The Los Angeles Clippers were without an acting owner after NBA Commissioner Adam Silver's banned Donald Sterling for life during a press conference Tuesday afternoon, but according to USA Today's Jeff Zillgitt, team president Andy Roeser will now be taking over the franchise's day-to-day operations:
For details and backstory on the Sterling situation, check out a more fulsome report here, but let's run through the CliffsNotes version: After his racist remarks were caught on tape, Sterling was banned for life, fined $2.5 million (the maximum under the NBA bylaws) and is expected to be forced to sell the team by a vote of the other 29 owners.
Since he can't have any contact with the Clippers operation, someone obviously has to step in and fill his shoes for the time being.
And that someone is Roeser.
As Zillgitt wrote, "Roeser has held the team president role since 1986, handling team and business operations. He joined the Clippers in 1984 after working for the accounting firm Ernst & Young."
It's a decision that likely won't appease those who are out for blood, as the replacement has always been nothing but supportive of Sterling.
After the audio of Sterling's remarks came out, for example, Roeser released the following statement:
Granted, it's his duty to defer blame from the LAC organization until nothing else can be done, but the release fits in with the pattern of loyalty to Sterling that others have noticed. And since the majority of NBA fans will only know his name from that release, as it's the only time he's made headlines since bringing Doc Rivers to L.A., that doesn't exactly work in his favor.
It'll be interesting to see the extent to which Roeser distances himself from Sterling now that the owner isn't exactly in the NBA's good graces. Additionally, he'll be working while well aware that his job and responsibilities are only temporary.
As soon as the owners vote to remove Sterling—which feels inevitable at this point, both given the support they've already shown for Silver's plan and the very fact that the commissioner likely wouldn't have made his statements without prior backing from those he was relying on—new front-office members will surely be replacing Roeser.
But for now, expect him to run the show for the Clippers, who are still fighting for their playoff lives in a first-round series against the Golden State Warriors.
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