Basketball / Sports

Doc Rivers leery of Sterling wife's taking over Clippers

PLAYA VISTA, Calif. -- Doc Rivers wasn't going to comment. But after dodging questions about Shelly Sterling's potential ownership of the Clippers on Wednesday night, Rivers, the Clippers' coach, couldn't help himself Thursday.

In his mind, it wouldn't work.

"I think it would be a very hard situation. I'll say that much," Rivers said. "I think it'd be very difficult. I guarantee every person wouldn't be on board with that.

"Whether I would or not, I'm not going to say. But I just know that would be a very difficult situation for everybody."

NBA commissioner Adam Silver banned Clippers owner Donald Sterling after an audio recording surfaced of Sterling making racist remarks. In a statement Wednesday, Shelly Sterling said she believes she should be the owner of the Clippers if her husband is forced to sell.

Shelly Sterling's attorney, Pierce O'Donnell, told The Associated Press his client "will not agree to a forced or involuntary seizure of her interest."

"As her lawyers we will fight vigorously to defend her property rights," he said.

O'Donnell said Shelly Sterling has no interest in managing the Clippers and wants a new investor group to come in with a professional management team. He also told the AP that she has been separated from her husband for the last year and is considering divorce. There is no record of legal separation documents being filed, though O'Donnell said the couple is living apart.

Rivers said Sterling's relationship with her husband is what makes him leery of having her as owner.

"It's because of the relationship," he said. "On the other end, I do say, I don't know what she's done wrong.

"But, I think, and I don't want to go too far into this, but I think it would be a difficult situation because we would know who was really in charge."

In addition to the lifetime ban, Silver said he would urge the NBA's Board or Governors to force a sale of the team, something that would require a three-fourths majority.

Silver is expected to have unanimous support based on public statements. However, in his initial ruling, Silver said his ruling applied specifically to Donald Sterling.

"Commissioner Silver made it clear when he announced the sanctions against Donald that the NBA was taking no action against me or my family," Shelly Sterling said in a statement.

PRESSURE POINTS

While Rivers and the organization as a whole have to keep their eyes on the ownership situation, the off-court issues shouldn't add any strain to their on-court challenges in the Western Conference semifinal series.

The Oklahoma City Thunder's Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant have been doing plenty of that.

"We need to be uneasy about Westbrook and Durant because they're putting more pressure on us right now," Rivers said.

Just how good were Westbrook and Durant in the Thunder's Game 2 win that tied the series, 1-1?

It was the first time in NBA history that teammates each had at least 30 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists in a game.

CRAWFORD'S BIG DAY

Jamal Crawford made a bit of history, becoming the oldest player in league history to win the Sixth Man Award.

Crawford, 34, also becomes just the fourth two-time winner. He won the award in 2010 as a member of the Atlanta Hawks.

"It shows I was effective and at a high level for a long period of time," Crawford said.

Crawford received 57 of the possible 125 first-place votes. He led all reserves with 18.6 points per game.

(c)2014 The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.)

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