Clippers coach Doc Rivers spoke to the media before Game 5 of LA’s first round series against the Warriors. Rivers shared his thoughts on NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s decision to ban Clippers owner Donald Sterling from the league for life and the effort to force Sterling to sell the team.
“The last three or four days have been very difficult for everybody involved,” Rivers said. “No matter what the race is, it’s been difficult. I thought Adam Silver today was fantastic. Personally, I thought he made a decision that really was the right one, that had to be made. I don’t think this is something we rejoice in or anything like that. I told the players about the decision and I think they were just happy it was a resolution. That it’s over.”
Rivers sounded relieved that his team was able to move forward and focus on the game at hand after a recorded conversation of Sterling making racist comments set off a firestorm around the country last weekend.
“I’ve been proud of the players in the NBA, overall,” Rivers said. “I’ve been proud of the ownership throughout the league and I think we’re all in a better place because of this... You always have to move forward and I’ve said this before, obviously I’ve dealt with issues before, you learn over and over that when something like this happens with the burden of racism, it always falls on the person who has been offended to respond. I’ve always thought that was interesting. I felt the pressure on my players; everybody was waiting for them to give a response. I kept thinking, ‘They didn’t do anything, yet they have to respond.’ So Adam [Silver] responded. I thought that was the sigh of relief we needed.”