By Ashley Dunkak
DETROIT (CBS DETROIT) – ESPN analyst Jalen Rose, who starred at Michigan and then played 13 years in the NBA, said Monday that he expects NBA owners to vote 29-0 to force disgraced Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling to sell his team.
Rose based his certainty on his interactions with Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores, Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert and Orlando Magic owner Dick DeVos, all of whom have donated to Rose’s charter school, the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy.
“Tom Gores is a donor to JLRA. Platinum Equity, Dan Gilbert’s holding company, has donated to JLRA. Dick and Betsy DeVos have been supporters of JLRA,” Rose said Monday, when the high school announced a partnership with the University of Michigan-Dearborn that will provide engineering scholarships for two JLRA students every year.
“That’s Orlando Magic, that’s Cleveland Cavaliers, that’s Detroit Pistons,” Rose continued. “Okay, so if you have 30 overall owners, that represents 10 percent. So I have a good gauge on those gentleman, how they have supported our school and how they don’t follow that mentality that [Sterling] displayed, so with that, I would not be surprised at all if the vote is 29-0.”
Some – including Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban – have wondered about the precedent set by forcing an owner to sell based mainly on a conversation recorded without consent in that individual’s home. Rose acknowledged that, ordinarily, owners might be hesitant to punish someone for a private conversation. This situation, he said, is different.
“Under normal circumstances, yes, but there has been a track record and a pattern of behavior that we can follow over 20 years with nine lawsuits and countless other things that he has done to suppress minorities,” Rose said, “and so because of that, I think the vote is going to be unanimous.”
Sterling has said that his comments were a mistake, that he was baited in the interview and that he is not a racist. The apology did not seem to move Rose, who took a different approach instead of directly reacting to Sterling’s latest speech.
“Here’s the deal – it’s a perfect example how money’s not going to buy happiness,” Rose said. “Here’s a gentleman who bought a team for $15 million, and he’s going to sell it for a billion, and he’s not going to be happy at all. As I stand here as a founder of a charter school, I work in an educational space and work in the media, and a former athlete and a part of the NBA family, what I try to tell people all of the time is there are people that aren’t going to like you. There are people that aren’t going to respect you, whether it’s because of your race, your size, your origin, your religion, your sexual preference, so how do you deal with that information? How do you process that information? How do you now allow that information to make you a better person? I just hope everyone uses this as a learning lesson that, while he’s a powerful individual and he’s the owner of a team, he is one person, and our country has come a long way.
“Just get him out of the league, and I hope he and his wife don’t get any more national television interviews,” Rose added.