Through the years, [Sterling's] racism has been sometimes subtle and often overt. For those failing to understand why a racist like Sterling never preferred white players, it cut to the heart of his stereotypical stances on athleticism and strength and talent.
Mostly, he's never loved paying white players. In that way, he has an absolute plantation prism with which he sees players: He always preferred long, strong, physical players. To him, that's a basketball player: Big, black and strong.
When Sterling became reluctant to honor Rivers' sign-and-trade agreement for J.J. Redick, there was a belief race played a factor. As one league source said, "He thought it was too much to pay for a white player."
Yes, Sterling didn't want to so easily part with Eric Bledsoe, despite Rivers telling him they could never afford to pay Bledsoe in restricted free agency next summer. That was part of it, yes, but those who knew Sterling – who had history with him – believed largely that his disdain for paying $7 million per year for a white player caused him pause.
Nevertheless, those days could be soon gone.