Stephen Curry regrets not boycotting playoff game amid former Clippers owner’s racist comments
Stephen Curry’s rise to NBA lore really started in 2015 when he won his first MVP Award and led the Golden State Warriors to their first NBA title since 1975.
But the year prior, with Curry starting to become a household name, the Warriors were facing the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the NBA Playoffs, and Curry and his fellow NBA players almost did something that had been unprecedented in the league.
Before Game 4 of that series, it was discovered that Clippers owner Donald Sterling had used racial slurs in tape recordings.
The Clippers and Warriors threatened to boycott the game before ultimately deciding on a protest by wearing warm-up shirts inside out, taking them off and laying them at midcourt prior to the game.
However, Curry regrets not walking off the court as originally planned eight years ago.
“One of my biggest regrets is not boycotting the game,” Curry told Rolling Stone. “That was a moment to leverage beyond anything we probably could have said.”
The Warriors decided to follow the lead of the Clippers, notably their former star guard, Chris Paul. But Curry said that he wanted to make his voice known, and he wasn’t accepting anything less than a harsh punishment for the now 88-year-old Sterling.
According to the Mercury News, they discussed the idea once again, but right before Game 5, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned Sterling for life, fined him $2.5 million and forced him to sell the team.
The protest prior to Game 4 had worked and there was no need to boycott Game 5 anymore.
“It would have been our only chance to make a statement in front of the biggest audience that we weren’t going to accept anything but the maximum punishment,” Curry said at the time. “We would deal with the consequences later but we were not going to play.”
The Clippers won that series in seven games.
The Milwaukee Bucks boycotted a playoff game in 2020 in response to the Jacob Blake shooting. The NBA and MLB responded by postponing other scheduled games.