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Clippers CEO: If Sterling remains owner then Doc Rivers, players, sponsors all ready to bolt

Jul 22, 2014, 6:53 PM EDT

This is why the NBA will force Donald Sterling out as Clippers owner one way or another before the start of next season — he is poisonous to the Clippers and the NBA’s business model right now.

League appointed interim Clippers CEO Dick Parsons took the stand Tuesday in the California Probate Case between Donald and Shelly Sterling over the Sterling Family Trust — which owns the Los Angeles Clippers. The bottom line is if Shelly wins this case the sale of the Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion will go forward, if Donald wins he will dissolve the Trust and be in position to block the sale (although the league will yank his franchise anyway).

Parsons painted a bleak picture of the Clippers future, starting with team president and coach Doc Rivers wanting out, reports the Associated Press.

“Doc is troubled by this maybe more so than anybody else,” Parsons said. “If Mr. Sterling continues as owner, he does not want to continue as coach.”

While the Sterling saga became national news during the playoffs Rivers uncomfortably stood in front of his players and worked to deflect the storm. He wasn’t having fun doing it, but he wanted to do what was best for the team. If he bolts, things could get ugly, and Parsons talked about it on the stand. Arash Markazi of ESPN tweeted this out of the courtroom.

And it wouldn’t just be Doc Rivers running for the exits if Sterling stays, noted Kim Baldonado of NBC Los Angeles and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN

This sums up the NBA’s problem with the Clippers and Sterling.

If you just said to yourself, “What if Sterling wins this case, this was a private recording made public?” know that your question is moot.

If by mid-September Shelly Sterling has not won this case and the sale to Steve Ballmer has not gone through, expect the league to take the steps to vote Donald Sterling out as owner and sell the team. Likely for less money.

It’s just bad business to have him as the owner when the season starts.

  1. 00maltliquor - Jul 22, 2014 at 6:58 PM

    LIP. SERVICE.

    • duhwighthoward - Jul 22, 2014 at 10:26 PM

      WORD. UP.

  2. andreboy1 - Jul 22, 2014 at 6:59 PM

    None of those players would sacrifice that much money just to make a stand. You’re telling me those dudes will throw away millions and millions of dollars because they found out something that was already widely known to anyone and everyone?

    Please.

    It’s not like they share a locker with that scum or anything.

    • bong815 - Jul 22, 2014 at 7:24 PM

      Interesting comment, since the players, to a man, and the coach have all said they would boycott. The NBA knows that, that’s why they are postured to take over the team if the sale doesn’t happen by Aug. 15. Unlike you and me, all of these guys could get other jobs tomorrow if they had to. The NBA could declare them free agents (unlikely).

      • duhwighthoward - Jul 22, 2014 at 10:32 PM

        YOUR NAME EXPLAINS YOUR BRAINLESSNESS.

        YOU LIVE IN YOUR MOM’S BASEMENT AND WORK PART-TIME FOR JUST OVER THE MINIMUM WAGE. YOU MIGHT BOYCOTT IF YOUR EMPLOYER REQUIRES QUARTERLY DRUG TESTING.

        BUT IMAGINE IF YOU HAD THE CHANCE TO EARN $7 MILLION DOLLARS IN ONE YEAR FOR PLAYING VIDEO GAMES. (YOU’RE OBVIOUSLY NOT AN ATHLETE,)

        YOU’D TAKE THE MONEY IF IT CAME FROM THE KKK. KIND OF LIKE HOW THE NAACP TOOK MONEY FROM DONALD STERLING. THINK ABOUT IT.

      • 76ersdoubletank - Jul 23, 2014 at 9:11 AM

        True, but these players all signed here, or in Rivers case, agreed to coach there knowing their owner was a racist. They knew his much publicized treatment of Elgin Baylor, his apartment scandals etc.

        It almost seems like “lip service” if indeed you want to call it that. Now that the cat is way out of the bag, the players have to take this action, or have to publically say they will leave, even if they have no plans to. They don’t want to be accused of wanting to play for a homophobic racist. Even though they all wanted to be part of it two years ago.

