When the Los Angeles Clippers are old and gray and the time comes to tell their children about the time their basketball world was turned upside down, no two stories will be the same.

Each has his own vantage point. Each has his own emotions. Each has his own response.

But the story about J.J. Redick and his surreal first season with the Clippers captures the Donald Sterling experience as well as anyone's. At 29 years old and having made the calculated choice as a free agent last summer to come play for coach Doc Rivers and this talented team, Redick was exposed to the Sterling dysfunction from the start when his sign-and-trade deal to come to Los Angeles nearly fell apart after his four-year, $27-million deal had been agreed upon.

One of the alleged reasons? Sterling, the man whose racist comments sparked this whole furor, was believed to have had concerns about paying a white player that kind of money. He had once given white center Chris Kaman a five-year, $52 million deal, and how that contract panned out (or didn't, as Kaman played 195 games in the next four years of that deal and was traded to New Orleans with a year and a half left) appeared to be coloring Sterling's judgment on this deal. In a way, it was a mirror-image of the issue that would be front and center 10 months later.