Donald Sterling gets $2.2 Billion rise in total net worth. CONSPIRACY!

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So Donald Sterling sees his net worth increase by $2.2 BILLION when all the dust has settled on the sale of the L.A. Clippers. Maybe V. Stiviano and Donald Sterling are a real life Max Bialystock and Leo Bmoom from Mel Brooks’ “The Producers.”

Just try to be as distasteful and offensive as possible, and you’ll find a back-door way to making way more money as a failure than you would as a success.

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Embattled billionaire Donald Sterling’s net worth will rise $2.2. billion, according to a Wealth-X estimate, after the sale to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for a record $2 billion.

The $2 billion price tag is the highest amount ever paid for any professional basketball franchise – nearly four times the previous record of $550 million paid for the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks earlier this month – and the second highest amount ever paid for a US sports franchise – the MLB’s Los Angeles Dodgers sold for $2.1 billion in 2012.

Donald Sterling was banned for life by the NBA because of racist remarks he made in a recorded conversation to V Stiviano that was subsequently leaked to the media.

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So was it all worth it? Do I really believe the conspiracy theory? No. But it’s the NBA where every conspiracy theory, outside of the ones that the lottery was fixed for the Cleveland Cavaliers, carries at least some air of truth. Last year’s NBA Finals REALLY seemed fixed. And game five of the Eastern Conference Finals this year, really really really really really looked fixed.

Of course, you can’t prove a negative, if it was on the up and up. And if you don’t have a paper trail, or a recorded conversation of the league telling the referees to make sure Lebron James got into foul trouble right away in game five so that he was a total non-factor, and the Pacers win forcing a game six, then you can’t prove it’s fixed.

However, the fact that we’re even at this point is troublesome. Not only is college basketball light years better than the NBA at this point, but my god the NBA just sucks right now. It really does, there’s no other word for it. The NBA just sucks. I don’t know if I’ll even be able to stomach a minute of the Spurs-Heat Finals, that we all saw coming for the past weeks. It’s so predictable.

And Thursday, if you watched ESPN at all, you picked up on the common thread of all the programming: acknowledging the conspiracy theorists and shooting them down.

What a pathetic state of affairs that we even have to talk about how manipulated and pre-determined the outcomes are. The fact that the conspiracy theorists sound more legitimate, and less wild-eyed by the day, just…again what does that say?

Basketball is my favorite sport on Earth, yet I find the highest form of it to actually be a lousy, not consumable product.

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So anything is possible. The Producers, the 1960s version is one of the greatest movies of all time. Then they re-made it into a mediocre at best musical in 2001. Then they remade it into a horrible movie a few years later. So maybe Donald Sterling and his mistress witnessed the original genius of Mel Brooks and sought to run a real life version of the scam.

No they probably didn’t. But today’s NBA is a lot like the modern version of “The Producers,” something that was once transcendent, was taken and mangled into unwatchable crap.

Paul M. Banks owns The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. He’s also a frequent guest on national talk radio. Banks, a former contributor to NBC Chicago and the Washington Times, has been featured in numerous outlets including NFL.com, Forbes and the History Channel. President Barack Obama follows him on Twitter (@paulmbanks)

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