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Clippers’ president Andy Roeser takes “indefinite leave of absence”

May 6, 2014, 4:02 PM EDT

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Andy Roeser has been Donald Sterling’s right-hand man for three decades. First it was in the real estate business, and for many years now as the president of the Los Angeles Clippers.

But with Sterling out, Roeser is out, too — he will be taking an indefinite leave of absence, effective immediately, the league announced.

“This will provide an opportunity for a new CEO to begin on a clean slate and for the team to stabilize under difficult circumstances,” said Mike Bass, Executive Vice President, Communications, for the NBA.

It was Roeser’s name on the first, defiant response from the Clippers when the scandal of Donald Sterling’s (latest) racist remarks broke. That response questioned if the tapes had been altered and said the woman was being sued by the Sterling family (which is true, just by his wife Shelly, not Donald). It was vintage Sterling, ready for a fight.

It had Roeser’s name on it but he didn’t want to approach it that way, he wanted a “we will cooperate with the NBA investigation” and admit nothing response, reports Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.

Still, this was expected. The NBA is cleaning house of things Sterling in the Clippers organization. The owners are moving forward with steps that would, if voted on an approved, allow the league to take control and sell the team to a new ownership group.

Sterling will fight that. We’ll see about Roeser, who may prefer to stand on the sidelines of this fight.

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