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Clippers interim CEO says team “will become America’s team if we get this right”


When the Clippers are sold out of the Sterlings’ control — and they will be sold, eventually, one way or another — the franchise will fetch a record price. Most people around the league expect a figure around $1 billion. Yes, with a “B.”

David Parsons, the new interim CEO of the Clippers, said his job is to “make sure the boat still floats” until that happens. He’s got to keep the sale price up.

Parsons came off as straight forward in his first meeting with the media, which took place Monday afternoon in Los Angeles. Parsons is the former CEO of Time Warner and the former president of Citigroup. He’s the man appointed by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to run the Clippers until the sale of the team.

Parsons described his role as “conservator” and “proxy owner” who is in Los Angeles to steer the ship now that owner Donald Sterling has been given a lifetime ban by Silver, and with former team president Andy Roeser on an indefinite leave of absence from the team. Somebody needed to be in charge, Parsons has been given the job for now. The league is paying him, he said, not the Clippers.

Parsons said he saw challenges but a real opportunity with the Clippers and the sale of the team.

“I think the Clippers will become America’s team if we get this right,” Parsons said.

A few other notes from the press conference (broadcast live on Los Angeles radio).

• On how this all ends: “The league will prevail. At the end of the day I believe ownership will change… there’s so much momentum for doing the right thing.”

• Parsons does not know either of the Sterlings and has not spoken to them. He said he would reach out to Shelly Sterling, in hopes that an ugly lawsuit can be avoided. “I think a prolonged legal battle is in no one’s interest.”

• Parsons refused to discuss his personal feelings about the Sterlings, “I’m here to turn one of the burners off under the pot. Not to turn it up higher.”

• That said, while Parsons said he knows almost everyone names as a potential buyer of the team personally, he will not be involved in the sale side of this. That will be run by the league.

LeBron says “get it done” message was for both Cavaliers, Thompson

LeBron James
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Everything LeBron James does and says gets magnified and scrutinized.

So when he put out this photo on Instagram standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Tristan Thompson and the caption “get it done” it seemed a message to the Cavaliers.

Get it done!!!! Straight up. #MissMyBrother @realtristan13

A photo posted by LeBron James (@kingjames) on

LeBron clarified that on Sunday, saying this has become a distraction, and the message was for both sides to bend, as reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPN and Chris Haynes of the Plain Dealer.

When Thompson didn’t sign the qualifying offer he surrendered a lot of leverage, the Cavaliers don’t have to raise their five-year, $80 million offer — but reportedly they still would, a little. Thompson and his agent Rich Paul have pushed for a max contract, but that’s not happening.

At some point, the two sides will come to an agreement. For the Cavaliers, this is a distraction, their star is unhappy with that, and ultimately if they are going to make a title run they need the energy and rebounding Thompson brings (even if it is just off the bench). For Thompson, he can’t make up a year of lost salary, he has to come in and start getting paid at some point.

The two sides will get it done. Eventually. Likely before the season tips off.

China basketball qualifies for 2016 Olympics

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China has secured the ninth and final Olympic men’s basketball berth awarded this year.

China earned the bid to the 2016 Rio Games with a 78-67 win over the Philippines. 2016 first-round draft prospect Qi Zhou had 16 points and 14 rebounds, setting up the Olympics to be his big introduction to American fans.

Former NBA player Yi Jianlian won tournament MVP by averaging 16.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 blocks per game.

This will be China’s ninth straight Olympic appearance.

The Philippines, who got 17 points from Andray Blatche in the final, will still go to an Olympic Qualifying Tournament next summer with a chance to reach Rio.