A few days ago, the Los Angeles Clipper’s interim CEO Richard Parsons stated that head coach Doc Rivers told Parsons he would consider leaving if Donald Sterling remained the owner of the Clippers. Rivers leaving would be particularly hard on the Clippers seeing that Rivers also serves as the President of Basketball Operations for the team. Now, another Clippers’ leader has decided to take similar action if Sterling remains.
Sources say point guard Chris Paul is considering sitting out while Sterling is still a part of the Clippers. Paul is the most important player to the franchise. The Clippers were talented without Paul with players such as Blake Griffin. However, when Paul joined the team in 2011, he turned them into a champion caliber team.
As the on-court leader, Paul’s decision could also cause other players to do the same. Without Paul, Los Angeles would struggle. If someone like Griffin or Jamal Crawford decided to stand behind Paul, the team would fall apart. That would be devastating to a franchise who spent so much time playing the shadow of the Lakers before becoming the team they are today.
Paul benching himself might garner support from outside the Clippers’ organization as well. The North-Carolina native serves as president of the National Basketball Players Association. The support for Paul’s move could be league wide.
Sterling’s presence would be destructive to the Clippers. Without two of the team’s major leaders giving the team direction, it could be a painful season to watch for fans.
Currently, Sterling is in court arguing that his wife Shelly did not have the authority to sell the team without his consent. However, if Sterling wins the case, he will destroy everything he helped build.
Sterling may want to be a part of the team. Yet, Chris Paul’s absence is much more important to the Clippers’ success going forward.