Not much can happen these days without a good conspiracy theory rearing its head atop a Google search, and the whole "Magic Johnson as Los Angeles Clippers owner" idea is giving the tinfoil crowd plenty of fodder right now.
Here's what "those people" are saying and asking:
- Is it a coincidence that Magic, who has expressed having ownership of the Clippers in the past, was the main subject of the conversations between Donald Sterling and V. Stiviano?
- Stiviano acted as though she knew Sterling would go on a racist rant by the tone of her questioning during the taping. Was she told by someone (Magic?) to record Sterling, knowing full well what kind of mess would transpire?
- Sterling has been a black eye on the LA sports scene for decades. Magic, who owns a chunk of the Dodgers, is the pied piper when it comes to Hollywood sports. Magic's former Lakers teammates A.C. Green and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar showed up for a press conference with LA mayor Eric Garcetti to endlessly praise the decision by NBA commissioner Adam Silver to ban Sterling for life. Was this a grand plot all along by people in high Los Angeles places to rid LA of Sterling?
Here's my take(s):
- Sterling is a racist that should have been removed as Clippers owner the second Elgin Baylor claimed that Sterling had a grand “vision of a Southern plantation-type structure” for the Clippers organization several years back.
- Stiviano knew full well what she was doing in those tapes. Good for her for exposing this old, whacked-out bigot.
- Magic Johnson is a lucky man. And he just so happens to be the most obvious guy to buy the Clippers franchise right now, because ... well, ... he's Magic! He owns LA. He already owns a sports team there. He was one of the main figures in the Sterling tapes because he remains the most popular sports figure in Southern California. It's not a shocking thing that his name is brought up in any conversation that includes basketball, fame and Los Angeles.
As with most conspiracies, we'll never know for sure if there's a grain of truth to those who claim there was something fishy going on. But that will not stop the likes of Rush Limbaugh (no stranger to controversy regarding sports and racism), from spouting off on behalf of the Bigfoot brigade:
Follow Metro Boston sports editor and columnist Matt Burke on Twitter @BurkeMetroBOS