Morning Shootaround — May 11

VIDEO: Daily Zap for games played May 10


NBA believes it can oust Shelly Sterling, too  | Cavs close to naming permanent GM | Amar’e endorses Steve Kerr | Warriors don’t expect to land Kerr

No. 1: NBA believes it can oust Shelly Sterling, too — Shelly Sterling, the estranged wife of Donald Sterling, has a 50 percent ownership stake in the Los Angeles Clipper and she wants to keep it, despite the NBA attempting to remove her husband from the position. However, the NBA believes they can also remove Shelly Sterling because she was never approved by the NBA Board of Governors as a controlling owner. Ramona Shelburne of has more on the story:

The NBA believes it has the legal grounds to oust both Shelly Sterling and her husband as owners, despite the fact that commissioner Adam Silver’s punishments were specifically leveled only against Donald, according to sources with knowledge of the league’s legal strategy.

Shelly Sterling, the estranged wife of exiled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, has made it clear to the NBA that she intends to retain her 50 percent ownership interest in the team.

She has publicly and privately cooperated with the league in its actions to ban her husband for life and move to oust him from ownership. However, the league’s contention will be that Shelly Sterling — while entitled to a 50 percent interest in the franchise — has never been approved by the board of governors as the controlling owner. She and team president Andy Roeser, who went on an indefinite leave of absence this week, were only alternate governors.

In order to become the team’s new controlling owner, Shelly Sterling would have to be approved by the board of governors, which is unlikely given her association with her husband of 58 years.

Former Lakers great Magic Johnson said Friday that none of the current Clippers players would play for Shelly Sterling if she retains her ownership.

“Those guys are not going to play for anybody (named) Sterling,” Johnson told USA TODAY Sports and two other reporters at the Omni Dallas Hotel. “It’s just how it is. It’s hard to separate the two. … It’s going to be hard for them to sell that to the fans and definitely to the players.”

Miami Heat guard James Jones, the current secretary-treasurer of the players association, said Saturday that Shelly Sterling would not be a reasonable replacement for her husband.

“No, that’s not something that’s acceptable to us,” Jones said, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “That’s our stance, and it hasn’t changed, and it won’t.”

Shelly Sterling’s lawyer, Pierce O’Donnell, told ESPN on Friday that his client was “trying to resolve this” amicably with the NBA, but if that wasn’t possible, “We’re going to be in the courts.”

Her position, at this time, O’Donnell said, was to maintain her 50 percent interest in the team for the rest of her life. However, she does not want to be the team’s controlling owner and would welcome “a new, dynamic management team and investors to come in.”

That leaves open the door for a compromise that could avoid a protracted legal battle, sources said.

“Court cases can be protracted. We saw what [Frank and Jamie] McCourt did with the Dodgers. We don’t want to reprise the McCourt spectacle,” O’Donnell said. “This is a great franchise. Shelly’s been a co-owner in the darkest days. And now, ‘Go Clippers!’ maybe we can bring an NBA championship to this city this year. But if she has to fight, she’ll fight. We respect property rights in America. We have due process. And she will fight to retain her interests.”

Shelly Sterling has publicly distanced herself from her estranged husband -whom she’s been separated from for the last few years — since the scandal broke two weeks ago. “Donald’s on his own,” O’Donnell said. “She’s distanced herself from him, she’s repudiated his racist statements. He has nothing to do with the team anymore, he can’t go to the games. What happens to Donald, happens to Donald. She wants to retain her interests.

“Shelly was found by commissioner Silver to be blameless. This is about Donald. Push Donald out, but don’t throw his innocent wife over the cliff.”



No. 2: Cavs close to naming permanent GMDavid Griffin has served as the Cleveland Cavaliers interim general manager since February 6, when owner Dan Gilbert fired Chris Grant. It now looks like Griffin will soon be the permanent GM for Cleveland, who hold the ninth slot in the NBA Draft Lottery which will take place Tuesday, May 20. Mary Schmitt Boyer of The Cleveland Plain Dealer with more:

After Griffin took over for Grant, the team responded with a six-game winning streak — its longest since the 2009-10 season — and went 17-16 the rest of the season, remaining in the playoff hunt until the final week of the season.

One of the key factors was that less than two weeks after being named, Griffin acquired Spencer Hawes from Philadelphia at the trading deadline.

