Los Angeles Clippers interim CEO Dick Parsons testified on Tuesday that president and head coach Doc Rivers would quit the team if Donald Sterling remained the owner:
Parsons says that Doc Rivers has told him, 'If Mr. Sterling continues to own the team, he doesn't think he wants to continue as coach"— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) July 22, 2014
Dick Parsons testifies that Doc Rivers has told him three times that he would not continue with the Clippers if Sterling is still the owner.— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) July 22, 2014
Arguing for the importance of the sale to Steve Ballmer being finalized, Parsons also brought up the issue of sponsors and players not wanting to be associated with Sterling.
Clippers CEO Dick Parsons was asked about the $2 billion sale price, "If Steve goes away, I don't know how you get to that number again"— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) July 22, 2014
Parsons says the "issue or cloud hanging over the team is the continued ownership of Mr Sterling" which manifests itself w/ sponsorships— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) July 22, 2014
Parsons says in meetings w/ Clippers sponsors, he's heard "We're in so long as Donald Sterling is out" so he thinks there's substantial risk— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) July 22, 2014
Parsons: "If none of your sponsors want to sponsor you, your coach doesn't want to coach, players don't want to play, what do you have?"— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) July 22, 2014
Parsons said Burger King has not renewed it's sponsorship for the upcoming season. No free burgers next season I guess.— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) July 22, 2014
Kia said they're ready to return as a sponsor for the Clippers if Sterling situation is resolved by the start of the season.— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) July 22, 2014
These are all issues that were discussed soon after the Sterling scandal started. Players had a plan to boycott a playoff game, and if commissioner Adam Silver hadn't cracked down on Sterling with the harshest penalty possible, they would have gone through with it. It's difficult to imagine what would even happen to the franchise if Rivers left.
Since this mess started, Rivers has essentially become the top man in the organization. He's tried to bring the staff together and move forward. At what point does he decide to jump ship if Sterling manages to hold everything up?
Everyone involved is in a difficult situation. This is out of the league's hands right now and Sterling certainly isn't keen on bowing down or expediting the process.