Clippers President Andy Roeser will take an indefinite leave of absence starting immediately, the NBA announced Tuesday.
"This will provide an opportunity for a new CEO to begin on a clean slate and for the team to stabilize under difficult circumstances," the NBA's statement said.
No replacement was named for Roeser, who has been the team's president since 1986. An NBA official, who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter, said someone could be named this week.
On Saturday, the NBA said it would move expeditiously to find a new chief executive for the Clippers in the aftermath of owner Donald Sterling's lifetime ban from the league.
Roeser apparently helped to seal his fate with the Clippers when he sent out a personal statement concerning the audio of Sterling making racially charged comments about African Americans.
"We have heard the tape on TMZ. We do not know if it is legitimate or it has been altered," Roeser said in that statement two weekends ago. "Mr. Sterling is emphatic that what is reflected on that recording is not consistent with, nor does it reflect his views, beliefs or feelings."
Speaking in Oklahoma City on Tuesday, Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said that statement "rubbed a lot of people the wrong way."
"And Andy right away said that was the wrong statement," Rivers said. "He apologized for that and then we moved on."
Rivers said he didn't know that Roeser was taking a leave until he was told by the team's public relations department. "I think the NBA is doing their job and we're just trying to keep this thing together," Rivers said.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
3:08 p.m.: This post has been updated with new comments from Clippers Coach Doc Rivers and further background.