The racism controversy by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling is now officially a distraction to his own team days after the racist rant was exposed in a recorded private conversation.
Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers admitted Monday that he canceled team practice scheduled for Monday—a curious decision considering they are coming off a 118-to-97 blowout loss to the Golden State Warriors in Game 4 but an understandable one taking into account the recent blow-up of the racism issue.
The Clippers-Warriors series is now tied at 2-2 entering Game 5’s match-up set on Tuesday.
''I just felt like they needed to breathe. They've been inundated with this,'' said Rivers via Yahoo Sports.
''I'll go down and say hi to them and talk to them, make sure they're in the right place. Right now it's more than basketball. This is a non-basketball decision that I thought I had to make and I thought it was right decision. If you get your life better, then you can probably do your work better. They need to do that.''
Rivers’ counterpart from the opposition shared his opinion too, suggesting that the L.A. fans protest their owner’s act.
''I believe if it was me, I wouldn't come to the game,'' Jackson said in the same article. ''I believe the fans, the loudest statement that they can make as fans is to not show up to the game. ... To me, it will make the noise of it not being tolerated. That this is a different time. It's unfortunate, and we cannot allow someone with these feelings to profit.''
The Clippers players did protest in Game 4 when they wore their warm-up jerseys inside out and reports say that Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and company are preparing for a bigger protest when the series shifts back to Hollywood.
Meanwhile, owners are also up in arms against the Clippers owner.
"If the owners can't force [Sterling] to sell, they need to be held accountable to change the bylaws so they can," said an anonymous member of the NBA Board of Governors also in a Yahoo article. "A fine and suspension is meaningless, and that'll be seen as a lack of acceptance that the league and owners are responsible for this ass----."
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will have a press conference on Tuesday to give updates on the issue.