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Matt Barnes: Doc Rivers leaving, players boycotting over Sterling situation remains a possibility

Jul 28, 2014, 9:24 AM EDT

The NBA has done everything in its power to remove Donald Sterling from his position as owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, and while he’s been suspended forever from getting anywhere near team activities, the fact remains that he still technically owns the team.

And that’s going to be a problem if it’s the case as the new season approaches.

[MORE: Clippers third in Power Rankings]

Clippers players were uncertain of how to handle things when they initially went down, but boycotting games was definitely discussed — and it would be strongly considered once again should Sterling remain the team’s owner when it’s time for next season to begin.

From The Chris Mannix Show (via Basketball Insiders):

Clippers forward Matt Barnes joined the Show and offered his thoughts on the Donald Sterling situation, a possible players boycott and what the union wants from its new Executive Director …

CM: We have heard testimony from CEO Dick Parsons that Doc Rivers may not return if Donald Sterling still owns the team. Chris Paul suggested last week that players could boycott if Sterling owns the team. Is it realistic that Clippers players could do that?

MB: “I think so. We were very close to doing it last year in the middle of the playoffs, and it hadn’t really sunk in then. Now the full magnitude of what happened has sunk in. People feel very strong about what happened. It would be unfortunate if it got to either of those situations but I do believe both are a possibility.”

Chris Paul recently said that he and Doc Rivers “are talking about” the possibility of a boycott if Sterling is not removed in time for next season. But obviously, the league isn’t going to let it get to that, as Kurt Helin noted here previously.

[MORE: Blake Griffin withdraws from USA Basketball this summer]

“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).”

I mentioned at the time that players boycotting playoff games was never a real option, essentially because players play for their own legacies above all else. But making a statement at the beginning of the long regular season wouldn’t be as impactful to their own careers, so in the unlikely event that the league is unable to rid itself of Sterling, this time around the threat of a boycott seems to be much more realistic.

  1. hoopersx - Jul 28, 2014 at 9:39 AM

    The league hasn’t done “everything” it could. They could have voted him out when they originally were supposed to. They didn’t do that because the owners never wanted to go on record with a vote. He could have been a former owner by now if the owners had the wherewithal to go on the record with a vote. They let this Balmer thing play out like this so they didnt have to go public with a vote.

    • bong815 - Jul 28, 2014 at 12:42 PM

      They didn’t do it because the thought the pending sale took them off the hook. I’m sure they were relieved at the time, but they may have to do it anyway.

  2. 76ersdoubletank - Jul 28, 2014 at 9:41 AM

    Ah yes, all of this boycott talk. As I have mentioned before, Rivers is most hypocritical to me in this whole situation, outside of Sterling that is. Sterling, the owner with a history of racism, the owner who went as far as to enact that racism on a previous employe in Elgin Baylor, offers to pry Rivers from the Celtics. Or at least allowed his basketball people to.

    So Rivers does not know this history? He is “unaware?” See, he was very aware. He just didn’t care. Sterling wasn’t going to stop him from gettting the power he wanted to run a franchise, and was going to pay him well for doing it. Ah but yes, now that the public is outraged, so is Rivers. So are the players who chose to play there like CP3. What a bogus load of smoking crap. Sterling is an awful human being. But if you know that when you sign up, don’t come crying when he is, you know, an awful human being.

    • bucrightoff - Jul 28, 2014 at 9:52 AM

      Pretty much. If anyone wasn’t aware Donald Sterling was a racist before these tapes came out, it’s because they didn’t know who Donald Sterling is. If they even knew about him slightly, or did a quick Google search of “Donald Sterling”, they would know about his not so great racial history.

    • asimonetti88 - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:47 AM

      Doc Rivers played for the Clippers in the 90s too, which by all accounts is when Donnie was in his “prime”.

    • lonnie49 - Jul 28, 2014 at 11:30 AM

      Curious as to how he enacted racism on Elgin Baylor? Is this the same Elgin who was the longest-tenured GM in the league, also while being the GM with the worse record in the league during that tenure? Making sure we are talking about the same EB?

