Los Angeles Clippers players have let Coach Doc Rivers do the talking for them ever since a report surfaced of a recording that allegedly shows the owner of their team making racially insensitive comments. But when they took the court for warmups before Game 4 of their playoff series against Golden State, they made a collective statement without a saying a word.
They walked to center court at Oracle Arena in Oakland, removed their shooting shirts, put them in a pile and warmed up for the nationally televised game in inside-out playoff gear with the logo barely visible.
PS - all of the Clipper warmups jackets are in a pile at midcourt as they warm up for Game 4 with no logos. Pretty amazing scene.— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) April 27, 2014
Clippers take off their warmups that say team name before layups, leave them at half court..— Ray Ratto (@RattoCSN) April 27, 2014
“Our message — it sounds simple — it’s stay together, play ball,” Paul told ABC before the game. “We worked really hard to be where we are. I couldn’t imagine going through anything like this with anybody leading us other than Doc. He’s been amazing and for us, we’ve have to focus on what we’re trying to do.”
Players also wore black armbands. “I knew about it,” Rivers said of the players’ plan. “Didn’t voice my opinion. Wasn’t thrilled about it, to be honest. But if that’s what they want to do, that’s what they want to do.”
As for Sterling, he is not at the game and it is not yet known whether he will be in his customary courtside seat when the Game 5 goes to Staples Center on Tuesday night. As it was, the pregame vibe was weird enough without him.
In all my years in biz, never seen a more muddled playoff pregame. Doc says he has no idea if players ready, or if he can keep working here— Bill Plaschke (@BillPlaschke) April 27, 2014
Intriguing behind the scenes sight: Jerry West having a heart-to-heart conversation with Clippers’ Chris Paul.— Carl Steward (@stewardsfolly) April 27, 2014