Rivers 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 admitted to the
Silver also fined Sterling $2.5 million and has gotten the backing from other NBA franchise owners to try 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 for 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 team for Game 7 of its first-round Western Conference playoff series against the
Rivers said the Clippers arrived back in Los Angeles at about 2 a.m. Friday after losing Game 6 to the Warriors on Thursday night in Oakland. He said he finished watching film at 4 a.m. and went downtown to Staples Center to meet with 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."