Clippers CEO: Doc Rivers gone if Donald Sterling stays

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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.

“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.

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  • Pastor Burt Wilkins

    The concern for what Donald Sterling might do next is highly overstated. Donald Sterling can appeal, which is why the Judge is moving so slow and carefully to make sure he has little or no grounds upon which to make that appeal. Secondly, the NBA has stated that if the Probate Court approves the sale, then the NBA will certify the sale to Mr. Ballmer. Appealing the judge’s ruling will not stop the sale. When the NBA gives approval to the sale and it will, Ballmer is going to write a $2 billion check and give it to whom? Think about this. Ballmer is going to make out that check to the Sterling Family Trust and give that money NOT to Donald Sterling, but to Shelly Sterling, the only remaining trustee.

    Right now, Donald Sterling is facing a very big squeeze, because that very nice but determined wife of his is not going to give him even one dime of that money while he continues to act outrageously to anybody. Meanwhile because Donald Sterling canceled the Family Trust, he is RIGHT NOW in DEFAULT for half a billion dollars in loans made to his trust that no longer exists. Every day this matter is not settled brings Donald Sterling closer and closer to insolvency. Where does Donald Sterling, a fellow with mental impairment, go to get half a billion dollars to satisfy those banks right now? No one with money is going to give him money today or a month or two months from now, because everybody knows that with each passing day Donald Sterling has to lower his price to avoid loosing everything.

    So if you think Donald Sterling is going to appeal this court decision, think again. If he did file an Appeal or file a suit against the NBA he would almost immediately withdraw all of those actions. Suing the NBA would take seven years, so by the time it ever came to trial Donald Sterling will either be in the grave or sitting in a wheel chair staring into space brain dead with Alzheimer’s disease. Donald Sterling has had his last hurrah. More likely Shelly Sterling is going to take him to court again, have him declared incompetent, and have the court appoint her conservator with power of attorney over the remainder of his affairs. (This will happen. It is only a matter of time.) If you think Donald Sterling doesn’t know what is happening to his fortune, why was he proposing settlement at his home on Tuesday with Ballmer, Shelly, and the attorneys for both sides all in attendance? Suing everybody costs money, so where will Donald Sterling get that money when the banks are at the same time demanding half a billion dollars from him?

    Think about it. This week should have been Donald Sterling’s time to put forth a brilliant defense, and answer all the plaintiffs’ complaints. Instead, the Defense has called no witnesses, and has been merely destroyed all the more by every single other witness that has come forth to testified at the trial. If you are rooting for Donald Sterling, you have to ask the reasonable question: “When is the guy going to start winning, because up to now every day has been an absolute loss?”

    Donald Sterling’s own attorneys have already told him that the judge is going to rule against him in this case. My opinion is that I don’t think this case has much life left in it. 95% of all trials settle before the Judge gets to rule. The Judge MAY get the opportunity to rule if Donald doesn’t settle, and if the judge does rule it will be for Shelly Sterling. Right now it is almost more likely that Donald Sterling will certify the Clippers sales before July 28th because he has to make peace with Shelly. If he doesn’t make peace with his wife, Donald Sterling, the billionaire, will actually go bankrupt while Shelly Sterling sits on the entire two billion dollars from the sale of the Clippers waiting for husband, Donald Sterling to become more reasonable.