‘Clipped’ An FX’s Riveting Exploration of the Los Angeles Clippers Scandal

Laurence Fishburne and Doc Rivers

By Janet Grant

“Clipped” is an FX mini-series that revisits the infamous 2014 scandal involving the Los Angeles Clippers and their owner, Donald Sterling. The show takes a complex story about privilege, race, wealth, and fame and weaves it into a drama that explores the dynamics of a sport where white owners profit from predominantly Black players.

The series is told from three perspectives:

– Coach Doc Rivers (Laurence Fishburne): a former Clipper who unexpectedly finds himself at the center of one of the year’s biggest sports stories. Fishburne’s portrayal is not just good. It is exceptional, capturing the quiet intelligence and leadership required of a coach.

– V. Stiviano (Cleopatra Coleman): the assistant/mistress whose relationship with Sterling sparked the scandal. Her role in the saga is pivotal, and Coleman delivers a truly captivating performance that will leave you wanting more.

Ed O’Neill and Donald Sterling

-Shelley Sterling (Jacki Weaver): Donald Sterling’s wife, who tries to suppress Stiviano’s involvement. Weaver’s portrayal adds depth to the narrative.

While the show occasionally stumbles with an ambitious episode-long flashback, it more than makes up for it by successfully addressing the societal issues raised by the scandal. Ed O’Neill also shines as the blindered troll version of Donald Sterling, emphasizing the privilege and prestige of NBA ownership.

In summary, “Clipped” offers a messy yet highly entertaining exploration of a real-life scandal that rocked the sports world. If you’re intrigued by the intersection of race, wealth, and basketball, this series is not just worth a watch but a must-see for any drama series enthusiast.