    • kindasporty - Jul 22, 2014 at 8:02 PM

      There’s power in numbers. If it was one guy saying it, I might agree with you. But really in this case, you don’t want to be the guy showing up to practice ready to play while everyone else is at home boycotting. Plus the boycotting players would have support from everyone not named Donald Sterling. It wouldn’t be like a union strike where it’s divided. Even Adam Silver wouldn’t dare tell them to get back to work because of the PR hit he would take. If anything it would just make him work harder to resolve the situation.

      • duhwighthoward - Jul 22, 2014 at 10:35 PM

        THERE IS POWER IN NUMBERS. AND WHEN THOSE NUMBERS ARE DOLLARS, THEY HAVE A LOT MORE POWER THAN MORALITY.

        SPEAKING OF NUMBERS, I WILL WAGER YOU THE QUANTITY OF DOLLARS OF YOUR CHOICE, THAT THE PLAYERS WILL NOT BOYCOTT.

        LET’S SEE HOW STRONG YOUR CONVICTIONS ARE, KINDASPORTY.

    • mackcarrington - Jul 22, 2014 at 8:12 PM

      The sponsors don’t share the locker room with him either.

    • edavidberg - Jul 23, 2014 at 10:49 AM

      Dude, you are dead wrong. Few people would lower themselves to work for Donald Sterling after his views on race and his employees were made public. Particularly African Americans. You act like Chris Paul would be giving up millions. He will still make millions just for another team. He has good cause for a lawsuit for free agency. This is America, we no longer force people to work for racists.

      Chris Paul is going to make millions playing basketball, he doesn’t need Donald Sterling or the Clippers.

  3. upperdecker19 - Jul 22, 2014 at 7:04 PM

    And you wonder why the Lakers are waiting forever to name a coach…….you know that they’re hoping for this to be reality. A Sterling implosion of the Clipper franchise is the only way they’d overtake little brother anytime soon.

    • bong815 - Jul 22, 2014 at 7:26 PM

      The Lakers are waiting to hire a coach because they don’t yet know what type of team they are going to have. They made a terrible mistake when they hired D’Antoni and he didn’t know what to do with the skills he inherited. Ask Pau Gasol.

      • chargerdillon - Jul 22, 2014 at 7:52 PM

        As a Laker fan I’m boycotting hte Lakers situation just as much as Doc is boycotting the Clippers.

        The fact we couldn’t even sign a garbage player like Melo…..

        You want to know what the Lakers have become? A team out to make money first and foremost. They downgraded the roster losing Pau, still no coach, and the only free agent aquisition is a throw away player from New York, to Houston, to LA and for one reason only. So that Chinese people can buy a Laker jersey with an actualy Chinese players name on it.

        The Lakers are so pathetic, they are not even about competitive basketball anymore, just making money. Do you realize that the Lakers HAVE BECOME THE CLIPPERS!

      • mackcarrington - Jul 22, 2014 at 8:14 PM

        I don’t think the Lakers are really relying on the Chinese market to make money.

      • 22yearsagotoday - Jul 22, 2014 at 9:33 PM

        Other way around: Clippers have become the Lakers.

      • 00maltliquor - Jul 22, 2014 at 10:59 PM

        Put the stem down chargerdillon and get ahold of yourself man.

      • edavidberg - Jul 23, 2014 at 10:53 AM

        D’Antoni is just a terrible coach. As was Mike Brown. It doesn’t matter whether the players were a fit with the coach, some coaches just stink at basketball.

        You gift almost any coach an MVP level player and they will have some success. (D’Antoni had Nash, Brown LeBron, Flip Saunders had Garnett, you can go on and on with a list of bad coaches who won with great players.) The Lakers should focus on getting a good coach and going from there.

  4. sportsfan18 - Jul 22, 2014 at 7:14 PM

    I keep writing this and of course getting thumbs down.

    Why hasn’t the commissioner scheduled a vote and the owners vote him out of their club? Take the franchise away from him?

    They had a vote scheduled and then cancelled it when Shelly was working on the sale to Ballmer.

    Silver even said that the Sterling’s might still own the team at the beginning of the coming season and I again wrote several comments in the comment section after that story on here.

