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Doc Rivers releases statement on remarks attributed to Donald Sterling: ‘The longer we keep winning, the more we talk about this’

Apr 28, 2014, 11:21 PM EDT

Los Angeles Clippers Introduce Doc Rivers Getty Images

Doc Rivers has done an admirable job of stepping into the spotlight to field questions about how he and his team are dealing with the alleged remarks made by Clippers owner Donald Sterling.

While the players have been largely shut down from speaking to the media, Rivers has been front and center, answering question after question by being as honest as possible — he truly doesn’t know many of the answers, but is giving it his best shot.

After sitting on a conference call with the media on Monday afternoon fielding questions from the likes of CNN and Inside Edition in addition to those from members of the more traditional basketball press, Rivers released a more comprehensive statement on the matter, which is reprinted below in its entirety.

“I would like to reiterate how disappointed I am in the comments attributed to [Donald Sterling] and I can’t even begin to tell you how upset I am and our players are. Today, I had a meeting with the members of our organization. When you are around all these people, you realize they are just as upset and embarrassed by the situation and it does not reflect who they really are. That was what I got from all of them. They are now a part of this and they are upset at this. But, they are all going to hang in there and so are we – I can tell you that as a group and as a team. From our fans’ standpoint, I want to say that they have been amazing, I can tell you that. We need unbelievable support right now from other people and I’m hoping we get that. My hope is that whatever the fans do, it is as one. I think that is what we all should do.

“We want to make the right decisions here. We’re doing our very best to try and do that. We know that fans are in a dilemma as well. We want them to cheer for their players and their team. It will always be their players and their team. From the fans that I have heard from, that’s how they feel. ‘This is my team. These are my players that I’m cheering for and that’s not going to change.’ I hope STAPLES Center is packed and people are cheering for the players. The players are now in the middle of this, and they have to deal with it.

“We are all trying to figure out everything as it goes and just do our best and we hope that it is the right answer. I’m still going to do my best and do what I think is best for the team and for everybody in this case. It is very difficult because there are so many emotions in this. This is a very emotional subject, this is personal.

“My belief is that the longer we keep winning, the more we talk about this. I believe that is good. If we want to make a statement – I believe that is how we have to do it. I think that is the right way to do it, but that doesn’t mean we still don’t wrestle with it every day and every moment. That is the difficult part.

“We are all doing our best here. Our players are doing their best. There are a lot of people involved in this. From one man’s comments, a lot of people have been affected and the conversations that we’re all having do need to be had.”

CSN BAY AREA: Rivers uniquely equipped to handle this crisis

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is scheduled to hold a press conference on Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET to address the situation. The Clippers host the Warriors in Game 4 of their first round series later that night at STAPLES Center.

  1. j0esixpack - Apr 28, 2014 at 11:50 PM

    The NBA is very fortunate that Doc is the coach at this time

    I’m rooting for Doc and the players that worked so hard this season and don’t deserve to be hurt by this sleaze’s Neanderthal mindset.

  2. jerdogthompson - Apr 29, 2014 at 12:01 AM

    Agreed.

    DTS is a??? Moderator wouldn’t allow my true feelings. Dude is lost and may he find his ultimate demise very soon. Absent an indefinite suspension and ultimate coerced or forced sale,in the public eye the punishment will not be enough. I’ve been reading as much as I can these last couple days and as reluctant as they may or may not be, the owners are truly able to effective force the sale of the team through various mechanisms set forth in the bylaws of the NBA. The lawyers are getting fat on this and for the first time DTS has finally met his match, at 80, this decrepit, racist, hypocrite will GUARANTEED get his and get it hard. I’m hoping in the neck, but this is not France in the 1600’s so the next best thing is for the NBA to run him out of the league and for the rest of the nation to make him live in obscurity by not allowing him to be in their presence and refuse any dollar he may offer.

    #InDocwetrust

  3. breesus09 - Apr 29, 2014 at 12:16 AM

    So they are all surprised that a know racist did something racist. It seems disingenuous everyone is so angry at him now when this isn’t even close to being the most racist thing he’s done. It’s not like his other incidents were secrets. I guess all the others things he has done were ok then bc I didn’t hear anything about losing his teams & players refusing to sign with the clippers until it became popular. All of these NBA folks on their moral high horses should be asked why they decided to join the team in the 1st place bc we all knew who Sterling was. I’m not defending Sterling by any means but I will not view the clippers team as martyrs while them & the other owners enabled this racist for decades

    • reesesteel23 - Apr 29, 2014 at 10:00 AM

      Players didn’t enable anything. If anything, David Stern and all the other owners did. How can you blame players for taking millions to play a game? You would do it wouldn’t you?

  4. antistratfordian - Apr 29, 2014 at 12:21 AM

    I’m not a big fan of this “the best statement we can make is to win” idea. What kind of message does that send to Sterling? That he can treat people like dirt and they’ll still bust their butt to make him money just the same? Rivers thinks winning a championship would really show Sterling, does he? Hardly.

    Some things are more important than the game, and there was potential for the players to do something more incredible than anything that can be done on a basketball court – but I fear they blew the opportunity.

  5. antistratfordian - Apr 29, 2014 at 12:21 AM

    I’m not a big fan of this “the best statement we can make is to win” idea. What kind of message does that send to Sterling? That he can treat people like dirt and they’ll still bust their behinds to make him money just the same? Rivers thinks winning a championship would really show Sterling, does he? Hardly.

    Some things are more important than the game, and there was potential for the players to do something more incredible than anything that can be done on a basketball court – but I fear they blew the opportunity.

