Donald Sterling scandal: NBA to appoint CEO to supervise Clippers’ operations

The NBA announced it will appoint a chief executive officer to supervise the team’s operations fives days after league commissioner Adam Silver issued a life-time ban to owner Donald Sterling for making racially disparaging remarks on an audio tape.

“The best way to ensure the stability of the team during this difficult situation is to move quickly and install a CEO to oversee the Clippers organization,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass said in a statement. “The process of identifying that individual is underway.”

The league office didn’t answer an immediate call on more details, including the timeline and how that affects the Clippers’ current structure. The Clippers are also currently unaware on how that will affect their operations. President Andy Roeser currently is in charge of day-to-day operations, while coach Doc Rivers oversees the basketball operations.


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Follow L.A. Daily News’ Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

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Clippers head coach Doc Rivers meets with organization employees Friday morning

Minutes into his meeting with media outlets after Friday’s afternoon practice, Clippers head coach Doc Rivers broke off from answering the opening question to discuss the aftermath of the Donald Sterling scandal and how it had been affecting the organization as a whole.

On Friday morning, Rivers went to downtown Los Angeles to meet with Clippers employees, ranging from ticket sellers to those who work in marketing, and spoke with them about the Sterling story that had become the dark cloud hanging over the Clippers.

“It was really hard to see them,” said Rivers. “I just felt so bad for them.”

Rivers said employees were in tears as they shared stories of them getting nasty phone calls and being called names and how they had a hard time dealing with the story as it broke. Rivers said that the employees even thought about not working.

On Tuesday, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued down a lifetime ban on Sterling for  his racist remarks and a $2.5 million fine. Silver also stated that he would be doing everything in his power to force the sale of the Clippers.

“What I did today for me, was far more important than this stuff because they need it, they really do” said Rivers of the meeting. “They need it even more than our players do right now, they need somebody.”

Rivers said the meeting was arranged by the heads of departments within the organization.

“They needed someone to ask them to continue to work and support,” said Rivers. “You know, we are still tying to put this thing together.”

Game 7 of the Clippers and Warriors will be played Saturday at the Staples Center.

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Jermaine O’Neal to have MRI after being leveled by ‘Big Baby’ on ‘dirty play’

One of the things Warriors coach Mark Jackson was asked about in Thursday’s post-game news conference following his team’s 100-99 Game 6 victory over the Clippers, was the play that sent post Jermaine O’Neal crashing to the floor.

It took place in the second quarter under the basket when the Clippers’ Glen “Big Baby” Davis plowed through O’Neal going for a rebound. O’Neal hit the deck and was eventually helped off the court. He suffered a sprained right knee, did not return and was scheduled to have an MRI on Friday.

“We’ll see how he feels moving forward,” Jackson said, alluding to O’Neal’s availability for Saturday’s Game 7 at Staples Center. “As far as the play, I didn’t get another look at it, so I’m not sure. I’m sure the league, which does an outstanding job of monitoring plays like that, will take a look at it and make decisions.”

O’Neal told USA Today he thought it was “a dirty play.”

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NBA OWNERS MEETING TODAY TO DISCUSS DONALD STERLING

OAKLAND – NBA Commissioner Adam Silver acted decisively by punishing Clippers owner Donald Sterling Tuesday with a lifetime ban and a $2.5 million fine for making racist comments.

Today, the 29 other owners begin the process of carrying out Silvers end-game objective of forcing Sterling to sell the Clippers.

The owners advisory committee/finance committee, made up of 10 owners, will convene today on a conference call to discuss the next steps in dealing with Sterling, who was caught on tape making offensive remarks toward minorities

Silver immediately pounced on Sterling with the unprecedented punishment, then urged owners to use their power to force Sterling to sell the team – which would require the support of three-fourths of the league’s owners in a vote.