    Unless I’m missing something (and I must be and asked ya’ll for help and what it is but I got crickets, other than negative comments) WHY hasn’t Silver called for a vote and they simply vote him OUT as an owner?

    It’s their prerogative to do that with their “club” and their rules and bylaws.

    If they DID vote him OUT, then he would not be an owner this coming fall.

    Don’t say it’s because Donald will sue. He’s been suing and he is going to sue REGARDLESS of what the league does.

    It’s in the leagues control to vote him out and cause him to no longer be an owner.

    The league would then own the team and could sell the team and give the proceeds to the Sterling’s.

    So WHY hasn’t the league scheduled a vote and voted him out as an owner?

    I’d like to know that.

    Silver saying they could own the team this coming fall certainly makes it sound like the league is not going to vote him out.

    Why?

    • bong815 - Jul 22, 2014 at 7:21 PM

      Because the pending sale with Balmer negated the necessity to vote, since the Sterling Trust (owners) have agree to sell. If the court should rule against the sale to Balmer, the NBA will then be forced to act, as Silver has said many times.

    • campcouch - Jul 22, 2014 at 7:30 PM

      I’m pretty sure Silver said that it’s out of the NBA’s hands until the court case is resolved.

    • mackcarrington - Jul 22, 2014 at 8:18 PM

      @sportsfan: For a reasonably intelligent guy, you really are missing it. Bong18 has nailed it for you, as it has been written here many times. For some reason you seem to be looking for some other answer.

      • sportsfan18 - Jul 22, 2014 at 8:20 PM

        read my latest comments please.

      • bkbell3 - Jul 22, 2014 at 10:50 PM

        A sale by the court declared owner and head of the trust in shelly was thought to be cleaner and have less grounds for a lawsuit by sterling to over turn it. This is a probate trial to decide if shelly followed the rules of the trust to become the sole voice and have the sole power to sell the team. I don’t believe in this trial it is even arguable if sterling is competent of not but if shelly followed the strict rules of the trust to come into power over the trust. If shelly loses they will vote to take the team away and sell it. I don’t understand why they wouldn’t still sell it to ballmer at his price. The rules might say they have to put it up for bid again.

  5. 1historian - Jul 22, 2014 at 7:17 PM

    Sterling has nothing left to lose and is going to drag this out as long as he can. The people ganging up on him last spring is something he will NOT forget, nor should he, and people are going to pay, as they should.

    And the NBA is going to pay too.

    He who laughs last ……..

    • asimonetti88 - Jul 22, 2014 at 11:42 PM

      Sterling won’t laugh last. The NBA will be around much longer than he. If worse comes to worse, they can wait him out.

    • edavidberg - Jul 23, 2014 at 10:54 AM

      Sterling is wasting his money, even if he won he will be forced to sell at a lower price. He is senile.

  6. 1historian - Jul 22, 2014 at 7:19 PM

    I would seriously doubt the truth of the report that if Sterling is still owner when the season starts the players will not play.

    Right – that sounds like something the ‘writer’ decided to throw in to add some spice to the story.

    • asimonetti88 - Jul 22, 2014 at 11:48 PM

      You should read the article then. There is a direct quote from the Clippers CEO indicating that.

  7. tampajoey - Jul 22, 2014 at 7:24 PM

    Why is Doc still mad? Sterling even said Stiviano could continuing banging black guys on the side. He just didn’t want her bringing her booty calls to the game.

  8. mp4philly - Jul 22, 2014 at 7:25 PM

    Doc knew Sterling was a racist before he took the job. I don’t understand his position here. As far as the players, there’s no way they leave millions on the table. All of this sounds nice in theory…

    • kchristainsen - Jul 23, 2014 at 8:30 AM

      Agree 100%. Why are they all of a sudden making a stand now. Doc left Boston knowing all about sterling. He just wants out.

    • edavidberg - Jul 23, 2014 at 10:56 AM

      Did he really know? Did he ever hear Sterling make incredibly racist statements before? I’d be surprised.

