Chris Paul says he has talked with head coach Doc Rivers about a potential boycott if Donald Sterling remains the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers when the NBA season begins.
Paul, who is a leader on the Clippers and president of the NBAPA, told ESPN’s Jeff Goodman that it’s “unacceptable” if Sterling is still the team’s owner when the season begins. To that end he talked with Rivers about the possibility of sitting out games.
“That’s something me and Doc are both talking about,” Paul told Goodman Thursday. “Something has to happen, and something needs to happen soon — sooner rather than later.”
Interim Clippers CEO Dick Parsons testified that Rivers has said he does not want to coach the team if Sterling is the owner. Paul also intends to talk with his teammates about the possibility of a boycott.
Sterling is in the middle of a lawsuit aimed to determine whether his wife acted improperly in selling the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. His hope is to have the sale of the team to Ballmer blocked. He also filed a lawsuit in May alleging that the NBA acting improperly with their harsh punishments against him. As if those two suits weren’t enough, Sterling filed a third suit this week in which he accuses wife Shelly, the NBA and Commissioner Adam Silver of defrauding him.
It looks like Sterling aims to get the sale of the team stuck in a legal jam that will allow him to linger as team owner for as long as possible.
Paul’s words are probably more of a threat than reality. Perhaps the thinking is that if the Clippers’ leaders can present the real possibility of a boycott, the legal system would have to answer these problems sooner rather than later.