Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com is reporting that Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul will consider sitting out or boycotting the season if Clippers owner Donald Sterling remains Clippers owner Donald Sterling into the 2014 season.
This comes amongst reports that Clippers head coach Doc Rivers would quit if Sterling still has control of the team when the season starts.
To recap, Donald Sterling made racist remarks to his multiracial assistant that were recorded and released to TMZ. The NBA then banned Sterling for life and fined him $2.5 million, the maximum amount that they were allowed to. Sterling has moved back and forth on whether he would mount a legal challenge. His current stance is that he will sue the NBA. While all this goes on, Sterling is still the owner of the Clippers.
Meanwhile his wife and minority owner Shelly Sterling has seized control of the Sterling trust by having a team of doctors declare Donald Sterling mentally incapable. This in theory made her the owner of the Clippers, and she quickly moved to sell the team for $ 2 billion to former Microsoft executive Steve Balmer. Donald Sterling’s lawyers have challenged those actions, leaving us effectively in limbo.
A vote by the League ownership to strip the Clippers from Sterling was postponed earlier this summer.
Paul and his fellow Clippers are taking the only real bargaining position that they have, refusal to play. They are hoping of course that it doesn’t come to that, but October gets closer all the time. The former Wake Forest guard intends to include his higher profile teammates as well. He said, “We’re all definitely going to talk about it. Doc, Blake, DJ. It’s unacceptable.”
An alliance of coach and high profile Clippers stars should be enough for anyone to have pause. The probate decision on Shelly’s mental incapacity action will come soon after Monday. Balmer’s purchase agreement will hold until August 15. The NBA has promised to resume termination of Donald Sterling on September 15.