  9. gomybirdsgo - Jul 22, 2014 at 7:29 PM

    If I am Paul I would just say I am not playing till the dude is gone. I don’t care if he was recorded illegally. That means nothing. So what I think that V chick is trash as well. That doesn’t mean the guy isn’t an ahole. He should take his share of the 2 billion and go away.

    Its like in Avengers when Stark tell loki no matter what he doesn’t get to sit on some throne. In the end Sterlling can say and do what he wants he will never be the owner of the clippers. Its just not going to happen. Truthfully, I am not a clippers fan or hater but that guy has screwed those fans for quite some time now. LEts not pretend this is some storied franchise. They got good 3 years ago because the league let them. If not for the Paul deal being held up with the lakers the clippers are a 15 win team the last few years just like the previous 20. Sterling has been one of if not the worst owner in sports since he bought the team. He should be gone for that.

  10. phillyguyindc - Jul 22, 2014 at 7:38 PM

    Why even come out and say this? Just putting everyone in an awkward position. The fans don’t come to see the owner, they come to see the players.

  11. eugenesaxe1 - Jul 22, 2014 at 7:41 PM

    “expect the league to take the steps to vote Donald Sterling out as owner and sell the team. Likely for less money.”

    If they sell it for anything less than Ballmer’s offer, Sterling would actually have very good grounds for a lawsuit.

    • edavidberg - Jul 23, 2014 at 10:57 AM

      How so? If they force a sale (which they legally can) Sterling loses all leverage.

  12. ninthwardfriend - Jul 22, 2014 at 7:42 PM

    The players can play in other cities. It’s only 12 guys. No big deal..

    • campcouch - Jul 22, 2014 at 8:28 PM

      lots the be done to absorb those players. contracts, rights, who gets to sign them, who gets cut and of course salary cap restrictions.

      • bkbell3 - Jul 22, 2014 at 10:56 PM

        Camp, and if sterling is fighting it i’m sure he will get and injunction to up hold the players contracts as binding and keep them from playing for anyone else while the court fight is going on. And if they don’t play they won’t get paid. If shelly loses it will get very sticky.

  13. csbanter - Jul 22, 2014 at 8:22 PM

    Let’s see when training camp rolls around if Doc is true to his word we shall find out. Doc making BOLD statements in July doesn’t mean much.

  14. daveshingle - Jul 22, 2014 at 8:24 PM

    Do you think that the players aren’t going to protest playing for the clippers because they don’t really care? I think they really only care about how it’ll affect them and what it’ll make people think of them not the comments themselves.

  15. cbking05 - Jul 22, 2014 at 8:37 PM

    But Sterling attends a church with more than 97% of the members/atendees are African-American … Wierd He would even say those things.

  16. au1978 - Jul 22, 2014 at 8:38 PM

    Can the Rox have dibs on CP3? Please?

    • 22yearsagotoday - Jul 22, 2014 at 9:37 PM

      Sure.

  17. smackingfools - Jul 22, 2014 at 9:40 PM

    Didn’t hear him or the players ever want on the way they were treated by Sterling. It’s a sad America when people take more offense to words than actions. I for one judge a person on how they treat me, face to face. Not what they say behind closed doors.

    • duhwighthoward - Jul 22, 2014 at 10:42 PM

      A well-written comment. You are a scholar.

      (B1tch.) behind closed doors.

  18. chargrz - Jul 22, 2014 at 9:53 PM

    I hope Doc and the players quit! Who cares?

  19. fearthehoody - Jul 22, 2014 at 10:09 PM

    Cried his way out of Boston, abandoned them! Cried and moaned at EVERY interview DURING GS series when it looked like they were done, openly discussing Donald Sterling. Cried and moaned DURING OKC series, openly saying he might quit DURING the series! He continuously cries and moans to shift blame on others for his underachieving. I’m a Clipps fan, and I would not miss this overrated coach if he left.

    • duhwighthoward - Jul 22, 2014 at 10:47 PM

      Straight up facts.

      Let me add one more: He only won one more game than Vinny Del Negro did the year before. (And that was after he traded for the players he wanted.)

      • mackcarrington - Jul 23, 2014 at 1:45 AM

        But he went farther in the playoffs than Del Negro did.

