Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Sterling Make Up Call

Basketball fans know fouls are called for many different reasons and not all of them are foul related. Fouls called early in the game are known as "setting the tone" calls. The prime example is in the playoffs when two teams have a history of physical play and referees want to get tight control early in the game. 

One of the more infamous calls are "make-up calls". This occurs when a referee makes an incorrect foul call or fails to make an obvious call, which is then replayed for all to see. The referee will then make another incorrect call against the opposing team in an effort to balance the consequences of the previous call and thus make it up to the original player and team. 

The Make Up Call mirrors exactly what NBA Commissioner Adam Silver had to do in dealing with Clippers owner Donald Sterling. 

Previous NBA Commissioner David Stern was the original referee with the original bad call. In this case the bad call was a no-call. Not only did Sterling have a history of shady dealings and racist remarks but many inside the NBA were aware of it (and would have found more if they ever bothered to investigate). Sterling had been sued by tenants, employees and the government and although he was never found technically guilty the sum of the parts raised red flags everywhere but inside the NBA's front office. David Stern not only did nothing to drive him out while learning of these incidents but actually facilitated him in the last several years. 

Adam Silver must have realized this. The NBA had failed in dealing with Donald Sterling throughout his history in the league. The sins of the father, David Stern, had to be thoroughly vanquished for the sake of the league's respectability, Adam Silver did exactly what he had to do.