Paul wore his
Nothing, Paul said, was going to keep him from playing in the final game in the best-of-seven series that's tied at 3-3.
"I'll be there," Paul said. "At 7:30 when that ball gets thrown up, I'll be right there. I'll be ready."
After Paul finished talking, Coach
Rivers also talked about a profound meeting he had with about 70 Clippers employees in the wake of the
Rivers, who is also the Clippers' senior vice president of basketball operations, said that during his conversation with the employees, who work in ticketing, marketing, group sales, sponsorship, finance, human resources and fan relations, they were "sitting there crying."
Sterling acknowledged to the
Silver banned Sterling for life from any association with the Clippers' organization or the NBA. Silver said that Sterling can't be present at any Clippers facility and can't participate in any business or player personnel decisions involving the team.
Silver also fined Sterling $2.5 million and has received the backing of NBA franchise owners to force him to sell the team.
"Our players thought about not working," Rivers said. "So did our employees. And they still felt that way. They needed somebody to ask them to continue to work and support here."
Rivers said he got a call from some of the Clippers' department heads, who asked him to speak with the employees.
Rivers said he quickly agreed to do so despite trying to prepare the Clippers for Game 7.
After the Game 6 loss to the Warriors, Rivers said the Clippers arrived back in Los Angeles around 2 a.m. Friday. He said he finished watching film at 4 a.m. and went downtown to Staples Center to meet the employees at 9 a.m.
"They felt like now they've been knocked back down and we have to start all over again," Rivers said. "And I told them, 'Yeah, you're right. You do. There's no quick solution to this. There's no banner and then everybody will be good. We got to redo it.' I told them that. I told them I want to be there for them as much as I can. But it's hard."
The Clippers and Warriors have played 10 games this season — four in the regular season and six in the playoffs — and are tied at 5-5.
One team is going to break that deadlock and advance to the next round. The other will be going home for the summer.
"It's going to be tough, and you're going to face adversity, "
Both teams have faced adversity in this series.
The Warriors faced more concerning news Friday when the team announced that an MRI exam on backup center
"It's a close-out game for both of us," Rivers said. "So you can look at it any way: We're trying to close them out, or if we lose we go home. Game 7s are great because all that's at play. I think they are the best. I think they are a lot of fun. It's the players' game."