Earlier this week, Clippers interim chief executive Richard Parson testified in court that Coach Doc Rivers may quit the team if Donald Sterling is not forced to relinquish ownership. Thursday, star point guard Chris Paul not only corroborated that account, but added that he also may not want to play for the team.
In a report by ESPN, Paul is quoted as saying that he has discussed a possible boycott of the Clippers not only with Rivers, but with some teammates:
“That’s something me and Doc are both talking about. Something has to happen, and something needs to happen soon — sooner rather than later.
“We’re all going to talk about it. We’re all definitely going to talk about it. Doc, Blake [Griffin], DJ [DeAndre Jordan]. It’s unacceptable.”
Closing arguments are set for Monday in a California trial over whether Sterling’s wife, Shelly, was within her rights to have him declared mentally incompetent, thus clearing the way for her to take control of the family trust in which the Clippers were held and sell the team to billionaire Steve Ballmer.
Attorneys for Shelly Sterling asked the judge in that case for a ruling based on a clause in California probate law that allows for an essentially appeal-proof sale to go through if there is deemed to be an impending loss in a trust’s value. The attorneys have cited the potential player boycotts and loss of Rivers as symptoms of a possible “death spiral” for the franchise if Sterling manages to stay on as owner.
Sterling has filed related lawsuits against his wife, in another civil court, and the NBA, in federal court.