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Donald Sterling Ripped Me Off for $1000, Says Clippers Fan: Won Free Throw Contest - The Rich White Supremacist Refused to Pay Up

Screen capture from YouTube video
Screen capture from YouTube video.
By James Hill
It's been nearly 33 years, but San Diego real estate attorney Mike Spilger still remembers his first encounter with Donald Sterling, the embattled owner of the Los Angeles Clippers...

He invited all the attorneys in town," Spilger said. "I remember they had some mini-sandwiches and hors d'oeuvres and a $1,000 free-throw contest."

Spilger had been the captain of the San Diego State basketball team in the late 1960s, and he promptly stepped up to the free-throw line to sink 9 out of 10 to win the contest. "In street clothes, I might add," Spilger said.

But when he talked to Sterling later to claim his prize, he was told it was no longer $1,000, but rather 5 days and 4 nights accommodations at a Puerto Rico hotel.

"And I asked Mr. Sterling," Spilger recalled, "'Does that include airfare?’ And he kind of mumbled around, 'Well, I, no, no.' I said, 'Well, Mr. Sterling, I have no desire to go to Puerto Rico, let alone pay my own way to get there. I will just take the $1,000, thank you.'"

Sterling, whose net worth at the time was estimated to be about $700 million, suggested Spilger get in touch with the promotions department to work things out. A few weeks later, Spilger said, he got a letter from the team congratulating him on winning three nights and two days in Las Vegas or Mazatlan, Mexico.

"It kept getting worse," Spilger recalled with a laugh. "First $1,000, then Puerto Rico, then Mazatlan and then Vegas. To me it made no sense."

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