According to then-GM Paul Phipps, during an airport meeting with Rollie Massimino—a potential candidate to replace the fired Paul Silas as head coach—Donald Sterling asked the Villanova coach: "I wanna know why you think you can coach these niggers."
Our latest chapter in Donald Sterling Is a Racist comes courtesy of Jeff Pearlman. In interviews with Phipps for a book about the NBA in the 80s, Pearlman learned that Massimino later told Phipps he would be passing on the job in an angry early-morning phone call.
Phipps, half asleep, sat up on his bed and asked what went wrong. “Here’s this guy,” Massimino said, “and he has this blonde bimbo with him, they have a bottle of champagne, they’re tanked. And Don looks at me and he says, ‘I wanna know why you think you can coach these niggers.’”
Massimino told Phipps he began screaming at Sterling and swore he’d rather die than become coach of the Clippers. “That,” said Phipps, “was life with Donald Sterling.”
Things worked out just fine for Massimino, though.
Go ahead and read the whole thing. There's plenty of other Sterling stories.
Photo credit: Getty
The Eccentric Donald Sterling [Jeff Pearlman]