OKC Thunder: Chris Paul featured in ‘Blackballed’ documentary debuting May 18th

OKC Thunder: APRIL 27: Chris Paul #3 of the Los Angeles Clippers wearing his warm up top inside out vs. the Warriors in Game Four during the 2014 NBA (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
OKC Thunder: APRIL 27: Chris Paul #3 of the Los Angeles Clippers wearing his warm up top inside out vs. the Warriors in Game Four during the 2014 NBA (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

OKC Thunder guard Chris Paul provides his insights in the documentary ‘Blackballed’ recounting the Donald Sterling drama during the LA Clippers 2014 playoffs.

Chris Paul is having the time of his life as a member of the OKC Thunder.  He’s reinventing his image as that of a difficult player to be a teammate with. In truth, he’s reclaimed the top position on the ladder as the best leader in the NBA.

But, it wasn’t that long ago when his image took a hit and much of that banter stems back to his playing days in LA with the Clippers. As the saying goes there are always three sides to every story – yours, mine, and the truth which tends to lie in the middle.

In this case, however, there will be a definitive side to the story which amplifies the reality of the drama that played out at Staples for years under the ownership of Donald Sterling.

In August of 2019, Ramona Shelburne provided insight into this era via a five-part podcast series and introductory article condensing portions of what the series delivers.

Included in the podcast series were interviews with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and former LA Clippers players such as Blake Griffin and head coach Doc Rivers.

Another anticipated foray into this ugly era and Sterling’s ownership is the documentary ‘Blackballed’ being released via the mobile platform Quibi. It was originally slated to start tonight but in Chris Paul’s recent tweet he notes it will drop on May 18th and feature daily episodes.

Paul will be front and center starring in the documentary.  The doc is expected to offer additional insight to the 2014 NBA playoffs when the Clippers came close to boycotting Game 4 of their first-round series versus the Golden State Warriors.  A series they went on to win in seven games. Ultimately, the Clippers elected to conduct a silent protest prior to the ball tipping off and many of their counterparts partook in the same expression prior to their games to show solidarity.

While Griffin was front and center in Shelburne’s podcast series this foray offers more insight from Chris Paul and the five days of this tenuous period in Clippers history. In addition, his teammates J.J. Redick, DeAndre Jordan, and Matt Barnes are featured as is Doc Rivers.

Also among those voicing opinions and recollections from that ugly period with the Clippers are former player Kenny Smith, media members Stephen A. Smith, Jemele Hill, and Wesley Morris. And, Richard Parsons who became the interim CEO for the Clippers when Sterling was ousted is also in the mix.

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Sterling was a racist and a terrible man who ran roughshod over the Clippers for 33 seasons. This series becomes even more topical given the current situation with Ahmaud Arbery’s death and dozens of sports figures calling for a federal investigation into his fatal shooting.

In previews about the documentary, the focus is on the five day period in2014 and Sterlings eventual life ban from the NBA and forced sale of the Clippers.

One of the producers Will Packer and director Michael Jacobs offered context about the upcoming series, courtesy of DEADLINE:

"“This powerful story, which portrays a defining moment in the history of the NBA, shines a spotlight on a cultural divide that has affected our country for decades.” – Packer“The Sterling scandal was so much more than a leaked tape. This series will offer a first-person retelling of the heightened drama and raw emotion surrounding a pivotal moment in sports history” – Jacobs"

As a fan, I’m hopeful we’ll get more insight into why it took those TMZ voice recordings for the NBA to finally act. It was common knowledge in the association who and what Sterling was. Why didn’t David Stern act prior? It’s unlikely that factor will be addressed and for his part, Adam Silver who had just become commissioner acted swiftly and justly.

Regardless, like ‘The Last Dance’ is filling up our need for sports and great content the ‘Blackballed’ documentary series is another compelling piece of work we are all eager to watch.

Next. 35 moments from season honoring Chris Paul's 35th birthday. dark