Dick Parsons is hoping for a short stint running the Los Angeles Clippers, though ready to stay on as long as it takes.
“This is an issue that’s actually bigger than just the Clippers, bigger than just the NBA in my judgment,” Parsons said. “The whole world is kind of watching how, frankly, we as a country navigate our way through this crisis. So if I can help, I’m happy to try.”
The NBA chose Parsons, a former Citigroup chairman and former Time Warner chairman and CEO, as interim CEO of the Clippers on Friday.
Parsons will oversee the management of the franchise and represent it at owners meetings while the league tries to force Donald Sterling to sell following his lifetime ban for making racist remarks.
With Sterling barred from anything to do with the team or league, and team President Andy Roeser on an indefinite leave of absence, the league and Clippers worked together to find someone to lead the organization along with coach Doc Rivers.
Parsons is currently a senior adviser at Providence Equity Partners and sits on the board of directors for the Commission on Presidential Debates. He has also been on President Barack Obama’s economic advisory team.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement that Parsons “will bring extraordinary leadership and immediate stability to the Clippers organization.”
Parsons said he wouldn’t be involved in an ownership fight and hopes one won’t even be necessary, that “cooler heads and rationality” would allow the NBA and the Clippers to work through the turmoil without a legal battle. He doesn’t know how long that could take.
“I know the NBA would love to get this done before the next season begins, but who knows what’s going to happen? It’s open ended,” Parsons said.
“We’re here until sort of we can work our way through the point of transition.”
Snake rattlesTrail Blazers
The Portland Trail Blazers were clearly rattled by the San Antonio Spurs in the opener of the Western Conference semifinals, and they were almost snake bit before Game 2.
A baby rattlesnake, estimated at about 3 to 4 feet, was discovered in the team’s locker room at the AT&T Center about two hours before the game Thursday.
It was found by reserve forward Thomas Robinson, who recoiled a few feet after seeing the snake when he moved a bag from his locker.
“I didn’t [see it],” Portland coach Terry Stotts said. “They said it was a young one.”
Young or not, guard Mo Williams tweeted that it was a scary experience.
It is unknown if the rattlesnake found in the locker room made any noise, but Robinson’s cries were enough to alert his teammates of its presence.
“Well, it’s bizarre to have a venomous snake in your locker room,” Stotts said. “I don’t know if it’s ever happened before. That sounds like an ABA story.”
The stadium hosts the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo each February and its grounds are used for livestock shows during the three-week event.
Spurs guard Manu Ginobili also swatted down a bat that was flying above the court at the AT&T Center on Nov. 1, 2009. Ginobili had to have rabies shots after striking the bat with his bare hands.
Kings’ arenadeal finalized
The city of Sacramento has completed an agreement for a downtown arena for the NBA’s Sacramento Kings.
The city released the 35-year lease agreement Friday night. The Sacramento City Council is scheduled to vote on the deal May 20, when it could end years of uncertainty surrounding the home of the Kings.
The project will cost an estimated $477 million. The city is responsible for $223 million, while the Kings will contribute $254 million.
The arena is schedule to open for the 2016-17 season. The NBA had told the city that it must open the arena by 2017 or risk losing the Kings, who nearly moved to Seattle last year.