If Donald Sterling is still the owner of the Clippers next season, that might put the players in a tough situation going forward.
While none of the Clippers who spoke Friday with the media said they would ask to be traded or have their contracts voided if Sterling doesn’t sell the team, they hope the situation gets resolved.
After Sterling made disparaging comments about African Americans in a recorded conversation, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver fined the owner $2.5 million, banned him for life and is trying to get the three-fourths votes needed from the other NBA owners to force Sterling to sell the team.
“It appears as though this will be a long process and things will be in flux for a long while,” Clippers guard J.J. Redick said. “I can’t imagine a scenario where we start the season next year and he’s the owner and all is kosher. He may be the owner when we start the season next year still, but I would imagine that there will be some legal proceedings ongoing if that’s the scenario.”
The Clippers hope the ousting of Sterling and wife Shelly is done in an expeditious manner.
Shelly owns 50% of the Clippers and has said in interviews that she will fight to keep her share of the team.
“I don’t think anybody wants to drag this out – except for two people,” said Clippers forward Blake Griffin, referring to Donald and Shelly.
The Clippers started dealing with the Sterling controversy before Game 4 of the first-round series against the Golden State Warriors when an audio was released of him making his racially charged comments.
For the three weeks that followed, the Clippers had to answer questions about Sterling.
After the Oklahoma City Thunder knocked the Clippers out of the playoffs Thursday night
by winning the second-round series, 4-2, L.A. players talked about the weight they felt through it all.
“It was draining,” guard Jamal Crawford said. “The reality of it is when everything first happened, I was tired. I couldn’t go to sleep. There were so many emotions. It was so many different things. You got so many text and emails and people saying this and everybody having an opinion… With social media, the world is smaller. You can’t run from it. You’re going to hear about it. But we really banded together. We really leaned on each other.”