Rochelle Sterling, wife of Donald Sterling, walked into Staples Center on Tuesday evening surrounded by a circle of six bodyguards.
Her husband had been issued a $2.5-million fine and banned from the NBA for life by league Commissioner Adam Silver earlier in the day for racial comments caught on an audio recording, but that didn't keep Rochelle Sterling from Staples Center for Game 5 of the team's playoff series against Golden State.
Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said Rochelle Sterling contacted him before the game to make sure that he was OK with her attending. Rivers said he gave her his blessing.
"It's a tough one for Shelly, really," Rivers said after the game. "She didn't do anything wrong. You have compassion for her. I kept hearing about the girlfriend, and Shelly's the wife. You know what I mean? I talked to her today, and she's been through as much as anyone as well.
"She asked if she could come, which I thought was a very nice gesture, and she just wanted the players to know that she loved them, and she told me to tell them. I thought, why not?"
Rochelle Sterling has tried to distance herself from the remarks that caused such trouble for her husband, but she hasn't been free of controversy, including being accused of denigrating African Americans and Latinos.
Rivers said he didn't expect that Donald Sterling would transfer ownership of the Clippers to his wife.
"I don't know, it doesn't sound like it to be honest," Rivers said. "And I think she knows that but she still wanted to be here. I don't know if that's right or wrong, but I thought it was right."