Andy Roeser at a press conference introducing Chris Paul as a member of the Los Angeles Clippers on December 15, 2011 at the Los Angeles Clippers Training Center in Playa Vista, California.
Stephen Dunn—Getty Images
By Eliana Dockterman
May 6, 2014

The National Basketball Association announced Tuesday that Los Angeles Clippers President Andy Roeser will take an indefinite leave of absence starting immediately.

“This will provide an opportunity for a new CEO to begin on a clean slate and for the team to stabilize under difficult circumstances,” NBA Executive Vice President of Communications Mike Bass said in a statement.

The announcement comes one week after NBA commissioner Adam Silver gave Clippers owner Donald Sterling a lifetime ban after it was determined he made racist statements on a leaked audio recording. Roeser was reportedly going to take on the day-to-day operations of the franchise in Sterling’s absence. The team has not said who will sit in the front office during the rest of the Clippers’ playoff run this year.

Sterling made no comment after the audio recordings were initially released. Roeser came the closest of any official representative of the Clippers to delivering the owner’s apology for him the day the tapes leaked to TMZ:

Mr. Sterling is emphatic that what is reflected on that recording is not consistent with, nor does it reflect his views, beliefs or feelings. It is the antithesis of who he is, what he believes and how he has lived his life. He feels terrible that such sentiments are being attributed to him and apologizes to anyone who might have been hurt by them. He is also upset and apologizes for sentiments attributed to him about Earvin Johnson. He has long considered Magic a friend and has only the utmost respect and admiration for him — both in terms of who he is and what he has achieved. We are investigating this matter.”

The Clippers advanced to the second round of the playoffs Saturday after topping the Golden State Warriors 126-121 in a game seven matchup.

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