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Former Citigroup chairman Richard Parsons named interim CEO of Clippers

May 9, 2014, 3:49 PM EDT

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The long-range future of the Clippers is murky — the other owners are starting the process to force a sale of the team, while both Donald and Shelly Sterling separately plan to fight that plan — but the short term picture got a little more clear.

Richard Parsons, the former Citigroup chairman and Time Warner CEO, has been appointed the interim CEO of the Los Angeles Clippers, the league has announced.

“I believe the hiring of Dick Parsons will bring extraordinary leadership and immediate stability to the Clippers organization,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a released statement. “Dick’s credentials as a proven chief executive speak for themselves and I am extremely grateful he accepted this responsibility.”

“Like most Americans, I have been deeply troubled by the pain the Clippers’ team, fans and partners have endured,” said Parsons in a statement released through the league. “A lifelong fan of the NBA, I am firmly committed to the values and principles it is defending, and I completely support Adam’s leadership in navigating the challenges facing the team and the league. The Clippers are a resilient organization with a brilliant coach and equally talented and dedicated athletes and staff who have demonstrated great strength of character during a time of adversity. I am honored to be asked to work with them, build on their values and accomplishments, and help them open a new, inspiring era for their team.”

After racist remarks by Sterling were released on a recording the Clippers faced serious ramifications — multiple sponsors (some of the NBA’s biggest) pulled their association with the Clippers, plus the players were threatening to boycott a playoff game (not just the Clippers but also the Golden State Warriors).

In a decision that was a combination of justified moral outrage and smart business move, Silver responded by banning Donald Sterling for life, fining him $2.5 million and starting the process with the other league owners to force a sale of the team. The league also forced long-time Sterling associate and team president Andy Roeser to step aside.

Parsons, an African-American, steps into that vacuum and will oversee the operation (primarily the business side; he is not going to be making basketball decisions –that power remains with Doc Rivers mostly). Parsons is currently a senior advisor at Providence Equity Partners, sits on the board of directors for the Commission on Presidential Debates, and has served as a member of President Barack Obama’s economic advisory team.

He will stay in this position until the ownership situation is settled, something likely headed to the courts after the owners vote out Donald Sterling. Complicating matters, Donald owns the team 50-50 in a trust with his wife Shelly. Also, Donald is currently battling cancer, according to reports. Shelly is apparently good with this hire.

  1. spursareold - May 9, 2014 at 3:59 PM

    Could Silver have flipped Sterling a bigger bird?

  2. asimonetti88 - May 9, 2014 at 4:02 PM

    “has served as a member of President Barack Obama’s economic advisory team”

    This will not end well for the Clippers.

    • k3nn3k - May 9, 2014 at 4:17 PM

      Gotta admit…I just laughed pretty hard at this. Parsons plan on helping the Clippers, offering universal health care and raising minimum wage.

      • duhwighthoward - May 9, 2014 at 5:33 PM

        @k3nn3k, you failed. “universal healthcare”, except that you have to pay directly for it. Anything can be universal if you make everyone pay for it.

        ps, Obama raised the minimum wage? Then why haven’t my workers sued me for underpaying them?

    • duhwighthoward - May 9, 2014 at 5:30 PM

      haha good one

  3. thekingdave - May 9, 2014 at 4:25 PM

    Talk about overcompensation

  4. campcouch - May 9, 2014 at 5:14 PM

    And Elgin Baylor was VP for 22 freaking years..woop de doo

    • campcouch - May 9, 2014 at 5:15 PM

      but he does remind me of Uncle Phil from the Fresh Prince.

  5. mariann1929 - May 9, 2014 at 5:54 PM

    Sterling needs to act as soon as possible and get the ball rolling to go to court and sue due to the fact his comments were made in his own home and in your own home you can say what you want. That girlfriend of his gave those tapes to TMZ who should not have played them because they were stolen from Sterling’s house plus they were personal. Mrs. Sterling should stay quiet and let Donald make the decisions as I understand she will be divorcing him. He should have given her only 25% of the team and he would own 75%. I hope he files a lawsuit and wins.

    • hwatt - May 9, 2014 at 7:24 PM

      tell us more about how far back you go with Donald. Did you like sitting with the owner during those Clippers games? Please, we’d like to know

  6. mariann1929 - May 9, 2014 at 6:01 PM

    Sterling;s girlfriend has been arrested four times regarding theft. She also went under different names. What was he thinking when he went with a women like her. She is a liar, tricky and backstabbing. But she will be in court also due to the fact she is being investigated for extortion against Sterling. Also, how could she adopt two boys with a reputation like she has. I don’t think it will go thru it probably will be blocked. I can’t see Sterling’s wife winning a lawsuit against her because he used his own money to buy her that condo which will be the subject when she takes it to court with over one million dollars in cash he gave her.

    • ksingleton101 - May 9, 2014 at 6:44 PM

      If Donald’s wife sues him for divorce she will receive 50% of his assets, that includes the Clippers.

      • Kurt Helin - May 9, 2014 at 8:07 PM

        They already each own half the team in a trust.

  7. ksingleton101 - May 9, 2014 at 6:40 PM

    I read in a Times magazine article yesterday it was Magic Johnson that leaked the (illegal) recording. It was a set up.

  8. skbrinker - May 9, 2014 at 7:25 PM

    You can’t take a person’s property away because of their views on other people. This country is turning into a cesspool of filth with a POS leading it. My view is that 3/4 of Americans are worthless as humans. Want to take my house now? WTF!

    • Kurt Helin - May 9, 2014 at 8:06 PM

      This is a little different, it is a club with rules. It is a business. They are not taking his home or cars, however if he is now toxic to the collective business and would drag others down they have the rights to defend their business (don’t think this is about morality).

    • prokilla - May 9, 2014 at 8:48 PM

      The Clippers is not a property..SMDH…
      it’s a license from a franchise to operate a business,,,

  9. allamer1 - May 9, 2014 at 10:01 PM

    Team owner’s private conversation illegally recorded and publicized results in him being demonized and league banishing him from NBA……..is this still America?

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