Advertisement

Donald Sterling, unfiltered, is OK, but Sean Salisbury? Not so much

I take some time off, and so I see the Lakers and Chargers do the same.

It’s one thing for the Lakers to underachieve, two NBA titles and three straight visits to the Finals, no reason to panic, although I will be going to San Antonio on Tuesday to help fire up the guys.

The Chargers are another story, our very own football team after next season, and they are notorious underachievers with no resume to earn them anything but ridicule.

They try that stuff in L.A., and they might just as well stay where they are, because L.A. has a history of ignoring football teams that are no good.

Advertisement

As for the Lakers, I’ve never understood why anyone would want to spend Christmas with them rather than with their own families. The Lakers certainly don’t perform as though they want to be there.

Maybe that would change if someone offered Donald Sterling a courtside seat. It would have been worth the price of admission to listen to the Great Motivator heckle Kobe, who seems to have just lost it the last two games.

As angry as Kobe has been, swearing and getting tossed out of a game, just think what he might’ve done had he been forced to put up with Sterling’s snipes.

And if Sterling is frustrated with Kaman, imagine the earful he’d give Bynum.

Advertisement

How anyone in the media can be critical of Sterling’s caring as he does, I don’t get it. Is there a better motivator in town right now? Have you watched Baron Davis play lately?

If you pay a guy $65 million to perform and he doesn’t, aren’t you entitled as much as anyone to stick in the needle?

Everyone buying tickets and sitting behind Sterling is obviously just as upset. They should be applauding an owner willing to say the things they only wish they could say to Davis.

More than that, it seems to have worked, Davis playing so well he might be worthy trade bait. The guy has been a dog, every Clippers coach and GM trying his best to get through to Davis, and only Sterling has been successful.

Advertisement

If the Clippers are able to trade Davis, doesn’t Sterling deserve all the credit for making it possible?

And if Sterling can bounce back like that and be known for something besides being a basketball idiot, isn’t there hope for Sean Salisbury?

Remember him? The guy was everywhere, but suddenly nowhere until I saw him mentioned in a recent e-mail.

He was the No. 1 football recruit in the country, choosing USC, then a couple of knee surgeries and 10 years as a journeyman NFL quarterback.

Advertisement

He hooked on with ESPN as a sideline reporter, a motormouth of sorts, he became a regular, remembered best by hardcore football followers for sparring with reporter John Clayton.

Then he was gone.

The e-mail that brought him back to attention indicated he was going to give away two Super Bowl tickets for life to promote his new voiceamerica.com Dallas-based radio show, “Salisbury Unfiltered.”

Interesting choice of words: “Salisbury Unfiltered.” That’s pretty much why he’s working in obscurity, sacked by his own inability to check himself.

Advertisement

Four years ago he was with some coworkers, including at least one woman. He asked them, “Do you want to see my baby picture?”

He opened his cellphone and showed them his genitalia. Laughs all around, or so he thought.

He was 43, divorced, but with three kids. To say he wasn’t thinking seems a gross understatement, but then he still struggles with that.

“It was very dumb,” he says, and if he stopped right there, he still might not be getting one of those President Obama-to- Michael Vick phone calls, but he might be working in mainstream media beyond the Cowboys’ pregame show on Fox.

Advertisement

For the longest time he denied the incident took place. He blamed deadspin.com for reporting it, went into e-mail rage, filed a lawsuit against the Internet site, but then dropped it.

Now he says he’s “100% responsible for doing such a stupid frat thing,” but short sentences are not his forte.

He can’t talk about what happened without letting everyone know he didn’t squeal on the people who were with him, did nothing so bad like others who have gone to jail, and protests over and over again, “I don’t think the punishment fits the crime.”

He became a punch line, he says, the barbs stinging so much he wouldn’t come out of his home for six months beyond taking his kids to school. He says he lost self-respect and couldn’t get a job.

Advertisement

“I went from being on TV every day to falling off the map. I didn’t harass anybody or beat anybody up and yet I’ve been the butt of jokes for four years.”

He blames others for not getting past what happened, as if there is a long line of those who really care.

Initially, what has the feel of another sports comeback story — and there are so many these days — breaks down as soon as he goes on a rant suggesting he’s now the victim.

“A guy does his jail time and gets out, it’s time to move forward,” he says. “Enough is enough.”

Advertisement

He talks so fast, and so defensively, it’s impossible to write down everything he has to say. Try and count the bullets flying from a machine gun.

He wants to dispute the accuracy of deadspin.com’s reporting, and yet doesn’t dispute the fact he took a picture of his privates and showed it. What more needs to be known?

He says things like, “I’m the poster child for stupidity,” then quickly adds, “but people have done worse.”

He refers folks to his Twitter feed, but when it’s mentioned someone on the comeback trail, given his previous sophomoric behavior, shouldn’t be posting comments about Kim Kardashian’s (backside), he flips out.

Advertisement

“Because I like [backside], is that wrong?” he snaps. “Come on, it is Sean unfiltered. That’s one thing that is never going to change.”

Obviously, some comebacks take longer than others.

t.j.simers@latimes.com


Advertisement
Advertisement