Despite the NBA’s lifetime ban for Clippers owner Donald Sterling, the sale of the team by wife, Shelly Sterling, has been put on hold while a probate trial commences to determine whether Shelly acted properly in selling the team without his consent. Much like Clippers coach Doc Rivers threatening to leave if the team still remains run by Sterling when the season starts, star point guard Chris Paul has issued his own ultimatum to the league, where he mentioned to ESPN he — and some of his big-name teammates — will be sitting out if the issue hasn’t been cleared up by the start of training camp in October.
By way of ESPN’s Jeff Goodman comes the very real possibility of a boycott by the coach and star players — yes, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan have also been involved in discussions to sit if Sterling remains at the helm:
Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul told ESPN.com that it’s “unacceptable” if Donald Sterling is still the owner of the team when the season begins.
Paul also said he has spoken to coach Doc Rivers about the possibility of sitting out if Sterling remains in control when the seasons starts in a little more than two months.
“That’s something me and Doc are both talking about,” Paul said Thursday after coaching his AAU program, CP3. “Something has to happen, and something needs to happen soon — sooner rather than later.”
“We’re all going to talk about it,” Paul said. “We’re all definitely going to talk about it. Doc, Blake [Griffin], DJ [DeAndre Jordan]. It’s unacceptable.”
Shelly accepted the $2 billion bid to buy the team by former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer at the end of May with the original purchase agreement expected to be completed by June 15 and an extension to August 15. The NBA has said it will resume termination proceedings of the sale if it’s not completed by September 15. Training camps open in early October, so all the deadlines are jammed right against each other this fall, which could cause the NBA further strife if the judge doesn’t rule in Shelly’s favor.
Closing arguments in the probate case are set for Monday at which point the judge will either rule to authorize the sale or augment confusion further by ruling against Shelly, and tossing the franchise in limbo yet again.
Despite whatever happens in the probate trial, Donald has said he’ll fight to keep the franchise “as long as he lives,” which could mean we’ve got another ugly situation — with star players and coaches refusing to play — if the owner is still in place by the opening of camp.
Will CP3, Blake, Doc and DJ sit out this fall?
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