    • nfl4days - Apr 29, 2014 at 12:42 AM

      They’re not playing for sterling. They’re playing for each other. If winning a championship means giving that pig money and a ring so be it. Either way this guy is about to be rewarded for being a scumbag because if he ends up selling the team that means he’ll get a fat payday that’s gonna stay in that family for generations to disappear. Screw him.

      • antistratfordian - Apr 29, 2014 at 12:51 AM

        Yeah, yeah, yeah… but, really, they’re still playing for Sterling.

        And he’ll be wealthy regardless. But things still hurt even when you have a lot money – you don’t turn into an emotionless robot – and no one likes being told that they’re no longer wanted.

      • reastnt - Apr 29, 2014 at 2:09 AM

        The statement to Sterling will be made by the NBA and pretty much everyone who has any professional (and personal) contact with him. Making a symbolic gesture that hurts them and their fans just to spite Sterling is not the answer. Keep the pressure on the NBA to take meaningful action rather than worrying about Sterling’s feelings.

        They are most definitely not playing for Sterling any longer, if they ever were.

      • mackcarrington - Apr 29, 2014 at 2:22 AM

        @ anti:
        Sterling IS an emotionless robot. He has no idea that he says and does damaging things to other humans.
        Look at how he even treats his wife. He lives in a compassionless world of his own.

    • loungefly74 - Apr 29, 2014 at 8:46 AM

      Are you speaking of (Clippers) boycotting the games? That would be powerful but may have adverse effects as well.

      In a strictly business sense, Doc and the Clips just need to play their best basketball…and let the commisioner deal with punishments.

      • antistratfordian - Apr 29, 2014 at 2:50 PM

        Well I completely disagree. But that’s moot now I guess. The players had their chance to make a powerful statement and blew it. I guess they’ll have to be satisfied with that warmup jersey thing. Meh.

      • loungefly74 - Apr 29, 2014 at 3:14 PM

        gotcha. what would have been a powerful statement? just curious…

  6. 407magic - Apr 29, 2014 at 12:35 AM

    Coach and the players are all professionals and love the game and their fans. That’s why they play, not for the clippers but for themselves as a team (family).

    As a magic fan I feel for coach rivers who started coaching in Orlando. Not to mention that 1/4 of the team are former magic men.
    Nobody deserves this.

  7. zotzcafe - Apr 29, 2014 at 12:42 AM

    I would love it if Magic went to the game and every player made a point to take a selfie with him in warmups and tweet it out with the hashtag #Sterlinged #weareallone

    People at home could follow suit , taking selfies with people of other races , creeds etc. and posting and tagging them. We could turn this into a beautiful thing.

  8. jerdogthompson - Apr 29, 2014 at 12:56 AM

    @anti

    Were you joking? Oh no that’s right, your a butt hurt Laker fan but I digress.

    What Doc is doing in his ultimate wisdom (read while he makes 7mm yearly ur flipping burgers or???) is galvanizing the team behind a movement against the piece of turd DTS. You see, it’s the easiest thing in the world to lie down and lose. What takes true gumption and dedication is to fight despite the adversity you face.

    See unlike you, Doc has friends. He’s simply entrenched in the inner circle of the league and knows this will be DEALT WITH properly.

    Knowing this he is doing what any great leader would do, lead his troops into the foray under the belief they will come out the other side better than when they started. Stuff a turd in your mouth and get a life, lowlife.

    #InDocwetrust

    • loungefly74 - Apr 29, 2014 at 9:31 AM

      wait?….Anti is a Laker fan? (mind blown)

  9. jerdogthompson - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:10 AM

    Go and find a Kobe article anti, what Doc is doing is beyond your feeble minds comprehension (Doc makes 7MM and you make 7hrly). They won’t post my previous well articulated post for reasons I will never know.

    #InDocwetrust

  10. reastnt - Apr 29, 2014 at 2:31 AM

    I like Kareem’s comments on this:

    “I hope the Clippers realize that the ramblings of an 80-year-old man jealous of his young girlfriend don’t define who they are as individual players or as a team. They aren’t playing for Sterling—they’re playing for themselves, for the fans, for showing the world that neither basketball, nor our American ideals, are defined by a few pathetic men or women.”

    • shanelsweet - Apr 29, 2014 at 12:52 PM

      Good ol’ Kareem. Always a wise man. Wonder what Ali thinks?

  11. campcouch - Apr 29, 2014 at 2:59 AM

    Sterling can sign the franchise over to his kids or estranged wife. keep it in the family and go do whatever with his $2 billion.

  12. kitnamania13 - Apr 29, 2014 at 9:01 AM

    TNT lucked into what will probably be their highest rating ever tonight. Everybody’s going to watch the start of this game to see what the fans do. Sterling’s actions will prove to be disatrous long-term for both himself and the Clippers, but right now, he’s making for compelling TV. He also filled the void left by the delayed NFL Draft quite nicely.

  13. reesesteel23 - Apr 29, 2014 at 10:06 AM

    Its really not hard to understand. The reason they came to the Clippers is to play with the current roster and be coached by Doc. Sterling had nothing to do with their decision. The owner could’ve been Godzilla. Money spends all the same. I highly highly doubt Sterling even mattered to them when they met with the team besides meeting him and saying…”I’m Big Baby Davis” ect

  14. reastnt - Apr 29, 2014 at 11:47 AM

    Next season, however, is another matter. If Sterling is still owner come next season, I hope the players refuse to play for him. That’s the time to make a stand.

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