Rightfully so, the continuing Donald Sterling complaints are coming in droves.
From the mouth of interim CEO Richard Parsons, sponsors have made it known that Donald Sterling’s presence is a no-go for them, opting to withdraw if he remains the owner going into the 2014-15 season.
Parsons also made it know that Doc Rivers would be willing to walk away from the franchise if, again, Sterling remained the owner going into next season.
“He’s as troubled, maybe more so, than anyone else,” Parsons said of Doc. “If Mr. Sterling continues to own the team, he doesn’t think he wants to continue as coach.”
Now, Clippers superstar point guard Chris Paul has joined the fray, admitting to ESPN that he’s conversed with Doc Rivers over the possibility of sitting out… again, because of Stern’s presence.
“That’s something me and Doc are both talking about,” Paul said. “Something has to happen, and something needs to happen soon — sooner rather than later.”
If @CP3 sits out games due to Sterling owning team, Title VII of Civil Rights Act (bars hostile environments) means Paul can still be paid.
— Michael McCann (@McCannSportsLaw) July 25, 2014
Prior to the court battle currently brewing between Donald Sterling and Shelly Sterling, the NBA was on the right path to remove DST from the franchise. They found a seller in Steve Ballmer who paid $2 billion of the franchise. The next step, allowing owners to vote on the transferral of ownership was underway until DST’s lawsuit carried things in another direction.
Now the league must wait until the current legal battle between the Sterling’s play out. If ruling in Donald Sterling’s favor, Adam Silver may be pushed to forcefully remove Sterling from the league, with the league seizing ownership of the Clippers, selling to the highest bidder soon after. If the ruling goes in Shelly’s favor, the regular process may be able to play out.
All in all, I think things will be fine, at least in regards to Chris Paul possibly sitting out. But as Richard Parsons stated, the Clippers worst-case scenario would be Doc Rivers leaving, and the team following in his footsteps.
“If Doc were to leave, that would be a disaster,” Parsons said. “Doc is the father figure of the team. Chris [Paul] is the on-court captain of the team. But Doc is really the guy who leads the effort. He’s the coach, the grown-up, he’s a man of character and ability — not just in a basketball sense, but in the ability to connect with people and gain their trust.”
The team believes in him and admires and loves him. If he were to bail, with all the other circumstances, it would accelerate the death spiral.”