Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Stephen Curry says he regrets not boycotting 2014 playoff game against Clippers amid Donald Sterling scandal

With four championships and multiple MVP Awards to his name, Steph Curry is one of the most well-decorated, and successful, players of his era. But just because Curry has had an amazing run doesn’t mean that he doesn’t harbor any regrets regarding things that transpired over the course of his career. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Curry revealed that one of his biggest regrets is not boycotting a 2014 playoff game against the Los Angeles Clippers after the team’s owner, Donald Sterling, was exposed for racist behavior. 

“One of my biggest regrets is not boycotting the game,” Curry said. “That was a moment to leverage beyond anything we probably could have said.”    

At the time, Curry and his teammates wanted to walk off of the court immediately after the tipoff, but they ultimately went along with the Clippers’ protest of choice, which included wearing warmup shirts inside out, taking them off and laying them at midcourt prior to the game. Since the Clippers were the team at the center of the scandal, it made sense that the Warriors followed their lead. 

Sterling was ultimately fined $2.5 million, forced to sell the Clippers and given a lifetime ban from the NBA as a result of his words and actions. This punishment was viewed as satisfactory by the players, and thus no game boycotts ever occurred. 

From Rolling Stone: 

As we did exactly that over the course of five interviews this summer, Curry repeatedly agonized over a moment he wishes he could take back. In 2014, the Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was exposed as a vile racist in recordings published by TMZ, in the middle of the upstart Warriors’ playoff series against them. Curry privately discussed a unified player response with the Clippers star Chris Paul, twice, because Curry and his teammates wanted to walk off the court after the jump ball. But the Warriors ultimately deferred to their opponents’ protest of choice — the Clippers wore warmup shirts with the logo inside out, then discarded them at center court — and to the league commissioner’s lifetime ban of Sterling.  

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The idea behind the potential boycott was to demonstrate to the league that the players wouldn’t accept anything less than the harshest possible punishment for Sterling. 

“It would have been our only chance to make a statement in front of the biggest audience that we weren’t going to accept anything but the maximum punishment,” Curry said at the time. “We would deal with the consequences later but we were not going to play.”  

The fact that Curry still regrets not boycotting that game shows just how strongly he and other players felt about the situation. 

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