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Chris Paul on boycott if Sterling is still owner: “That’s something me and Doc are both talking about”

Jul 25, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

The Clippers interim CEO painted a bleak picture on the witness stand this week — if Donald Sterling still owns the team when next season starts it could lead to a “death spiral” of players, coaches and sponsors boycotting and trying to get out.

Chris Paul wants you to know that’s not just hyperbole.

The Clippers All-Star point guard and team leader was in Las Vegas this week and spoke to ESPN about the possibility of a boycott if Sterling is not removed by the opening tip-off of next season.

“That’s something me and Doc are both talking about,” Paul said on Thursday after coaching his AAU program, CP3. “Something has to happen, and something needs to happen soon — sooner rather than later….

“We’re all going to talk about it,” Paul said. “We’re all definitely going to talk about it. Doc, Blake [Griffin], DJ [DeAndre Jordan]. It’s unacceptable.”

Much like Parsons on the stand it benefits Paul — the president of the players’ union — to talk tough and paint a bleak picture here to keep pressure on the league. The owners and players are on the same page here, Sterling is bad for the other owners’ business and nobody wants to be answering questions about him when the season starts. But it never hurts for the players to keep some pressure on the owners here.

However, that doesn’t mean Rivers, Paul, Blake Griffin or anyone else is eager to blow this thing up, something PBT has heard from multiple sources. Doc Rivers isn’t looking to bolt down the hall at Staples Center. The Clippers core realizes they are a team on the cusp and believe they have a real title shot as a group in the next couple of years.

If Donald Sterling is the owner come the start of the season the players may want to make a statement.

Which is another reason the league will not let it get to that.

The NBA hopes the judge in the probate case between Donald and Shelly Sterling (which has closing arguments next week) will rule in the coming weeks for Shelly and do so in such a way to make Sterling’s appeal nearly impossible (something he can do and Shelly’s lawyers have pushed for). Do that and the league will approve the sale of the Clippers to Steve Ballmer for $2 billion quickly and Donald’s other lawsuits will be reduced to a nuisance. He will be out and that is a much cleaner process for the league and its owners.

If the judge rules for Donald or leaves the door open for an appeal process that could drag out, the league can always just take the step it was going to originally and have the other owners vote to revoke Sterling’s franchise. (This is something they can do because being an NBA owner is like being admitted to a country club where the other owners can choose who gets to be in the club.) You can be sure a smart lawyer like Commissioner Adam Silver knew he had the votes to do this before he suggested it back when this first broke.

The league reportedly has let Shelly Sterling and Ballmer know that if by Sept. 15 this is not resolved and the team is not under new ownership then the league will proceed with the vote to out Donald and re-do the sale through a blind bid (although that likely brings in less money this time around).

One way or another they want Sterling out by the start of the season.

In part to avoid what Chris Paul might do.

  1. phillyguyindc - Jul 25, 2014 at 8:21 AM

    The talking tough could backfire if they don’t back it up in the end, that would look bad. As I understand the situation, it’s not in the leagues control at this point, it’s in the court system, so I’m not sure why Doc and Chris think saying these things will move things along especially when the comissioner said just a couple weeks ago that Sterling may still own the team at season start due to court litigation.

    Even after the owners vote him out Sterling will probably file another lawsuit holding the whole thing up even further.

    Just play basketball and let the situation play out. Silver doesn’t want him around just as much as everyone else.

    • stoutfiles - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:07 AM

      They are obviously not going to back it up. Neither of them will throw away all that money.

  2. tampajoey - Jul 25, 2014 at 8:22 AM

    Stop your whining Paul. EVERY black player and coach in the NBA has said much worse things about white people at some point in a private conversation (when they’re not around their smoking hot white trophy wife).

    • mornelithe - Jul 25, 2014 at 10:31 AM

      Got the audio for that conversation? No? That’s what I thought.

