Memphis Grizzlies v Los Angeles Clippers - Game 3

Report: Shelly Sterling wants Clippers to remain owned by her family


Clippers coach Doc Rivers has been thrown into a tough spot in light of the Donald Sterling scandal.

Should Rivers keep coaching the Clippers? Should he have accepted the job in the first place? Who are his allies in the organization.

It sounds as if he considers Sterling’s wife, Shelly, on his side. Rivers, via Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:

“It’s a tough one for Shelly [Sterling], really,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said following a 113-103 Game 5 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday. “She didn’t do anything wrong either. You have compassion for her. I kept hearing about the girlfriend. I kept thinking, ‘Shelly is the wife. You know what I mean? I talked to her [Tuesday] and she has been through as much as anyone as well.”

Rivers admitted he should have better researched Donald Sterling’s housing discrimination before taking the job, but I’m not sure he’s truly learned that lesson. Rivers in a Q&A, as transcribed by Rusty Simmons of SFGate:

Q.  Was Sterling’s past with housing discrimination and his issues a consideration when you took the job? “It wasn’t, honestly.  I knew the past outside of that.  Really didn’t know a lot about that, to be honest, and probably should have, I guess.  So, no.”

Here’s a head start on your next research, Doc:

Maybe Rivers knows more about Shelly than the plaintiffs of that case do. Her conduct has been so confounding that perhaps only those who’ve spoken extensively with her have a clue what she thinks. I know I don’t have one.

More likely, Rivers has just been too busy coaching in the playoffs to research Shelly. I’m saddened he might be just setting himself up again for a bad situation.

Perhaps fortunately for Rivers, the players union is looking out to ensure Shelly doesn’t remain near a position of power:

While the NBA is attempting to push Sterling out as owner, it’s uncertain if his wife or any other family member could take over the franchise. National Basketball Players Association vice-president Roger Mason, Jr., however, told Yahoo Sports that the players want completely new ownership and not a family member connected to Sterling. A source said that Shelley Sterling would like for her son-in-law Eric Miller, the Clippers’ Director of Basketball Administration, to take over the franchise.

“We’re looking for a change in ownership. A complete change,” Mason said.

The NBA shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater, but the league better do its due diligence into Shelly before letting Sterling’s family keep the team.

Gallinari ready to take big role in new Nuggets offense

Danilo Gallinari, Jimmy Butler
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DENVER (AP) — Danilo Gallinari wants everyone to know this: His surgically repaired left knee, the one that took three procedures to fix and nearly two seasons to fully trust, no longer bothers him.

The Denver Nuggets forward doesn’t need to be on any sort of minutes restriction. He doesn’t need days off during the season. And he certainly doesn’t need to be coddled.

He’s Gallo again, the hard-to-guard Italian playmaker who can knock down the 3-pointer just as easily as drive to the hoop or even post up. He believes he will fit in quite nicely into new coach Michael Malone’s system.

“The thing I’m focused on is trying to get (this team) back to the same level that the Nuggets were when I got to Denver, when we were going to the playoffs easy. When we were clinching a playoff one or two weeks before the season was over,” said Gallinari, who was acquired in the 2011 blockbuster deal that sent Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks. “We need to get back to that level.”

Almost seems so long ago, given that the Nuggets have missed the playoffs two straight seasons after consistently making it for nearly a decade.

Gallinari returned last season for the first time since blowing out his knee in a game on April 4, 2013. His minutes were closely monitored early in the season. He never really got completely on track until late last season, when he averaged 20.5 points over the final 10 contests, including a career-high 47 against Dallas. He’s hoping to carry that kind of confidence this season.

“I’m good to go. I was good to go as soon as the beginning of last year,” Gallinari said. “I was not on the same page with the coach that we had.”

That would be Brian Shaw, who was fired last March after 1 1/2 seasons in charge and going 56-85. Exactly why he wasn’t on the same page with Shaw, well, Gallinari preferred the past remain the past.

“I’m ready to play the new season,” he said. “We need to win games, and get back to the same level we were before.”

Gallinari thinks the Nuggets have the personnel to do just that, especially with a rookie point guard in Emmanuel Mudiay and Gallinari’s knee feeling better than it has in a while. He feels like he has some ground to make up, too, since he said that knee robbed him of some of his prime.

“Playing my best basketball right before I got injured,” the 27-year old said. “Now, we’re back to the same level, hopefully better.

“My knee has been feeling great. It felt great last year. Feeling great during the summer. Feeling great now. I just feel good.”

He spent the summer playing for the Italian team at the EuroBasket tournament, where he averaged nearly 18 points a game. In those games, Gallinari saw quite a bit of time at the four spot on the floor, forcing teams to either use a bulkier big man to cover him and risk getting burned on a drive or a smaller player that Gallinari could simply shoot over.

Malone plans to employ a similar type approach, something they discussed over gelato when the coach visited Gallinari in Italy soon after he was hired.

“He’s 6-foot-10. He can handle the ball. He can play pick-and-roll. He can stretch the floor and shoot the 3,” Malone said. “There’s not a lot he can’t do offensively.”

Gallinari wants the responsibility of being the go-to player for the Nuggets this season, especially at crunch time.

“I’ve always been trying to do that, since I came to Denver,” Gallinari said. “That’s what I like to do. I feel good filling those shoes.

“I want to have the ball in my hands. I do want to have the ball in my hands a lot more.”

Knicks’ Rookie Jerian Grant gets up, throws it down (VIDEO)

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The Knicks did well trading for Jerian Grant on date night — he’s going to be able to walk in this year and play quality minutes off the bench.

And, he can get up and throw it down.

Carmelo Anthony had 18 points to lead the Knicks to a 94-88 win over the Sixers.