      • bong815 - Jul 28, 2014 at 12:50 PM

        He had no power. He was just a token. What a waste.

      • mackcarrington - Jul 28, 2014 at 12:57 PM

        He was also the lowest paid GM during that time.

  3. timmons94 - Jul 28, 2014 at 9:55 AM

    I heard Taco Bell is hiring Chris Paul. Only in America can sterling who is a piece of trash be hated as much as Satan but ray boom boom rice gets off easy… Only in America.

    • asianballa - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:47 AM

      hey it’s easier to hate on a old rich white dude than a negr0

      • fanofthegame79 - Jul 28, 2014 at 11:09 AM

        Jeremy Lin, is that you?!?

  4. addict2sport - Jul 28, 2014 at 9:59 AM

    It is odd that nobody had issues cashing checks with Sterling’s signature on them.

  5. duhwighthoward - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:13 AM

    WHAT A PUSS. TO SAY, “I BELIEVE THAT IS A POSSIBILITY.”

    INSTEAD OF BEING A MAN AND SAYING, “I WON’T PLAY.”

    • bong815 - Jul 28, 2014 at 12:53 PM

      I wouldn’t call what Barnes does playing. It has been evident for quite a while that they badly need a small forward. Barnes has been on the trading block for a long time but nobody wants him.

  6. mightbegoingtohellforthis - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:22 AM

    They had a chance to do something about it during the playoffs last season. Unfortunately they cared more about trying to win a trophy. This Clippers squad will always be remembered for what they didn’t do,

    • Wammy Giveaway - Jul 28, 2014 at 11:33 AM

      I know where you’re going with this, and I’m going to build on it. This is the exact same scenario with Penn State and Joe Paterno, and how the entire organization knew about Jerry Sandusky, and their failure to do something about him. All of Penn State tolerated him. When word broke out of Sandusky as a pedophile, all hell broke loose. There was even discussions of a death penalty for Penn State.

      Here’s my question: is Donald Sterling’s racism, bigotry and plantation philosophy the equivalent of Jerry Sandusky molesting prepubescent boys? Should the entire Clipper organization be punished for knowing who he was and tolerating him instead of doing something about it? Unlike Penn State, Donald Sterling bribed people to keep his true character hidden from the public, and those people were from outside the Clippers, not within. He did have accomplices like Andy Roeser, but people like him are like “the boss to a boss,” if you know what I mean by that.

      Should the Clippers pay penance for their negligence by surrendering a season?

  7. imakcds - Jul 28, 2014 at 11:01 AM

    don’t you just love how all the people who comment here know everything about everything, and nobody else knows squat???

    • bong815 - Jul 28, 2014 at 12:54 PM

      It’s nice to hear from you once in a while, squat.

  8. scoochpooch - Jul 28, 2014 at 12:04 PM

    Please boycott, please strike, please contract teams.
    Removing the NBA from TV is not a threat, it’s a gift.
    Basketball is a great sport but the NBA is awful.

  9. bong815 - Jul 28, 2014 at 12:40 PM

    Barnes should boycott the Clips permanently. That would force them to get a good small forward, something they are seriously lacking.

  10. mackcarrington - Jul 28, 2014 at 1:00 PM

    I’m wondering how these guys expect anything to happen or anyone to do anything while this is tied up in the court system.

  11. andreboy1 - Jul 28, 2014 at 3:15 PM

    Cause Matt Barnes has always struck me as a guy with tremendous integrity. These guys all need to shut their mouths because they all look stupid when they say these things.

  12. robigd - Jul 28, 2014 at 3:50 PM

    Anyone ever seen The Replacements? I’m sure they will have no issue promoting guys with “less pride” from the D-League to play.

  13. muathjam21 - Jul 28, 2014 at 5:27 PM

    The sheer idiocy. Do they not understand that there has to be a due/litigation process?

    I’m starting to think that they’re doing this just for the F’in attention at this point.

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