Clippers/Sterling Rumors: Roeser, Rivers, Silver

Donald Sterling has prostate cancer, as Linda Massarella, Emily Smith, Bruce Golding and Helen Kumari of the New York Post report, and his poor health might play a role as the NBA seeks to remove the Clippers from his ownership. The family of the 80-year-old could avoid millions of dollars in taxes if the team is sold after his death, as David Wharton and Stuart Pfeifer of the Los Angeles Times explained this week, giving Sterling incentive to stall and fight the NBA in court until his passing.

Ramona Shelburne of has much more on the Sterling saga, and while her entire piece is worth reading, we’ll pass along a few notable revelations here:

  • Clippers president Andy Roeser opposed the idea of releasing a statement that disputed the tapes, Shelburne reports. Sterling prevailed upon him to release the statement, which argued that the recordings didn’t represent Sterling’s true feelings, through the team with Roeser’s name on it. Doc Rivers was “furious” about the statement, Shelburne writes, describing it as a breaking point for Rivers and the players.
  • Roeser has been in charge since Silver banned Sterling, but the NBA will likely appoint a trustee to run the team, according to Shelburne.
  • The NBA interviewed a third person who could be heard in the background of the recordings of Sterling and V. Stiviano, and that interview could help the NBA in its attempts to oust Sterling if the legality of the recordings is questioned in court, Shelburne writes.
  • NBA owners were confident that Silver would take appropriate action, reflecting the belief in the commissioner that they’d held since the 2011 lockout. Many of them had wanted him to succeed David Stern long before he did so in February, according to Shelburne.
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