prognosis of four to six months.

Just before Christmas Griffin was cleared by doctors to begin rehab.

Sucks, I was really looking forward to seeing him play and help stir up a rivalry with the Lakers here in Los Angeles. (Okay, forgot about Dunleavy.)

Accusation: Clippers Announcer Is Very Bad Guy

The ASSOCIATED PRESS has an accusation against L.A. Clippers announcer Michael Smith that came absolutely out of nowhere:

Michael Smith Accused Of Grand Theft

Smith, 44, and his business partner Bruce Furst, 57, were charged Dec. 21 with felony grand theft, Orange County district attorney spokeswoman Farrah Emami said Wednesday. They also face sentencing enhancements for the amount of losses involved.

According to prosecutors, Smith persuaded his friend, a retired school teacher with an inoperable brain tumor, to put up his paid-off Dana Point home in January 2008 as collateral for a $735,000 loan, so Smith and Furst could develop land in Dana Point. Prosecutors said the pair lied and said the loan was safe and would be 100 percent guaranteed.

Smith and Furst, who both live in Laguna Hills, also failed to deliver as promised the $7,200 monthly mortgage payment the victim now must make on his house, prosecutors said. The victim is expected to lose his home.

Smith’s attorney has since responded to the charges, as Smith did himself upon arraignment today in Orange County Superior Court.

Read more…