Chris Paul Considering Sitting Out If Donald Sterling Remains Clippers Owner

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJuly 25, 2014

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The Los Angeles Clippers may be without their best player once the 2014-15 season begins if Donald Sterling remains the team's owner for the foreseeable future.

Speaking to ESPN.com, Chris Paul called the fact that Sterling remains the owner "unacceptable" and added that he has talked to Clippers head coach Doc Rivers about possibly staging a boycott until Sterling is ousted.

"That's something me and Doc are both talking about," the seven-time All-Star said, via ESPN.com's Jeff Goodman. "Something has to happen, and something needs to happen soonβ€”sooner rather than later. ... We're all going to talk about it. We're all definitely going to talk about it. Doc, Blake (Griffin), DJ (DeAndre Jordan). It's unacceptable."

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 13: Chris Paul #3 of the Los Angeles Clippers tosses a basketball to team owner Donald Sterling during a game against the Houston Rockets at Staples Center on February 13, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expr
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This comes after the team's interim CEO, Richard Parsons, testified in court that Rivers would consider stepping down if Sterling remains in power, per The Associated Press, via Yahoo Sports:

"Doc is troubled by this maybe more so than anybody else," Parsons said. "If Mr. Sterling continues as owner, he does not want to continue as coach. ... If Doc were to leave, that would be a disaster. Doc is the father figure, the one who leads."

Parsons added that losing Rivers would "accelerate the death spiral" of the franchise.

This isn't the first time a player or players have considered boycotting in protest of Sterling running the Clippers. Before he was banned for life by NBA commissioner Adam Silver, the Golden State Warriors planned on walking off the court after the tipoff of Game 5 in the first round of the playoffs.

Silver's decision to ban the 80-year-old placated the Warriors players, thus allowing the game to go off without a hitch.

Sterling is in the midst of a lawsuit against the NBA and his wife, Shelly, which has halted the sale of the Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who bid $2 billion to buy the team.

Sports Illustrated's Michael McCann explained how the result of that lawsuit could have major ramifications on the status of Ballmer's bid:

The prospect of an appeal is extremely important not only because (Judge Michael) Levanas could be reversed but because appeals take time and might prevent Shelly Sterling and Ballmer from finalizing their agreement by August 15, the date their term sheet is set to expire and by the NBA's deadline of September 15. The default effect of an appeal would be to prevent the sale from being finalizing until after an appeal is heard.

Silver could have the league's other owners vote to terminate Sterling's ownership, but McCann wrote that it would likely take weeks and "could lead to the Sterlings preserving ownership of the team for several months."

In short, the Clippers might remain in the hands of the Sterling family trust, which in turn could lead to serious consequences for Paul and Rivers' futures with the franchise.


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