Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers commended NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s decision to ban team owner Donald Sterling for life during a press conference Tuesday.
“I thought he made a decision that really was the right one that had to be made,” Rivers said. “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 happy that it’s resolution, that it’s over.”
“We can move forward,” Rivers said. “We have to. You always have to.”
Rivers, who did not prepare any formal remarks, said that he had never personally witnessed or experienced any racism from Sterling while coaching the team. When asked what he would say to Sterling right now, Rivers answered that he hadn’t given it any thought. He added that the team was practicing during Silver’s announcement and reacted with silence when he broke the news of the ban to them.
Though Sterling still owns the team, Rivers said he expects the lifetime ban to change that. “I think we’re just going to let this whole thing run its course, and we’ll all have better clarity,” he said. “I’m not in the position, nor do I want to be, where it sounds like I’m threatening anything. I want my players to be comfortable. I think that’s the most important thing. Let’s see where it goes with them.”
He added, “This is not a pity party for us, and I did tell my players that.”