LOS ANGELES (AP) – Los Angeles Clippers interim CEO Richard Parsons testified Tuesday that coach Doc Rivers told him he’ll quit if Donald Sterling remains the owner of the team.
Parsons made the statement in a trial to determine whether Sterling’s wife Shelly Sterling can sell the team for $2 billion to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
“Doc is troubled by this maybe moreso than anybody else,” Parsons said. “If Mr. Sterling continues as owner, he does not want to continue as coach.”
The NBA has sought to force out Sterling since soon after racist statements emerged on recordings in April.
Rivers, who is black, has said he had heard from other Clippers business employees that they didn’t think they would be able to work for Sterling under the circumstances.
Sterling has denied he is a racist from the witness stand and vowed he’ll never sell the team, claiming he is the victim of illegally recorded conversations that invaded his privacy.
Parsons took over leadership of the Clippers in May during the media blitz surrounding the banishment of Sterling, who seemed to accept the idea of a sale until he rescinded his agreement for his wife to make a deal. By then, she had the offer from Ballmer.