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Clippers coach Rivers declines chance to speak with Sterling

Rivers Believes Sterling Made Comments

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers said he declined a chance to speak with owner Donald Sterling, who is alleged to have made racist comments in a recorded conversation.

"I was asked, do I need to talk with Donald, and I passed, quite honestly," Rivers said Monday. "I don't think right now is the time or the place, for me, at least. I just took a pass."

Sterling is purported to have told a woman not to bring black people to his games or associate with them.

"Yeah, I believe he said those things. But I still want to make sure," Rivers said during a conference call. "As far as believing those things? I heard what he said. Until someone tells me differently, you usually listen to what people say. I haven't given him his due process. I haven't given him an opportunity to explain himself and quite honestly right now I don't want him to. I want to wait for that further judgment."

The coach canceled practice Monday, a day after a 118-97 loss to the Golden State Warriors that evened their playoff series at 2-2.

"I just felt like they needed to breathe. They've been inundated with this," Rivers said.

Still, he said pretty much the entire team was at the club's practice facility.

"I'll go down and say hi to them and talk to them, make sure they're in the right place. Right now it's more than basketball. This is a non-basketball decision that I thought I had to make and I thought it was right decision. If you get your life better, then you can probably do your work better. They need to do that."

Game 5 is Tuesday night in Los Angeles.

"These last 48 hours or so have been really hard for our players and everyone," Rivers said. "I'd just like to reiterate how disappointed I am in the comments attributed to our owner. I can't tell you how upset I am, our players are."

Warriors coach Mark Jackson suggested that Clippers fans should boycott the game.

"I believe if it was me, I wouldn't come to the game," Jackson said. "I believe the fans, the loudest statement that they can make as fans is to not show up to the game. ... To me, it will make the noise of it not being tolerated. That this is a different time. It's unfortunate, and we cannot allow someone with these feelings to profit."

Rivers said he knew Jackson was speaking from his heart and that everyone has their opinion.

"I don't share that. I hope it's packed and people are cheering for us, the players. And they were cheering for the players before this happened. But if they feel differently, who can say they're wrong? And I'm not the one that's going to say that, I can tell you that."

Rivers said it's still to be determined whether he or a player will address the crowd.

"Again, we don't know the right answer," Rivers said. "We want to do right here. We want to make the best decisions here. If we feel that's something will help our fans, then it will be done. If we feel it's something they don't need, we won't do it. The tickets have already been sold. The fans, they're in a dilemma as well. We want them to cheer for their players and their team. Because it's still their players and their team, and it will be their players and their team. I think from what I get from the fans I've heard from, that's how they feel, like, `This is my team, these are my players I'm cheering for, and that's not going to change.' I hope that continues."

Rivers said the controversy has been tough on his players.

"What other players are going through `Should I be playing' thoughts in the middle of a playoff series? I sympathize for my players. They didn't sign on for this. Yet here they are and they're in the middle of it and they have to deal with it. They didn't do anything wrong and they're in the middle of it, and they didn't ask to be. I feel terrible for them. I'm going to try to do whatever I can to make them OK."

Join the discussion

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skosta April 29 2014 at 6:56 AM

People are aghast that the NSA is taping Americans' private conversations, but I guess they're ok with taping racist ones. Kareem Abdul Jabbar's recent op ed in Time magazine is an interesting take on this.

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Jose April 29 2014 at 10:32 AM

In this country, neighbors do no want to meet their neighbors so what's the problem if you do not want to meet black people in your private life? don't you girlfriend agree with you? then she is free to leave............and meet black people.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
zrsz1 April 29 2014 at 12:39 PM

I'm reading about all these sponsors pulling out. they're not pulling out, just suspending their sponsorship and will "monitor" the situation. which means if we don't pull out we'll lose business from the pressure of the al sharptons of the world. so we'll pull out till it blows over, (these things always do, wink, wink) and then we can get back to the business of making money. and,,it makes no difference to me what he said or what they do, they're all a bunch of phonies.

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The Canoli King April 29 2014 at 2:13 PM

Perpetuating Racism,Channel 7 N.Y had to interrupt GENERAL HOSPITAL to tell us more of this BS,they just couldn't wait to put it on BET,or any other channel that gives a crap about this garbage.

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sgu885 April 29 2014 at 6:09 AM

I think Sterling should of bought a hockey team

Flag Reply +1 rate up
giovegas April 29 2014 at 12:21 PM

WE ALL SAY THINGS THAT WE REGRET..MAYBE THIS IS THE CASE..

Flag Reply +1 rate up
EzinWy April 29 2014 at 6:08 AM

Girlfirend ? LOL
She's paid, so she is simply a high-priced lady of the day & night.
Donald Sterling has various issues.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
PLW April 29 2014 at 6:05 AM

Stand back and watch. I listened to the recording. She led him into every conversation and was encouraging every racist remark. She asked if he wanted more 'juice'. What was in the juice? Next we'll see her on the talk show circuit. What's the basis of all this? Is it the media who wants a sensational story? Is it a rival out to get Sterling? Is it the young woman wanting to make headlines and the talk show circuit? Just think. Oprah, Piers, the options are endless until the world tires of her. Wasn't Sterling himself providing her with every creature comfort? What a Bimbo.

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Mark McElreath April 29 2014 at 6:02 AM

Some friend of Sterling needs to tell him that everyone knows he is a multi-millionaire but hanging with a hot toy that is the age of his great grand children makes him look like a fool. Get an escort you 80 year old buffoon.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
1 reply
shrodenas Mark McElreath April 29 2014 at 6:19 AM

And that sl*t he associates with should stay away from old men. Such a ska*k.

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drboggs1955 April 29 2014 at 2:13 PM

he has his freedom of speech all the blacks are way over reacting to this!! hell look at what al Sharpton and nearly every black public figure have said about whites. this is bulls-it

Flag Reply +12 rate up
2 replies
wabbitno1 drboggs1955 April 29 2014 at 2:21 PM

Thank you for your comment, nice to see that someone has some real thoughts about this and this is all a bunch of BS. It seems that it is okay for the blacks to call the whites every name in the book and then some but how dare a white person say something negative about the blacks. This woman that taped this was nothing but a high paid prostitute, she sure did not have any problems spending his money and taking those lavish gifts. This racial crap has gotten so much worse in the last five years and we all know why. I am sick and tired of this crap and it always being one sided. What about all the whites that have been killed or seriously injured by all the black punks, oh wait, that is okay right. Something really wrong with this picture.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
The Canoli King drboggs1955 April 29 2014 at 2:38 PM

You hit the nail on the head. Race Card is their ticket to ride .

Flag Reply 0 rate up
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