Chris Paul: Clippers players might walk out

Reuters/The Sports Xchange

Posted at Jul 25 2014 08:43 PM | Updated as of Jul 26 2014 04:43 AM

With the future of the Los Angeles Clippers' ownership tied up in court, guard Chris Paul said Thursday that the team's players might boycott the start of the upcoming season if Donald Sterling still owns the club.

Paul told he discussed a potential walkout with coach Doc Rivers.

"Something has to happen, and something needs to happen soon -- sooner rather than later," Paul told the website after coaching his AAU team in Las Vegas. "We're all going to talk about it. We're all definitely going to talk about it. Doc, (forward) Blake (Griffin), DJ (center DeAndre Jordan). It's unacceptable."

Rivers' future with the team also is tied to the court case. The team's interim chief executive officer, Richard Parsons, said Tuesday in a Los Angeles probate court that Rivers would not return for the upcoming season if Donald Sterling still owned the club.

"If Doc were to leave, that would be a disaster," Parsons testified. "Doc is the father figure of the team. Chris (Paul) is the on-court captain of the team. But Doc is really the guy who leads the effort. He's the coach, the grown-up, he's a man of character and ability -- not just in a basketball sense, but in the ability to connect with people and gain their trust.

"The team believes in him and admires and loves him. If he were to bail, with all the other circumstances, it would accelerate the death spiral."

Donald Sterling is fighting the sale of the team that was negotiated by his wife, Shelly, after he was classified as mentally incapacitated. Closing arguments in the trial are scheduled for Monday.

The NBA franchise could be sold to Steve Ballmer, former CEO of Microsoft, for $2 billion, but the sale is on hold while the court settles Donald Sterling's stake in the matter.

Donald Sterling was removed from ownership and contact with the team by NBA commissioner Adam Silver and the league's Board of Governors. The league cannot approve the sale while it is being contested.