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#pounditFriday, June 14, 2024

Report: Doc Rivers will ‘never return’ to coach under Donald Sterling

Doc-Rivers-cries-return-to-BostonDoc Rivers has kept his future plans vague since the Donald Sterling audio recording first surfaced last week. Considering Rivers probably has no idea what he is going to decide when the Los Angeles Clippers’ season comes to an end, that makes sense. But according to one report, he has already decided he will not return to LA next season if Sterling is still in charge.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski, sources told Yahoo Sports that Rivers “will never return as president and coach under Sterling” next year. And if Rivers leaves town, that will likely start a trickle-down effect where several top players demand to be let out of their contracts or traded. Simply put, the worst is yet to come.

On Tuesday, NBA commissioner Adam Silver will announce the league’s findings and what the future holds for Sterling and the Clippers franchise. Wojnarowski says Silver has been studying a “nuclear option” which would allow him to summon a vote of league owners to force Sterling out.

If Sterling can’t be stripped of his ownership, he’ll likely face a one-year suspension and a fine of somewhere in the range of $1 million. What will that accomplish? Will Rivers return to coach the Clippers knowing that Sterling could be back in charge as soon as 2015? As one source reportedly told Yahoo Sports, Sterling loves being the star of the show and will never give up the Clippers without a battle.

“But now, this [scandal] has made him relevant again,” the source said. “In [Sterling’s] mind, he’s the star of the Clippers again. Everybody’s talking about him again. In his own way, he’ll revel in this. I would bet there’s no way [Sterling] will give in and sell his team. There’s no way that he’s going to do anything but stay and fight everyone until the very end to hold onto this.”

Sterling has never cared about his public image. Frankly, I’m surprised Rivers agreed to work for him in the first place given Sterling’s reputation as a racist slumlord. For now, Rivers said he believes winning is the best way for his team to address the situation.

“My belief is that the longer we keep winning, the more we talk about this,” he said in a statement on Monday. “I believe that is good. If we want to make a statement – I believe that is how we have to do it. I think that is the right way to do it, but that doesn’t mean we still don’t wrestle with it every day and every moment. That is the difficult part.”

In other words, winning will be difficult in the wake of such an incredible distraction. The Clippers showed us that with their uninspiring performance against the Golden State Warriors on Sunday. We’ll see if Tuesday, when the team has reportedly planned to make a louder statement against Sterling, turns out to be a different story.

H/T Pro Basketball Talk

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