Basketball / Sports

Clippers players hope owners' issue won't linger

LOS ANGELES--Blake Griffin said it would not be an "ideal" situation if Donald Sterling still owned the Los Angeles Clippers when next season starts.

J.J. Redick suggested it would not be "kosher" if Sterling still owned the team in the fall.

None of the Clippers who spoke Friday, a day after the Oklahoma City Thunder eliminated them from the playoffs, said they would ask to be traded or have their contracts voided if Sterling doesn't sell the team. But Griffin said he would have to contemplate his future with the Clippers if Sterling stays in place as the owner.

"I don't anticipate that's how it's going to be," Griffin said. "If he still is, I'll make a decision then. But it's not something that's ideal."

After Sterling made disparaging comments about blacks, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver fined Sterling $2.5 million, banned him for life and is trying to get the three-fourths votes needed from the other NBA owners to force Sterling to sell the Clippers.

Redick said he knows it will be a "long process" and that things will "be in flux" for a long while.

"I can't imagine a scenario where we start the season next year and he's the owner and all is kosher," Redick said. "He may be the owner when we start the season next year still, but I would imagine that there will be some legal proceedings ongoing if that's the scenario."

The Clippers hope that the Sterlings -- both Donald and his wife Shelly -- will be forced to sell the team and soon.

Shelly owns 50 percent of the Clippers and has said that she will fight to keep her share of the team.

Donald Sterling's attorney sent a letter to the NBA stating that he won't pay the fine and suggested legal action if the NBA tries to make Sterling sell the team.

"Personally, I think the longer it lasts, the worse it's going to be," Griffin said. "I think something should happen and I think it should happen quickly.

"I don't think anybody wants this to drag out -- except for one or two people. I think it just needs to be swift. I think they need to make their decision and make a change. But at the same time, you have to be patient. There is a due process that has to happen. I understand that."

Griffin said he has trust in the NBA to take care of the Sterling situation.

"It's kind of up to them," Griffin said. "But like I said, I don't think that's an ideal situation for us to start next season with that still going on."

The Clippers didn't have any player exit interviews planned Friday, but Coach Doc Rivers does plan to meet with his players individually next week.

The Clippers started dealing with the Sterling controversy before Game 4 of their first-round series against the Golden State Warriors when an audio was released of Sterling making racially charged comments about blacks.

Over the next three weeks, the Clippers had to face questions every day about Sterling. After the Oklahoma City Thunder knocked the Clippers out of the playoffs Thursday night by winning the second-round series in six games, the Clippers talked about the emotional burden they felt through it all.

"It was draining," Jamal Crawford said. "The reality of it is when everything first happened, I was tired. I couldn't go to sleep. There were so many emotions. It was so many different things. You got so many texts and e-mails and people saying this and everybody having an opinion. . . . With social media, the world is smaller. You can't run from it. You're going to hear about it. But we really banded together. We really leaned on each other."

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