NBA names former Time Warner CEO, former Citigroup chairman Dick Parsons as the interim CEO of the Clippers.— Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk) May 9, 2014
David Aldridge of NBA.com first reported the news on Friday afternoon:
Hearing the NBA has settled on former Citicorp chair and Time Warner head Richard Parsons as the new Clippers CEO.— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) May 9, 2014
Parsons will fill the shoes of former team president Andy Roeser, who recently went on an indefinite leave of absence, as per Steve Almasy of CNN.com.
ESPN's Brian Windhorst talked about what Parsons' role in the organization will be:
NBA leaving all Clipper basketball decisions in Doc Rivers hands. Doc essentially now has broader powers than any one man in league— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) May 9, 2014
Orange County Register reporter Dan Woike has Shelly Sterling's thoughts:
"I conferred with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver this morning and endorsed the league's choice of Richard Parsons as interim Chief Executive Officer of the Los Angeles Clippers. Mr. Parsons has impressive management credentials in the important fields of the media, finance and professional sports. He is an ideal choice to run the franchise until the ownership issues are clarified."
Naming Parsons as the new CEO is a major step in what has been an ongoing overhaul of the Clippers front office. NBA commissioner Adam Silver banned longtime team owner Donald Sterling for life and fined the 80-year-old $2.5 million on April 29 for his racist remarks, prompting the club to shake up its structure from the top down.
Roeser is the first high-profile executive to be pushed out in the wake of Sterling’s remarks, as he had been with the club and worked under Sterling since 1984. He was promoted to president in 2007 and had been overseeing day-to-day business since Sterling was exiled from the Association, as per Almasy.
According to Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times, seemingly supportive comments on behalf of Sterling that were made by Roeser after the recordings were released were not received well.
Clippers co-owner and Donald Sterling's estranged wife, Shelly Sterling, supported Roeser's leave of absence, per Bolch:
While this is a painful step, it is a necessary one as we move forward with the NBA to make the Clippers organization one of the most professional and successful franchises in all of sports. For nearly three decades, Andy has been a crucial part of putting together our winning team, both on the court and in the front office. Everyone in the Clippers family owes him a huge debt of gratitude for his efforts.
NBA spokesman Mike Bass concurred with Sterling's opinion in a written statement, as per Almasy: "This will provide an opportunity for a new CEO to begin on a clean slate and for the team to stabilize under difficult circumstances."
Parsons' presence will hopefully bring some stability to a club that has been anything but stable since Sterling's comments came to light in late April.
There is plenty of turmoil on the horizon for the Clippers, however.
Shelly Sterling plans to fight to keep the Clippers in her possession, according to a report by ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne, and it could become an even more drawn-out legal process if she or her husband files for divorce.
Regardless, adding Parsons into the fold was a major step toward returning this franchise to normalcy. It will be interesting to see the impact that the 66-year-old has on the Clippers as they contest for an NBA championship and head into a crucial offseason.