      • duhwighthoward - Jul 24, 2014 at 12:14 AM

        Well, the Clippers barely escaped Golden State. And I mean barely.

        And I don’t know if you watched the series against OKC, but after the Clippers won Game 1, the Thunder adjusted. They dominated the next 5 games, with the Clippers winning one game by two points on a fluke.

        Doc Rivers failed to make a single adjustment the entire series. The whole time he was losing!

        It was not much different than how the previous season the Clippers got swept by the Grizzlies after winning the first two games. Although Vinnie Del Negro did try to make some adjustments. And in my opinion that Grizzlies team was significantly better than this year’s Thunder team.

  20. atahualpaoxford - Jul 23, 2014 at 12:43 AM

    I sincerely hope that Sterling wins.
    The punishment in this case is completely overkill in relation to the gravity of the ” crime” commited..
    And, even if he wins, in the end he will not…because all the cards are stacked so he won’t.
    The one thing I have to say about the players wanting to strike if he remains the owner: WTF…!!!
    If that were to happen ( and I doubt it), I hope he prevents them for playing elsewhere, making sure they get no money until all the lawsuits are settled…and then, taking them to court and be awarded damages from the players pockets.
    It’s very brave to say “I won’t play ” if you think the league has your back and is going to have a dispersal draft or something similar so you can go play for another team for the same contract you have.
    Another thing is if they have to fit you under the cap and now you play for the minimum or just over it…Sterling could field a competitive team with players from Europe and some from the D League or semi pro leagues…believe me.

    • gofinsgoheatfloria - Jul 23, 2014 at 6:53 AM

      A competitive team from the guys no one would sign out of the summer leagues? You can’t be serious.

      • atahualpaoxford - Jul 23, 2014 at 1:22 PM

        I thought it was clear that most of the players could be from Europe…and also mentioned the D League…where there are players being called up to the NBA on a semi regular basis and some stick, some don’t.
        Very disingenuous of you to zero in on the summer leagues…but….whatever…

    • rehabguy - Jul 23, 2014 at 11:51 AM

      Do you feel the same way about Michael Vick? Just wondering.

    • rehabguy - Jul 23, 2014 at 11:54 AM

      Let’s say the players are “made to play” out their contracts. What’s to say they will play to win? The players have right also.

      • atahualpaoxford - Jul 23, 2014 at 1:52 PM

        What rights are you talking about…???
        The guy is an idiot for making those comments, but he commited no crime.
        Besides…they were hired by the franchise, it’s not a personal contract to play for Donald Sterling. If an owner sells the team, and a player/s don’t like the new one for a reason or another, can him/they refuse to honor their contracts because of this…??? I don’t think so..

    • awesomearchangel - Jul 24, 2014 at 8:21 AM

      only a racist would want sterling in the league, you “atahualpaoxford” are probably the type of person who would love to hang “no colored people allowed in this stadium”…when they leave, nobody in their right mind will play for sterling…or you can get you and 11 of your friends to suit up and find out that nobody wants to watch you play or show up to any of your games….

  21. cameltoehoe - Jul 23, 2014 at 11:16 AM

    C.R.E.A.M.
    Just ask Big Baby who just re-upped with The Man.

  22. nolahxc - Jul 23, 2014 at 1:56 PM

    I feel like there might be a real chance for me live out my NBA dream as a “scab” for the Clippers!

  23. djshnooks - Jul 23, 2014 at 2:30 PM

    What a joke this is becoming.

    Shut your mouth and do your job that you’re paid millions to do, which is probably the easiest job in the world, and the easiest coaching job in all of sports, by far.

    • mornelithe - Jul 23, 2014 at 3:27 PM

      That’s the beauty of the situation. River’s doesn’t have to, he can quit if he wants. And the easiest coaching job in the world is typically reserve for the US Basketball teams, provided they don’t pick a bunch of egos.

  24. sportfan2 - Jul 24, 2014 at 6:46 AM

    When is the last time Doc won anything?

  25. awesomearchangel - Jul 24, 2014 at 8:16 AM

    I love that rivers, paul, and the sponsors are forcing the nba team owners to vote out donald sterling before the season starts. Thank God.

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