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Originally published Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 5:30 AM

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The racist rant: Pro sports’ newest profit center

The Wrap by Ron Judd

Seattle Times staff columnist

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In case you missed it — or simply could not believe it — here’s a short review of the facts surrounding the big pro-sports story from the Land of La:

To make an example of a fellow Good Ol’ Boy owner who had recently offended just about everyone on the planet, the geniuses in charge of the National Basketball Association are trying to force Donald Sterling to sell — for $2 billion — the franchise he purchased for $12.5 million in 1981.

Commence backslapping, NBA. That’ll show that backward old coot.

More spit takes:

Seriously, Though: All of us here at The Department of Wrap are giddy with excitement to see Steve Ballmer, who gave the world Windows 8.Huh?, realize a lifelong dream of joining the disorganized-crime syndicate that is the NBA. And anything he can do to keep its back-stabbing scalawags away from Seattle is welcomed.

Speaking of That: Yes, that rumored price tag is $2 billion, with a “b.” Anyone out there still fail to see the sheer comedy of Ballmer and duplicitous hedge-funder Chris Hansen insisting just last year that they couldn’t get an NBA franchise off the ground in Seattle without a $200 million corporate-welfare gift from taxpayers? Modern pro-sports franchises are rich-boy extravagances, not business, and should be treated as such.

Entrepreneurs of the Decade: Record executive Jimmy Iovine and “Beats” co-founder Dr. Dre, who conned Apple into paying $3 billion for their business, which markets the equivalent of $29 Radio Shack headphones to young-sucker consumers for $299 a pair. God bless America.

We Almost Hate to Bring This Up:But if the entire metro region can be shut down by a sprung expansion joint (see: morning commute, Thursday, southbound I-5 traffic backed up from Holgate to Yellowknife), what sort of delays should we expect from the Big Earthquake? A couple decades?

Speaking of Which: Didn’t the Expansion Joint used to be a bar down by Boeing in Renton?

Hard Left: Google’s recent announcement of plans to build a car with no steering wheel is drawing guffaws at General Motors, which made that a standard feature in most cars years ago.

By the Way: Nice try, Google, but Washington state is way ahead of you. Cars around here have been driven — mostly for hours on end, at 55 mph in the left lane — by drones for decades.

Impeccably Bad Timing Award: To the 10 percent of Seattle cops who, in the midst of a spate of clear police overreactions, the federal oversight that invariably follows, and a struggle to regain community confidence, decided to sue everyone in Seattle with a pulse to protect their constitutional rights.

We Resemble That Remark: A writer for the Kitsap (formerly Bremerton, before that became a four-letter marketing word) Sun speculated that the close-but-no-cigar populist movement, launched here, to name a state ferry after Ivar Haglund was just Seattle people being “goofy.” With another boat being sketched out, anyone interested in being goofy again?

And Finally: It’s a sad day indeed when one of a region’s true originals passes from the scene. RIP, Ken Schram.

Ron Judd’s column appears each Sunday. Reach him at or 206-464-8280.

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