According the Los Angeles Clippers interim CEO Dick Parsons, coach Doc Rivers will quit if Donald Sterling is still the owner by the start of the next basketball season.
Although Donald Sterling’s wife Shelly sold the franchise to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Donald Sterling has issued a lawsuit, claiming that Mrs. Sterling did not have his permission to sell. The case is being heard in a California probate court.
“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.”
Donald Sterling’s lawyers objected to Parsons’ testimony on Rivers, arguing that only Rivers should be allowed to speak on his state of mind in this matter, and if that were the case, Rivers should be called as a witness. While Judge Michael Levanas agreed with the notion, he allowed Parsons to express his opinion on the matter and noted he would not consider it as fact.
Neither Doc Rivers nor any players on the Clippers roster have confirmed or denied Parsons’ opinion.
Should Clippers and other NBA players stage a protest if the sale to Ballmer is voided?
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