True Story: The day Donald Sterling vetoed a Manning/Rice trade because of a dream
Reps of Shelly Sterling sent out a press release saying that the Sterling family trust has agreed to sell the Clippers, purchased in 1981 for $12.5 million, to Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer for $2 billion. The selling price is second to only the Dodgers as the highest price ever paid for a sports team and easily beats out the $1.6 billion offered from The Geffen Group and $1.2 billion offered by the Ressler-Karsh Group. The selling price is also almost 4 times the $550 million paid for the Bucks last month.
“I am delighted that we are selling the team to Steve, who will be a terrific owner,” Shelly Sterling said in a statement. “We have worked for 33 years to build the Clippers into a premiere NBA franchise. I am confident that Steve will take the team to new levels of success.”
I’m sure Steve will be a terrific owner and even if he’s not, I’m sure he will be a much better owner than arguably the “worst owner” in NBA history. There’s been so many stories recently told to back that statement but for today I’m just going to focus on a crazy story from 21 years ago. A story for all those people that didn’t know or just played dumb for the past few decades by acting like they didn’t know the type of man Sterling is.
DONALD’S DREAM ABOUT DANNY
It’s 1993 and their #1 pick from the 1988 draft wanted out of LA so bad that he rejected a $25 million, five-year deal (that was huge back then).
“Donald T. Sterling honestly and tragically believes he can sign Danny Manning” said Ron Grinker, Manning’s agent. “He thinks he has enough money. No matter how much he has, he doesn’t have enough.”
Knowing they had no chance at resigning their top scorer, the Clippers struck a blockbuster deal to bring in All-Star Glen Rice from Miami for Manning. Manning was delighted at the news, said his good-byes to his teammates in the morning and was ready to board a flight so he could be introduced that night at a Heat exhibition game. Glen Rice was also told of the trade after the Heat got a confirmation from GM Elgin Baylor that he is 100% sure the trade is a go.
Enter Donald Sterling who supposedly just woken up from a good dream about Manning. He then called Danny and said the trade was off because of his dream.
Manning’s agent described his client’s reaction as “comatose.”
“There won’t be any more discussions with anyone else,” Grinker said. “This was the last opportunity that the Clippers had to get something in return for Danny. I don’t want to put him through this again. I don’t want to give him any hope that it’s going to happen again.”
This was also the second time Manning was teased with a trade. A year earlier a Kendall Gill trade fell through that would have paired him up with Larry Johnon and Alonzo Mourning.
The Clipper All-Star would eventually be traded to Atlanta for Dominique Wilkins who also didn’t enjoy his time in LA.
Good luck Mr. Ballmer. I’m sure LA basketball fans will welcome you with open arms.
Source: LA Times