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

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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.

Report: Lakers working toward buyout with Jose Calderon; Warriors, Rockets interested

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 18:  Jose Calderon #5 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts to a called foul during the second half of a game against the San Antonio Spurs at Staples Center on November 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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The Lakers took on the salary of Jose Calderon this year so they could get a couple second-round picks from the Bulls (Chicago got him from New York in the Derrick Rose trade), but even with the previous regime in Los Angeles the aging point guard was never part of the future.

As was expected, the Lakers are now talking about buying out the Spanish national and letting him head to a playoff team for a stretch run, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.

Sources told ESPN that it’s not yet a certainty Calderon will secure his release from the Lakers in the coming days, but the sides are indeed discussing the options as Wednesday’s playoff eligibility deadline nears….

Sources say that Calderon, if he winds up hitting the open market, would instantly become a target for both the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets.

Cleveland may also have interest if their plan to land Deron Williams when he is bought out by Dallas goes awry.

Calderon, 35, was not part of the Lakers’ regular rotation, playing in just 24 games. He can still knock down a shot if he has space and can set his feet, and he still has a high hoops IQ and can see the floor, but his athleticism has faded, and that can leave him exposed. Particularly on defense.

Players are being waived now so they clear in time for teams to sign them by March 1, after that said players are not eligible for playoff rosters.

There are better players to hit the waiver wire in the coming days — D-Will, Andrew Bogut, Matt Barnes — but Calderon is going to land somewhere. He’d be a solid third point guard and veteran presence for a playoff run.

Marquese Chriss blocks Bobby Portis, who gets testy (video)

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Bobby Portis didn’t enjoy getting blocked by Marquese Chriss. And Portis sure didn’t appreciate how Chriss fell on him.

But it was all worth it (for me, at least) just to see the Bulls forward make a face that reminded me of this:

Dwyane Wade with dagger dunk to seal Bulls win vs. Suns (VIDEO)

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The time off during the All-Star break did Dwyane Wade some good.

The Bulls guard turned back the clock on Friday night, leading the Bulls with 23 points and topping it off with this dunk that proved to be the dagger, sealing a Chicago win. The Suns were convinced Wade was going to run the shot clock way down before making his move and they lollygagged into position — so he just blew past everyone for the poster slam.

The Bulls won 128-121. Devin Booker led the Suns with 27.

DeMarre Carroll shoves Isaiah Thomas to ground on break, tempers flare

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Atlanta’s DeMarre Carroll picked up a deserved flagrant for this foul.

With a couple of minutes left to go in the second quarter, Isaiah Thomas made the steal when DeMar DeRozan lost the ball on a drive, and Thomas was off to the races. Trying to prevent a lay-up, Carroll decided to foul Thomas far from the basket, but did so with a forearm shove that sent Thomas sprawling on the ground.

Thomas got up and had words, as did Jae Crowder.

Carroll got a flagrant and a technical, Thomas and Crowder each picked up technicals for jumping in.