Silver indicated Tuesday he is confident there are enough votes to carry out his hopes, and considering the vast amounts of supportive feedback owners have expressed it seems likely Silver will get his wish

The 10-owner committee consists of: Minnesota’s Miami’s Micky Arison, the Lakers’ Jeanie Buss, Oklahoma City’s Clay Bennett, New York’s James Dolan, Boston’s Wyc Grousbeck, San Antonio’s Peter Holt, Phoenix’s Robert Sarver, Indiana’s Herb Simon, and Toronto’s Larry Tanenbaum.

 

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Magic Johnson officially expresses interest in buying the Clippers

Former Los Angeles Laker Magic Johnson is joined by WNBA president Laurel Richie in front of Staples Center on Feb. 5, 2014, to announce that he is part of a group buying the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

Former Los Angeles Laker Magic Johnson is joined by WNBA president Laurel Richie in front of Staples Center on Feb. 5, 2014, to announce that he is part of a group buying the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

Despite his initially public denials, Magic Johnson confirmed the obvious.

He would like to be a part of an ownership group that buys the Clippers.

“I will be owning an NBA team sometime,” Johnson told a gathering of business leaders Wednesday at the Milken Global Conference in Beverly Hills, as reported by KPCC. “Is the Clippers the right situation? Of course. It’s one of the premiere franchises.”

Various league sources has suspected the Lakers legend would have such interest well before it was official NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued a life-time ban to Clippers owner Donald Sterling for making racially insensitive remarks on an audio tape. Johnson sold his 4.5-percent ownership stake with the Lakers in 2010 and remains an unpaid vice president. He then became part of Guggenheim Partners, the investment group that bought the Dodgers in 2012. In February, Johnson’s ownership group also purchased the WNBA’s Sparks two months ago.

But Johnson had stayed silent, until now.

“I think the fans have already spoken,” Johnson said. “They would like us to own the team. But we have to wait and see.”

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Donald Sterling scandal: USC law, business experts analyze Clippers’ next ownership, legal challenges

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver walks to the podium at news conference in New York, Tuesday, April 29, 2014.  Silver announced that he is banning Los Angeles Clipper owner Donald Sterling for life from the Clippers organization, in response to racist comments the league says he made in an audio recording. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver walks to the podium at news conference in New York, Tuesday, April 29, 2014. Silver announced that he is banning Los Angeles Clipper owner Donald Sterling for life from the Clippers organization, in response to racist comments the league says he made in an audio recording. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Below is a select Q&A with USC law professor Jody Armour and USC law & business professor Michael Chasalow surrounding the NBA’s step in both finding an ownership group to replace Donald Sterling and the potential legal challenges ahead:

How do you think the process in finding a new owner panning out?

Armour:
Sterling bought the franchise for virtually nothing and it has increased. It’s gone up in value exponentially since he initially purchased it and it has great players with Chris Paul and Blake Griffin and is a playoff contender and in Southern California in a metropolitan and media hub. I’m thinking upwards of $700-800 million. But if they make a run in the playoffs, more folks could see this as an opportunity not just to get a great team, but to get a great team that has a certain cache and certain amount of public attention focused on it. The new owner can come in and say he has a new vision and spark a lot of goodwill that comes from that kind of story. I think it could be very valuable. If you get a bidding war going, what determines value is markets. It could break the billion mark if you had folks who saw something that is beyond a fixer upper. It’s in move-in condition, not quite mint condition, but move-in condition with a high upside with profit potential.

Chasalow: It remains to be seen how it’s going to evolve. Everybody expects the team will be sold in the short term or long term. But the big question is what will bring that about. Will it actually be an owner’s vote or pressures brought to bear on Sterling? At a minimum, the team is worth much more being sold than it is in his hands. Forbes valued it at $575 million, but it’s probably worth a lot. Any sale would maximize that value with an auction or bidding process so they’re getting top dollar for it.