    • antistratfordian - Jul 25, 2014 at 2:07 PM

      No. That is absolutely not true.

      • tampajoey - Jul 25, 2014 at 2:28 PM

        Anti, so you’re either a black dude that’s in denial (and lying to himself) or a liberal that lives in fairytale land. From reading your comments in the past, I know you’re both. I don’t have a problem with black dudes or with black dudes marrying white girls. I do have a problem with the hypocrisy and the defense of the hypocrisy by blacks and liberals.

      • antistratfordian - Jul 25, 2014 at 3:10 PM

        You don’t even know what you’re talking about. Are you in every house, listening to every conversation? To say that EVERY black player and coach has said something like that about white people is patently absurd. White people would love for that to be true, because they are aware of their own private transgressions, but it isn’t true.

        The main negative comment you’ll hear from black people about white people is that they’re racist. That’s quite a bit different than white racism whose origins stem from a foolish belief that Africans are innately savage and possibly sub-human.

        To white people like Sterling, just standing next to a black person in a photograph is degrading and shameful.

        So I can honestly say that I have never heard a black person say what Sterling said i.e. “why do you have to be seen in public with white people? you’re supposed to be pure and innocent. besides, white people are supposed to be treated like dogs, that’s just the way the world works.”

        The next time someone in my family, or a friend, says something like that about a white person, will be the first time.

        So you’re completely wrong. 100% wrong. And especially wrong about the younger players, because the world they’ve grown up in is not one where they come out spewing callous antiquated garbage like Sterling.

      • seansull83 - Jul 25, 2014 at 2:52 PM

        But you can’t defend a guy who has a history of racist actions. After getting called out and exposed, albeit illegally, his interview he had to ask forgiveness he bashes Magic Johnson for being a poor role model because he has AIDS. He is then later illegally recorded saying he gives them cars and houses and… Well you get the point. Thier skills as players earned them those things, but Sterling feels he was the sole reason they have anything.

        Look I am not saying people don’t harbor some racism. We all do, that is a fact wether you want to admit it or not, but at a certain point this isn’t just about racism, but about a man so far off from reality representing a brand he doesn’t own, but is lucky to be part of. On top of being a racist, he also is an adulterer, a womanizer, and over all a bitter old human clinging on to the idea that he is still relevant. It’s sad but it’s a bad image.

  3. andreboy1 - Jul 25, 2014 at 8:47 AM

    bluff, bluff, bluff.

    none of these guys would back up thet talk when they have to actually take action.

    they don’t have any contact with the guy so what does it matter?

    and i guess none of these guys have computers since they couldn’t take 5 minutes to do a Google search of their owner before they signed for millions of dolllars.

    • Hard On For Harden - Jul 25, 2014 at 8:59 AM

      This. Especially Doc, who freaking played for Sterling in the 90s and apparently has lived in a bubble for twenty years. These guys just need to quit overcompensating for the fact the color they worship above all others is green, it’s foolish.

      • 00maltliquor - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:23 AM


  4. jolink653 - Jul 25, 2014 at 8:56 AM

    What would be solved by the players/coaches boycotting their games? The league has been trying to kick Sterling out and he’s tying things up in court. It’s not like people are ignoring the problem and boycotting would bring it to everyone’s attention. All this would do is hurt the players and the fans.

    And I seriously doubt if push came to shove that they wouldn’t play. This is more about posturing. All these players talk big about this situation but haven’t been forced to really confront it. Seeing as how Sterling will most likely still be owning the team when the season starts, it’ll be put up or shut up time for the players and coaches

  5. rodge1 - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:07 AM

    Yeah right, just like last year when they all boycott.

  6. 00maltliquor - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:21 AM

    *cough* bullsheet *cough*

  7. patfic5 - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:40 AM

    So CP3 is only gonna consult with the black players? I mean, I’m sure it would be more effective it this was a team decision. It’s not as though non-black players weren’t offended by Sterlings comments…just seems to be that a team “walk off” , or “no-show” would be more effective.

