Los Angeles Clippers interim CEO Dick Parsons testified in state court Tuesday that coach and team president Doc Rivers has told him he would leave the team if Donald Sterling remains owner.
“If Doc were to leave, that would be a disaster,” Parsons said, via ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne. “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.”
Parsons was called as a witness Tuesday in the Sterling ownership trail. The Clippers are awaiting judgement on whether Shelly Sterling acted properly in selling the franchise for $2 billion to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, without her husband’s expressed consent.
Parsons is concerned the team will not only lose Rivers, but also sponsors if Sterling remains the owner.
Parsons says in meetings w/ Clippers sponsors, he’s heard “We’re in so long as Donald Sterling is out” so he thinks there’s substantial risk
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) July 22, 2014
“If none of your sponsors want to sponsor you, your coach doesn’t want to coach you, and players don’t want to play for you, what do you have?” Parsons said.