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Magic Johnson says no current Clippers would play for the team if Shelly Sterling retains ownership

May 10, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT

Earvin Magic Johnson Earvin Magic Johnson

It’s become clear that both Donald Sterling and his estranged wife Shelly are not going to give up their ownership stake in the Clippers without a fight.

It’s also become obvious that due to the backlash from Sterling’s racist remarks, NBA commissioner Adam Silver had no choice in removing Donald immediately, even at the risk of a prolonged battle in the courts at some point in the future.

Shelly, however, hasn’t been banned, and still makes appearances at Clippers home games. As she continues to try position herself to maintain her ownership stake in the team, it appears as though that won’t at all be deemed acceptable by many observers of the situation, including the players in Los Angeles.

From Eric Prisbell of USA Today:

Magic Johnson said Friday that none of the current Los Angeles Clippers players would play for the team if Shelly Sterling, the estranged wife of team owner Donald Sterling, retains her 50% ownership stake in the team.

“Those guys are not going to play for anybody (named) Sterling,” Johnson told USA TODAY Sports and two other reporters at the Omni Dallas Hotel. “It’s just how it is. It’s hard to separate the two. … It’s going to be hard for them to sell that to the fans and definitely to the players.”

This issue may become complicated from a legal standpoint before it’s all said and done, but it’s extremely simple in the minds of the players.

If the Sterling family has any portion of future involvement with the Clippers, the league is going to have a huge backlash on its hands, and the commissioner knows it. That’s why the NBA moved swiftly, and continues to take measured steps in terminating Sterling’s ownership .

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