  8. titansbro - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:50 AM

    Never gonna happen. I actually hope somehow that he keeps the team just to call their bluff.

  9. bigmeechy74 - Jul 25, 2014 at 10:15 AM

    This sterling stuff is getting pretty new. I want to hear more about it.

  10. scoochpooch - Jul 25, 2014 at 10:18 AM

    Coming from the player that said “I will only play for a black coach.”
    More hypocritical nonsense.

  11. mightbegoingtohellforthis - Jul 25, 2014 at 10:18 AM

    They should have done it during the playoffs last season. I guess a first round loss was more important.

  12. tmatic74 - Jul 25, 2014 at 10:46 AM

    CP3 and Doc Rivers are full of it. Sterling didn’t say a thing they didn’t already know and they been taking that hush money for years. They are just some millionaires who didn’t like having their reality spelled out on a world stage.

  13. grantgoodman93 - Jul 25, 2014 at 10:46 AM

    It’s sad that this team really has the talent and coaching to run through the West but this has to happen. They have maybe a 2-3 year window to do so.

  14. mannyicey - Jul 25, 2014 at 10:51 AM

    I would be totally surprised if Donald Sterling is still owner and ONE person of color shows up to play for him. I wouldn’t. These guys are millionaires. They have endorsement deals. They can retire and never work again.

    You can’t buy my morality and for those who think that they can are probably morally corrupt themselves. You might as well say that you agree with Donald Sterling if you play for him.

  15. ninthwardfriend - Jul 25, 2014 at 10:54 AM

    Tampajoey, CP3 is not married to a blue eyed devil. He has a black queen.

    • tampajoey - Jul 25, 2014 at 2:18 PM

      Thanks for proving my point. Calling white women “blue eyed devils” is worse than anything Donald Sterling said.

      Additionally, Doc Rivers is married to white lady and so are many, many current and former NBA players that happen to be black and I don’t have a problem with that at all. Go get that trophy wife. I’m just pointing out the hypocrisy.

    • caeser12 - Jul 25, 2014 at 2:52 PM


      There are no Kings and Queens in a Democracy.

      Just saying.

  16. caeser12 - Jul 25, 2014 at 2:20 PM

    Right, because none of you knew anything about Donald Sterling until the tape came out. If that’s the case then Paul, Rivers, and the rest of the players are either the dumbest people in the WORLD, or the most disingenuous.

    This is all about trying to look like they’re taking a stand to something that they sat down on for years.

    Frauds, EVERYONE knew how Sterling was/is, but they took his money anyway, which is/was your choice, but don’t try to find your principles now.

  17. ninthwardfriend - Jul 25, 2014 at 5:23 PM

    “tampajoey” I’am black and agree with most of the teaching of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad. If Doc,and the rest of the current and past Pro athletes were busboys, truckers, garbage men, they would not be on the radar. Marry who you want, this is a so called free country now, but you with this “trophy white wife” thing is disgusting. White skin is an inaccurate description, more like pink.

  18. provguard - Jul 25, 2014 at 5:33 PM

    Paul you are racist as Sterling! You won’t allow Pau Gasol to rub your head, but you allow all the other black players “atta Boy” your head. Take your two face attitude and get lost.!!!

  19. ninthwardfriend - Jul 25, 2014 at 5:34 PM

    “Trophy White Wife” “I shot a deer,trophy” I caught a fish, trophy” what trophy’s you got Tampajoey?

    • atahualpaoxford - Jul 26, 2014 at 1:19 AM

      I think he got the ” He calls as he sees it and he happens to be right” trophy…

  20. cameltoehoe - Jul 25, 2014 at 8:37 PM

    Please sit out season. Signed, Western Conference.

  21. fearthehoody - Jul 25, 2014 at 10:15 PM

    Shut up! You hate Sterling so much but you love cashing his checks.

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