Doc Rivers Told Shelly Sterling to Attend Clippers-Warriors Game 5

Matthew SchmidtFeatured Columnist IVApril 2, 2017

Associated Press

Just because Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling is now banned from the NBA for life, per, does not mean that his estranged wife, Shelly, is an unwanted presence at games.

As a matter of fact, Clippers coach Doc Rivers wanted Shelly in attendance for Los Angeles' Game 5 matchup with the Golden State Warriors. Plus, Shelly had a special message for the players.

Shelly did come to the game, and as you would expect, she was given maximum security.

In times like these, we have to remember that guilt by association does not always apply, and that could not be any more true in this case.

Sure, Donald Sterling may have made some disgusting, hair-raising remarks that sent shock waves through the NBA, an organization that runs a sport we love, but that does not mean that everyone around him shares his views.

One can only imagine the predicament that Shelly is currently in, but her coming to the game Tuesday night was terrific. It not only demonstrated that she fully buys into the "We Are One" mantra that the Clippers have now adopted, but also showed that the team is not shunning her just because she has a history with a man who holds a disturbing perspective on society.

To put the cherry on top, Shelly was treated to a Clippers win, with Los Angeles earning a 113-103 victory over the Warriors to take a rather commanding 3-2 lead in its best-of-seven first-round playoff series.

It was a great day for the league. It's unfortunate that it even had to come to this, and I understand the term "great day" is being used rather loosely given the circumstances with which it was forced to come about, but the way that the NBA and the Clippers have handled this should leave us as fans feeling proud.

Well done, Adam Silver.
Well done, Adam Silver.Kathy Willens/Associated Press

Hopefully, an example—and a precedent—has been set.

Better yet, hopefully we will never have to experience anything like this again.