We may never see the best of the Doc Rivers coached Los Angeles Clippers.
We also may never see Rivers coach another game for the Clippers after this season. And it will all be because of an incompetent, racist NBA owner whose luck happened to run out.
As Rivers addressed the Donald Sterling racial controversy prior to the Warriors-Clippers Game 4 on Sunday, he was asked if the Clippers organization needed to say or do anything to make him want to continue coaching for the team.
“Don’t know yet. I’m just going to leave it at that,” he told the Los Angeles Times.
11 words. Though, they say so much.
Rivers future with the Clippers is very much in doubt if nothing changes with the organization. It’s clear that something has to change and if needed, it’ll be him.
However, there’s still a chance that this era can still continue for the Clippers, sans a racist owner. It’s an exit strategy, as Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski writes:
For all these despicable revelations tumbling out of the hateful heart of Donald Sterling, there promises construction of a roadmap to redemption for the Los Angeles Clippers and the NBA. There’s a way out for the most hated man in Los Angeles now, a way out for the commissioner’s office and the owners responsible for long legitimizing and harboring a bigot and slumlord.
Magic Johnson and his billionaire backers, the Guggenheim Partners, want a chance to purchase the Los Angeles Clippers, league sources told Yahoo Sports. “Magic’s absolutely interested,” one source closely connected to Johnson’s business interests told Yahoo Sports on Sunday night.
Magic Johnson is the ultimate cleanser in sports, and steering a Clippers sale to him could be transformative for the franchise. Truth be told, it could change the balance of basketball power in Los Angeles forever. To keep Doc Rivers as president and coach, to hold together the core of a championship contender and keep building it, Magic can make it happen.
As an exit strategy, Sterling could walk away with a $1 billion-plus sales price for his franchise, and a final act of goodwill to soften his exile into the sports netherworld. Sterling will be reviled forever, but he has to understand clearing the way for Magic Johnson and the $200 billion-plus group backing him could be a decent farewell punctuating a most indecent ownership tenure. Sterling made Magic Johnson a part of those hideous audio tapes that have started to crumble his Clippers ownership, and here’s the old man’s way to make it right.
We thought that basketball in Los Angeles had changed when Doc Rivers became the head coach of the Clippers. We thought that was big. Imagine if Magic actually bought the Clippers, managed to retain Rivers and this promising Clippers core?
It’s the only route right now that actually makes sense. Fining Donald Sterling would pretty much be a lost cause. He wouldn’t even feel it. Banning him solves nothing, just hides the problem.
The Clippers have to be sold. That’s the only way in which the Clippers and the NBA can save face. It’s the ultimate blueprint.
Now we just have to wait and see.