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Donald Sterling scandal: NBA to hold meeting on Thursday to detail next step

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver reads a statement during a news conference, in New York, Tuesday, April 29, 2014. Silver announced that he is banning Los Angeles Clipper owner Donald Sterling for life from the Clippers organization, in response to racist comments the league says he made in an audio recording. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver reads a statement during a news conference, in New York, Tuesday, April 29, 2014. Silver announced that he is banning Los Angeles Clipper owner Donald Sterling for life from the Clippers organization, in response to racist comments the league says he made in an audio recording. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

In hopes of providing more clarity in officially removing Donald Sterling as the Clippers owner, the NBA owners’ advisory and finance committee hold a meeting on Thursday, a league source confirmed.

The 10-member committee will have a conference call two days after NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued Sterling a life-time ban and fined him $2.5 million amid racially derogatory remarks he made on an audio tapes that were leaked this week through Websites, TMZ and Deadspin. Under the by-laws in the NBA Constitution, the league needs a three-fourths majority from the Board of Governors to remove Sterling’s ownership position. A league source familiar with the procedure anticipates the vote will take place “sooner rather than later.”

“The focus first was on getting the guy out,” explained a league source familiar with the NBA’s thought process regarding Sterling. “Once you get him out, you can do everything you have to do.”

Minnesota owner Glen Taylor chairs the committee, which also includes Miami’s Micky Arison, the Lakers’ Jeanie Buss, Oklahoma City’s Clay Bennett, New York’s James Dolan, Boston’s Wyc Grousbeck, San Antonio’s Peter Holt, Phoenix’s Robert Sarver, Indiana’s Herb Simon, and Toronto’s Larry Tanenbaum.


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Follow L.A. Daily News’ Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

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Donald Sterling’s wife attends Clippers’ Game 5 win over Golden State

Photo courtesy of John McCoy/Los Angeles Daily News

Photo courtesy of John McCoy/Los Angeles Daily News

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.
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At the end of a long, historic day the Clippers could breathe again. And focus on basketball

By Vincent Bonsignore

With the world watching, the NBA pounced on Donald Sterling Tuesday.

It did so swiftly, decisively and with unprecedented force when NBA Commissioner Adam Silver stood at a podium in New York and hammered the Clippers owner with a lifetime ban that permanently disconnects him from any official association with the Clippers or NBA.

Then Silver fined Sterling $2.5 million dollars, the maximum allowed under his jurisdiction. Most importantly, he urged the NBA Board of Governors to unite together in vote to force Sterling to sell the team he’s owned for more than three decades.

“Adam Silver today was fantastic,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “He made a decision that had to be made.”
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Five things to take from Clippers’ 113-103 win over Golden State Warriors

Below are five things to take from Clippers’ 113-103 Game 5 over Golden State Warriors at Staples Center beyond taking a 3-2 lead having a chance to close their first-round series with 6 Thursday in Oakland:

1. The Clippers played looser. Two days ago, the Clippers appeared sapped of energy after the fall out regarding Clippers owner Donald Sterling making racially disparaging remarks on an audio tape. On Tuesday, the Clippers appeared rejuvenated after NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued a life-time ban from Sterling having any involvement from the organization. This marks the beginning a long process in finding a new owner and handling a potentially lengthy litigation battle with Sterling. It’s also interesting that Blake Griffin’s 18 points and seven rebounds came after shooting only 2 of 9 through three quarters. But with the sold-out crowd at Staples Center yelling “We are one,” the Clippers played with the same energy, athleticism and memorable play-making that made this team such a dangerous playoff team beforehand.

2. DeAndre Jordan showed tremendous improvement.
The man who mostly disappeared in a Game 3 loss seemed everywhere in Game 4. The man who went scoreless in Game 3 dropped 25 points on 8-of-10 shooting in Game 4. The man who lacked much of a defensive identity in Game 3 morphed back to his season-long defensive credentials with 18 rebounds and four blocks. Attribute this difference toward Jordan playing more inspired amid all the adversity. But it also suggests that rarely will Jordan will have a bad game. Instead, he has channeled his efforts all season into maintaining consistency as the Clippers’ defensive anchor.
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