Doc Rivers on Donald Sterling comments: ‘It upsets me and upsets this team’

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Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers called the Donald Sterling alleged racist remarks “a distraction” as the team tries to take a 3-1 commanding lead in their best-of-seven series against the Golden State Warriors.

It’s disturbing,” Rivers said, via ESPN.com. “It’s disturbing if you hear it from anyone. It doesn’t matter if he works with us or for us. It’s a disturbing comment but we have to be above it right now. There will be a time and a place for us to have a reaction but this is not the time or the place.

“We’re trying to win a title and we’re not going to allow something to get in the way. The league is going to handle this. The player’s association will handle this as well. The biggest statement we can make as men, not as black men, but as men, is to stick together and show how strong we are as a group, not splinter, not walk. It’s easy to protest. The protest will be in our play.”

The NBA is currently investigating the TMZ audio tape of Sterling telling his girlfriend to not bring black people to games.

NBA spokesman Mike Bass issued the following statement: “We are in the process of conducting a full investigation into the audio recording obtained by TMZ. The remarks heard on the recording are disturbing and offensive, but at this time we have no further information.”

Clippers guard Chris Paul, also the NBPA president issued a statement:

“On behalf of the National Basketball Players Association, this is a very serious issue which we will address aggressively,” it read. “We have asked Mayor Kevin Johnson to expand his responsibilities with the NBPA, to determine our response and our next steps. As players, we owe it to our teams and our fans to keep our focus on our game, the playoffs, and a drive to the Finals.”

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