Will the Clippers Players Still Stage a Protest Tonight?

Published on 29-Apr-2014 by Stacey Mickles

Basketball - NBA    NBA Daily Update

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Will the Clippers Players Still Stage a Protest Tonight?

How will the landscape change for the Los Angeles Clippers now that owner Donald Sterling has been slapped with a lifetime ban?

Several big-name sponsors announced they were leaving the Clippers. Names like Sprint and Mercedes already pulled their sponsorships. What do they do now?

Rumors swirled that head coach Doc Rivers wouldn't be back next year if Sterling remains as owner. Commissioner Adam Silver said he hoped Sterling would be forced out of his ownership, but that's a slippery slope within itself. He'll most likely be the owner next season, too. Sterling called Rivers Monday to explain himself, but Doc was not having it.

"I'd just like to reiterate how disappointed I am in our ... in the comments attributed to our owner, and I can't tell you how upset I am, our players are," Rivers said.

Rivers is probably saying to himself that he didn't sign up for this. He is a coach, not a civil rights leader, which he probably feels like right now.

Speaking of the players, there were also reports out there that they planned on making a bigger protest later tonight. Will the commissioner's announcement change that? Who knows? They wouldn't walk off the court and forfeit the game because then the league would be forced to suspend them.

It was obvious they were distracted Sunday night in their loss to Golden State.

It's anyone's guess if their mental state tonight will be much better for them, even though they will be at home. I'm expecting a tremendous outpouring of support from their fans, though.

This is a situation that is still very much in flux. Hopefully, the ban will begin to shift the focus back onto the court, where the overwhelming majority of fans sympathize with the players -- all players -- and are anxious to see them return to doing what they do best.