1. The players have an elite skillset that only 30 people in the country have the ability to pay for, and many of those players are better than others. Let's not just pretend that all the Clippers can walk away from that check and get jobs tomorrow. If you were on a team, would you happily walk (even if you could, contractually) and screw over a friend who might not get signed elsewhere?
2. The fans never had a problem with Sterling? GET REAL. Clippers fans, who barely existed until they got Griffin and Paul, HATED STERLING WITH A PASSION. But if you live in LA, and you're not affluent enough to get Lakers tickets, you go see the Clippers. This is not like getting a haircut, where there's a barber shop down the street that will do the same job. In the greater LA area, there's two places to see top-level basketball -- a luxury that only NY has among American cities.
3. The NAACP award(s) were quite obviously a giveback for face-saving financial contributions. They're hypocrites for accepting his money.
You seem to be under the impression that people who have put their entire financial well-being into a sport where they often have no control over where they play can just comfortably walk away on principle.