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Doc Rivers
Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Doc Rivers
Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

As if the L.A. Clippers needed another reason for desperately seeking to rid themselves of Donald Sterling, the most respected member of the organization has vowed to walk if the disgraced NBA owner is allowed to remain one day beyond the dissolution of what will prove to be all his baseless legal machinations.

Interim and league appointed CEO Dick Parsons testified on Tuesday coach and team president Doc Rivers has repeatedly told him he wants out if Sterling remains in. That would mean the longest tenured owner in NBA history  would somehow have to find a way to overcome the lifelong ban imposed on him by NBA Commissioner Adam Sterling last April after a videotape of him admonishing his girlfriend not to “bring black people to my games” was made public.

Taking the stand during the ongoing probate proceedings initiated by Sterling and aimed at nullifying the subsequent $2 billion record-sale of the team engineered by his estranged wife, Shelly, to former Microsoft guru Steve Ballmer, Parsons added “if Doc were to leave, that would be a disaster. Doc is the father figure of the team.”

But none of that seems to matter to Sterling, who late Tuesday filed a separate and new suit against his wife and the league seeking damages  for what he deems as fraud and violation of his corporate law rights.

On the day of his testimony, Parsons added “Chris Paul is the on-court captain … but Doc is really the guy who leads the effort. He’s the coach, the grown-up, he’s a man of character and ability — not just in a basketball sense, but in the ability to connect with people and gain their trust. The team believes in him and admires and loves him. If he were to bail, with all the other circumstances, it would accelerate the death spiral.”

In short, Doc Rivers is the lifeline for the organization Donald Sterling’s survival would obliterate;  the utter antithesis of the crude and rude owner when the organization and Clippers Nation needs it all more than ever. Parsons was called as a witness to highlight just how much damage Sterling’s return to the franchise could mean. But truthfully, who among us can really capture that in mere words?

Already as many as seven of the team’s sponsors have moved to disassociate themselves from the Clips in the wake of the Sterling revelations and during his testimony Parsons cited Mandalay Bay and Kia Motors as examples of sponsors who are “sitting at the edge of the pool and don’t want to go in the water unless there is resolution. The issue or the cloud hanging over the team is the continued ownership of Mr. Sterling. If none of your sponsors want to sponsor you, your coach doesn’t want to coach you, and players don’t want to play for you, what do you have?”

Rhetorical questions aside, I would answer they would simply be left with Donald Sterling.

1 comments
pastorburt
pastorburt

The concern for what Donald Sterling might do next is highly overstated. Donald Sterling can appeal, which is why the Judge is moving so slow and carefully to make sure he has little or no grounds upon which to make that appeal. Secondly, the NBA has stated that if the Probate Court approves the sale, then the NBA will certify the sale to Mr. Ballmer.   Appealing the judge’s ruling will not stop the sale. When the NBA gives approval to the sale and it will, Ballmer is going to write a $2 billion check and give it to whom? Think about this. Ballmer is going to make out that check to the Sterling Family Trust and give that money NOT to Donald Sterling, but to Shelly Sterling, the only remaining trustee. 


Right now, Donald Sterling is facing a very big squeeze, because that very nice but determined wife of his is not going to give him even one dime of that money while he continues to act outrageously to anybody. Meanwhile because Donald Sterling canceled the Family Trust, he is RIGHT NOW in DEFAULT for half a billion dollars in loans made to his trust that no longer exists. Every day this matter is not settled brings Donald Sterling closer and closer to insolvency. Where does Donald Sterling, a fellow with mental impairment, go to get half a billion dollars to satisfy those banks right now? No one with money is going to give him money today or a month or two months from now, because everybody knows that with each passing day Donald Sterling has to lower his price to avoid loosing everything.


So if you think Donald Sterling is going to appeal this court decision, think again.   If he did file an Appeal or file a suit against the NBA he would almost immediately withdraw all of those actions.   Suing the NBA would take seven years, so by the time it ever came to trial Donald Sterling will either be in the grave or sitting in a wheel chair staring into space brain dead with Alzheimer’s disease.   Donald Sterling has had his last hurrah.   More likely Shelly Sterling is going to take him to court again, have him declared incompetent, and have the court appoint her conservator with power of attorney over the remainder of his affairs.  (This will happen. It is only a matter of time.)   If you think Donald Sterling doesn’t know what is happening to his fortune, why was he proposing settlement at his home on Tuesday with Ballmer, Shelly, and the attorneys for both sides all in attendance?   Suing everybody costs money, so where will Donald Sterling get that money when the banks are at the same time demanding half a billion dollars from him?


Think about it.  This week should have been Donald Sterling’s time to put forth a brilliant defense, and answer all the plaintiffs’ complaints.   Instead, the Defense has called no witnesses, and has been merely destroyed all the more by every single other witness that has come forth to testified at the trial.   If you are rooting for Donald Sterling, you have to ask the reasonable question: “When is the guy going to start winning, because up to now every day has been an absolute loss?”


Donald Sterling’s own attorneys have already told him that the judge is going to rule against him in this case. My opinion is that I don't think this case has much life left in it.  95% of all trials settle before the Judge gets to rule.  The Judge MAY get the opportunity to rule if Donald doesn't settle, and if the judge does rule it will be for Shelly Sterling. Right now it is almost more likely that Donald Sterling will certify the Clippers sales before July 28th because he has to make peace with Shelly. If he doesn't make peace with his wife, Donald Sterling, the billionaire, will actually go bankrupt while Shelly Sterling sits on the entire two billion dollars from the sale of the Clippers waiting for husband, Donald Sterling to become more reasonable.