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Top Clippers exec Roeser taking leave of absence

NBA To Appoint CEO Of Clippers

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Los Angeles Clippers President Andy Roeser is taking an indefinite leave of absence while the NBA restructures the franchise in the wake of owner Donald Sterling's lifetime ban.

Roeser's immediate departure was announced Tuesday by the NBA. The league announced plans last week to appoint a CEO to oversee the franchise in Sterling's absence.

"This will provide an opportunity for a new CEO to begin on a clean slate and for the team to stabilize under difficult circumstances," NBA spokesman Mike Bass said.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned Sterling for life, fined him $2.5 million and urged owners to force him to sell the Clippers a week ago, responding to league-wide outrage over racist comments made by the 80-year-old real-estate mogul.

Sterling is the NBA's longest-tenured owner after buying the Clippers in 1981. Roeser, one of the Clippers' alternate governors, is one of the league's longest-tenured executives, having just completed his 30th season with the team.

Roeser has been a loyal frontman for Sterling since the franchise's days in San Diego, and he stood by Sterling during every controversial stretch of the owner's career. Only radio and television play-by-play announcer Ralph Lawler has worked for the Clippers longer than the 54-year-old Roeser, who became team president in 2007.

But Roeser infuriated many longtime Clippers employees last week after Sterling's private conversation was made public by TMZ.

While nearly everyone else was reacting with outrage, Roeser released a statement questioning whether the recordings of Sterling were legitimate, while simultaneously apologizing on Sterling's behalf for sentiments about Magic Johnson on the recordings. Roeser's statement was sympathetic to Sterling and criticized V. Stiviano, Sterling's longtime associate and the other voice on the recordings.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers said Roeser's statement upset many loyal Clippers employees who had been horrified by Sterling's comments. Rivers held meetings with much of the Clippers' front-office staff last week while Sterling was ousted, encouraging them to keep working for the franchise.

Roeser joined the organization in 1984 from an accounting firm. Two years later, he became executive vice president, overseeing all facets of the team's business operations. He has been president of the Los Angeles Clippers Foundation since it began in 1994.

He helped bring Rivers to Los Angeles from the Boston Celtics last June, and was part of the acquisition of All-Star guard Chris Paul in 2011. Roeser also oversaw the development and construction of the team's training facility that opened in 2008.

Rivers is the Clippers' senior vice president of basketball operations, working alongside executive vice president of player personnel Gary Sacks on the basketball side of the team's operations.

The Clippers overcame the distraction of Sterling's banishment to outlast Golden State in a seven-game first-round series on Saturday night.

After just one day off, they returned to the court and trounced Oklahoma City 122-105 on the road Monday night in the opener of their Western Conference semifinal series.


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ltpar May 07 2014 at 6:41 AM

Wondering how the NBA jerk offs can step into a private business and take over anything, much less appoint people to run the team. If they want to penalize the owner, that is one thing. If they want to run the team, let them buy it, otherwise butt out.

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pappy303 May 07 2014 at 8:06 AM


Flag Reply +3 rate up
midude05 May 07 2014 at 8:19 AM

I say we all boycott the NBA. Lets hit them where it counts... in the pocketbook!

Flag Reply +6 rate up
meso3 May 07 2014 at 8:19 AM

I still feel that although sterling did not say things that are nice, does not take
away from the fact that he said it in his home and did not say anything that
he wanted anyone else to make public. I feel that his home was his and
not for anyone else to invade. His freedom of speech is his right, you may
not like what he says but it is his right to say it. Someone invaded his home
and now they want to do away with his rights. I still think it is his team to
sell or not to sell. I really do think that he has his own right to say what he
wants to at his own home.

Flag Reply +10 rate up
geesrib May 07 2014 at 8:27 AM

If in your lifetime you haven't experienced racism then hold your tounge you have no idea what your talking about. Racism needs to be eracated in every facet of American society we are all in the same bowl so lets make the best of this very fleeting life. Get rid of racist institutions period America needs to say there is no place for them here.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
5 replies
cbrimb May 07 2014 at 8:28 AM

It's all BS, if you ask me. Sterling said some stupid and hateful things, but he said them in a private conversation and he has the right to do that. What he said was wrong, but I doubt there is a household in America where something racist, or hurtful in some way or another about another person, group, culture, etc., etc., hasn't been said. Everyone should ask themselves just how innocent they are before they start throwing stones at this foolish old man. As for the NBA banning him, and attempting to make him sell his franchise, and fining him, what right do they have to do that? Their knee-herk reaction is illegal, and Sterling needs to spend some of his big-bucks bank account to hire the best lawyers in the nation to stop this madness.

Flag Reply +8 rate up
1 reply
deejunebug cbrimb May 07 2014 at 9:49 AM

Well said...and had Sterling accosted a Black person while/after making his private statement...only then would he have committed a legitimate "crime". As the old saying goes..."Sticks and stones can break my bones...but words will never hurt me." This is America and we ALL have the same privilege of speaking our opinions in private and in public. No one would have been hurt had a 2nd party not decided to make a big stink about it. That person should be the one being punished...not Sterling. That person became the "instigator" that caused the most harm.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
aristars May 07 2014 at 8:35 AM

1-While nearly everyone else was reacting with outrage, Roeser released a statement questioning...
2-Clippers coach Doc Rivers said Roeser's statement upset many loyal Clippers employees who had been horrified by Sterling's comments...
as for 1- herd instinct, mob mentality!
as for 2-... (horrified)? please grow up! the same people were so angry with Oklahoma.recent excution of a bloody murder, and hoorified because of words? horified? get a life!! Sterling even aplogized for his free speech right! those people are full of hatred, they have left no room for foregivness!

As for Adam silver, you are going to lose big in the court of law, what do you think you are to take away his businessb built in more than 30 years? for what crime he committed? even if he had committed a crime, let the court decide the punishment, for sure taking away his busniess will be the punishment!!!NBA rules? all rules. laws must be constitutional! not jungle ones!

Flag Reply +9 rate up
Foxfiredesigns May 07 2014 at 8:39 AM

I don't understand something. What law did Sterling break? He's being penalized as if he was convicted by a judge and jury for the "crime" of speaking his private feelings to who he thought was a loyal friend, in a private conversation. What happened to our freedom of speech? Employers hire us if we're qualified. They are not required to like us. We may be prejudice against each other, but so what. This is a professional deal and personal opinions are irrelevant.. We are all free to have whatever personal feelings they have about us, and being prejudice is one of them, and certainly not against the law, as long as those feelings aren't acted upon in an illegal way. He employed his team, paid them well and must have shown them respect, since none of them complained about him. So whats the big deal? I hope he fights this and wins because he's done nothing wrong. How about rappers who sing about killing cops? Anything done about that? Nope! Time to play the "white card"

Flag Reply +16 rate up
3 replies
joe May 07 2014 at 9:14 AM

Fine every black player 2 million for making a racial statement. I will be so happy because half of these player would be gone and probably revert back to their youth and become problems in society.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
John May 07 2014 at 7:52 AM

What about remarks made by the not so Rev. Wright, Louis Farrakhan and Oprah .
Did not Oprah state that racism will end when all old White men die .
How about racism will end when Black men in power stop profiting from Racism .

Flag Reply +10 rate up
1 reply
bchbum63 John May 07 2014 at 9:10 AM

That doesn't count. Minorities are not held accountable for racism, only whites are.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
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