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Dick Parsons named interim Clippers CEO
[May 10, 2014]

Dick Parsons named interim Clippers CEO

(EFE Ingles Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Los Angeles, May 10 (EFE).- The National Basketball Association has named Dick Parsons, a former Citigroup chairman and an ex-Time Warner chairman and chief executive officer, as interim CEO of the Los Angeles Clippers, effective immediately.

"I believe the hiring of Dick Parsons will bring extraordinary leadership and immediate stability to the Clippers organization," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Friday.

"Dick's credentials as a proven chief executive speak for themselves and I am extremely grateful he accepted this responsibility," Silver added.

Parsons was named the Clippers' top executive 10 days after Silver imposed a lifetime ban on the team's owner, Donald Sterling, for private racist remarks caught on audiotape and published by celebrity news Web site TMZ.

The 66-year-old Parsons, who is black, is currently an advisor at the firm Providence Equity Partners and a member of the board of directors for the Commission on Presidential Debates.

"Like most Americans, I have been deeply troubled by the pain the Clippers' team, fans and partners have endured," the new interim CEO said.

Parsons gave all of his support to the team and its coach, Doc Rivers, in their Western Conference Semifinal series against the Oklahoma City Thunder, which grabbed a 2-1 lead later Friday with a 118-112 victory at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Besides the ban, Silver also imposed a $2.5 million fine on Sterling, the maximum allowed, and encouraged the league's Board of Governors to force the businessman to sell the team.

At least three-quarters of the other NBA owners would have to approve for that sanction to take effect.

An NBA investigation confirmed that the voice heard on the audiotape leaked by TMZ is definitely Sterling's, and the businessman himself admitted as much in a conversation with Silver, although the Clippers' owner did not apologize for his remarks.

Sterling's racist comments were made on April 9 in a telephone conversation with model Vivian Stiviano and were leaked to TMZ, which made the audiotape public on April 25.

In the conversation, Sterling chastises Stiviano for having photos taken with black people, including former NBA star Magic Johnson.

"It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you're associating with black people. Do you have to?," Sterling asks in the conversation.

He goes on to request that Stiviano, who is of Mexican and African descent, not bring black people to the Clippers' games.

The Clippers' president, Andy Roeser, on Tuesday began an indefinite leave of absence, a move the NBA said "will provide an opportunity for a new CEO to begin on a clean slate and for the team to stabilize under difficult circumstances." Sterling's wife, Shelly Sterling, said in a statement a day later that she intended to maintain her half-ownership of the Clippers even if her husband is forced to sell his stake.

"Commissioner Silver made it clear, that when he announced sanctions against Donald, that the NBA was taking no action against me or my family," she said. EFE mg/mc (c) 2014 EFE News Services (U.S.) Inc.

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