Chris Paul: I May Not Play If Sterling Still Owns Clippers
Point Guard Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers is reportedly so fed up with the fact that Donald Sterling is still fighting for ownership of the team that he is considering a boycott come next season.
Paul made the comments about a potential Clippers boycott to ESPN, noting that it would happen if Sterling still owns the team at the start of the season. The interview comes as Sterling and his wife, Shelly, have been entangled in a legal brawl over her attempts to sell the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer, who had bid some $2 billion for the team earlier this year.
In Paul’s comments to ESPN about a potential Clippers boycott, he explained that it was not just him looking to sit out should Sterling still have ownership of the team:
“Paul also said he has spoken to Clippers coach Doc Rivers about the possibility of sitting out if Sterling remains in control when the seasons starts in a little more than two months.
“‘That’s something me and Doc are both talking about,’ Paul said Thursday after coaching his AAU program, CP3. ‘Something has to happen, and something needs to happen soon — sooner rather than later.’
“Interim Clippers CEO Dick Parsons testified earlier in the week in state court that Rivers told him on multiple occasions that he doesn’t think he wants to continue coaching the team if Sterling remains in control of the franchise.
“‘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.'”
Yahoo! Sports reports that all of this could be more than a boycott; it could mean the franchise’s biggest stars walking away from the Clippers entirely.
Yahoo! said it all depends on what Doc Rivers decides to do with regards to coaching the team in the long term.
“[NBA-appointed Clippers CEO Richard] Parsons said he fears there would also be an exodus of key players, including team captain Chris Paul, who heads the NBA players union.
“The judge stopped Parsons from giving an account of his conversations with Paul when an NBA lawyer objected over privacy issues.
“Parsons is a former chief executive at Time Warner and Citigroup who took over leadership of the Clippers in May during the media blitz surrounding the banishment of Sterling.
“Under questioning by Ballmer’s lawyer, Parsons said the departure of Rivers would ‘accelerate the death spiral’ of the Clippers.
“‘If Doc were to leave, that would be a disaster,’ Parsons said. ‘Doc is the father figure, the one who leads.'”
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