Flanked by six body guards, the wife of embattled Clippers owner Donald Sterling attended the team’s Game 5 victory Tuesday against the Golden State Warriors in a suite at Staples Center. Apparently, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver instituting a life-time ban on Sterling for making racially disparaging remarks on an audio tape does not apply to family members, including Rochelle.
Clippers coach Doc Rivers called the incident a “tough one” and admitted he held “compassion for her” amid Sterling having an argument with his girlfriend, V. Stiviano, about posting pictures of herself with Lakers legend Magic Johnson on Instagram and bringing black friends to games.
“She has been through as much as anyone as well,” said Rivers, who pointed out Sterling’s open cheating. “She asked if she could come. I thought that was a very nice gesture. She wanted the players to know and she told me to tell them that she loved them. I thought, ‘Why not?’”
Well, a Los Angeles Times report highlighted previously unearthed court documents that suggest she denigrated African Americans, Latinos and once posed as a health inspector. Although Rochelle, also known as Shelly, publicly separated herself from her husband’s remarks, they were seen leaving a steakhouse on Monday night.
This reporter approached Rivers after his press conference alerting him about the report. Rivers said he was unaware of those findings.
“We’re going to find out new things everyday,” Rivers said with a hint of resignation before walking toward the Staples Center loading dock.
Silver said in his press conference on Tuesday in New York that the league’s ruling doesn’t preclude Sterling’s family members from having involvement with the organization. But Roger Mason Jr. , the players union vice president, told this newspaper that any family membership even having temporary ownership responsibilities could lead to a boycott.
Rivers also voiced skepticism Rochelle would have any involvement.
“It doesn’t sound like it, to be honest,” Rivers said. “I think she knows that. But she still wanted to be here. I don’t know if that is right or wrong. But I thought it was right.”
After leaning new revelations, it turns out Rivers might think otherwise.