The NBA on Friday named former Time Warner CEO and chairman Richard Parsons as interim chief executive of the Clippers. Last week, the NBA banned Clipper owner Donald Sterling over racist comments that sparked outrage from players, fans and league executives. This week, Clipper president Andy Roeser was placed on indefinite leave.
What are your thoughts on the hire and have you talked with Parsons?
Rivers: “We did talk a couple of times. This morning we talked, and it was really nice. I don’t know Dick very well. But from what I heard from everyone who knows him and from talking to him today, I think it’s a very good hire for us.”
The NBA said you would be on the search committee. Have you been involved?
Rivers: “Yeah, they’ve done a great job. They’ll call you. I wasn’t actually out there searching. I mean, I’ve got other things to do. They’ve done a great job of keeping me up to date on where they’re at and what they’re doing. I trust the league in this so well. They’re smarter than me in this. I don’t have a lot to say, to be honest, because I don’t think I should have a lot to say in it.”
Does this hire allow you to focus on basketball?
Rivers: “Yeah, and let’s be honest. Other than the one time where it was really need for me to go downtown, the people downtown have done a terrific job, and I haven’t needed to do anything but basketball anyway. They’ve been really good. They’ve really kept us afloat down there with ticketing and marketing and sponsorships. So other than talking to ’em on the phone a couple of times, they’ve done a great job. They’ve really allowed me to get back to basketball. Even before this, and this makes it even better.”
Were you asked to run the company?
Rivers: “That part, no. I don’t know marketing and sponsorship sales, any of that stuff. The basketball part, that’s going to take care of itself, and they’ve been pretty good, even before any of this, Andy and everyone was good. So that really hasn’t changed, and I’ve been allowed to do what I wanted to do, and do the basketball part that I want to do. So that’s good.”
Shelly Sterling (Donald’s wife) called during the Golden State series, wanted your permission to come to games. Since then, she’s done her own thing, coming to games, putting out statements? How do you view that phone call now?
Rivers: “I view it the same way. At the time, you make a decision you think is the right decision. I would love to go back and do all our lives back over again, if we could. I don’t think we can do that, that I know of. It’s still a very murky situation. I don’t think that’s going to change for awhile. It is what it is, and we’re going to deal with it. I think we’re doing our best.”
Is this chapter behind you and you can now focus on basketball?
Rivers: “I would love to feel that way, but we all know that’s not all true. From my standpoint, we’re focusing on basketball. If something else comes up, it comes up and you just gotta deal with it. But it’s not like I’m going to sit around and wait for it to come. I’m going to coach my team, and if something comes up, then you just deal with it. That’s basically what I’ve told our guys. Life happens, and so what. You just gotta deal with it.”