Spokesman Review (Spokane, WA)
The interim CEO of the Los Angeles Clippers testified Tuesday that coach Doc Riverstold him he will quit if Donald Sterling remains the owner of the team.
CEO Richard Parsons made the statement at a trial to determine whether Sterling's wife Shelly Sterling can sell the team for $2 billion to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
The NBA has tried to force out Donald Sterling since soon after racist statements emerged on recordings in April.
"Doc is troubled by this maybe more so than anybody else," Parsons said on the witness stand about Rivers, who is black. "If Mr. Sterling continues as owner, he does not want to continue as coach."
Parsons said he fears there would also be an exodus of key players, including team captain Chris Paul, who also is black and heads the NBA players union.
Parsons is a former chief executive at Time Warner and Citigroup who took over leadership of the Clippers in May during the media blitz surrounding the banishment of Sterling.
Under questioning by Ballmer's lawyer, Parsons said the departure of Rivers would begin "a death spiral" for the Clippers.
Sterling files another lawsuit: Donald Sterling opened a third legal front in his battle with his wife and the NBA over control of the Los Angeles Clippers, charging his wife, the NBA and Commissioner Adam Silver with defrauding him when they moved to sell the team to former Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer.
In a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court , Sterling asked for an injunction to freeze the $2 billion sale to Ballmer and for unspecified damages.