Griffin, 44, joined the Cavs as vice president of basketball operations in 2010, after Danny Ferry resigned as general manager and Grant was promoted to that position. Before joining the Cavs, Griffin spent 17 years with the Phoenix Suns, starting as an intern in communications and working his way up to Suns senior vice president of basketball operations. He also was the Suns assistant general manager of player personnel, director of player personnel, assistant director of player personnel, basketball operations assistant and media relations assistant.

In addition, he also served as the tournament director of the Nike Desert Classic and was an assistant coach at Scottsdale Community College.

As a kid growing up in Phoenix, Griffin’s goal was to become general manager of the Suns. Before he even graduated from Arizona State in 1995, he was working for Jerry Colangelo‘s team in a variety of roles that prepared him for the job he is now about to begin.

“You never know what’s in someone’s future when you start off getting your foot in the door and getting your first job,” Colangelo told The Plain Dealer earlier this year. “He was always very diligent, a very hard worker and he just wanted a chance or an opportunity. He was ambitious. He had his sights set on much higher things. I’m not sure he knew at the beginning what that might mean, but he wanted to advance. He wanted to move up the ladder.

“So he paid his dues, he really did, in every sense of the word. Here’s a guy who has been somewhat of a lifer who now has his opportunity, but he’s earned that. It wasn’t gifted to him. It wasn’t handed to him. He paid his dues along the way and did a great job. Now he’s got a chance to pave his own future.”


No. 3: Amar’e endorses Steve Kerr — New York Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire has experience with Steve Kerr from his time with the Phoenix Suns when Kerr was general manager of the team. Stoudemire “adored” his championship mentality and endorses his bid for coach of the Knicks. Ian Begley of ESPN New York has more:

Steve Kerr hasn’t decided yet whether he’ll become the head coach of the Knicks. But if he ends up in New York, Kerr will have a strong supporter in Amar’e Stoudemire.

“I like Steve Kerr. For one, when he was a GM (in Phoenix, when Stoudemire was with the Suns) he was always preaching about winning and winning a title and that’s something that I adored about him,” Stoudemire said earlier this week on “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” on ESPN Radio. “And then also, secondly, he has a formula to win; he’s been a winner in this league before. He wants to win. And he reminds me of somewhat of a player-coach that knows the game and knows what players go through as far as ups and downs throughout the year and that’s going to help him.”

Kerr, according to an NBA source, is with his family in San Diego contemplating offers to coach the Knicks and the Warriors or remaining with TNT as a broadcaster. The Knicks are believed to be the favorite, thanks to Kerr’s strong ties to Knicks president Phil Jackson. It is unclear if either team has made a formal contract offer.

The Knicks are expected to offer a deal that is close in length to the five-year contract Jackson signed in March. If New York ends up in a bidding war with Golden State over Kerr’s services, it would surprise many around the league if Knicks owner James Dolan loses that fight.

There is one aspect of the Kerr-Golden State dynamic that appears in the Knicks’ favor. There is somewhat of a split in the Warriors organization in its support for Kerr. Two sources told on Thursday that management prefers Kerr but some players have privately expressed support for another candidate, Stan Van Gundy.

If Kerr ends up in New York, Stoudemire is confident he can thrive under the leadership of Kerr and Jackson. The 11-year veteran pointed out that versatile big men such as Pau Gasol have thrived in Jackson’s triangle offense.

“I think what he looks for in bigs are bigs that have multiple skills,” Stoudemire said. “You better shoot the ball from the outside, put the ball on the floor when need be, make great passes out of double-teams, sort of being a pressure-release guy. Versatile bigs are what I think he looks for and that’s what I am.”


No. 4: Warriors don’t expect to land Kerr — More Kerr news. The Golden State Warriors reportedly would love to hire Kerr, as well. Especially since Kerr and Warriors owner Joe Lacob have been family friends for years. But they reportedly don’t expect to land him with Kerr deep in negotiation talks with Phil Jackson and the New York Knicks for their coaching position. Marc Stein of reports:

Sources told that the Warriors fear Kerr is “too deep” in talks with the Knicks and new shot-caller Phil Jackson to convince Kerr to rebuff Jackson now, despite Kerr’s close relationship with Warriors owner Joe Lacob and team president Rick Welts, as well as Golden State’s proximity to Kerr’s offseason home in San Diego.

But sources also stressed that Stan Van Gundy is actually the closest thing to a top target at this early stage of Golden State’s search for a successor to the fired Mark Jackson, based at least in part on the premise that an experienced coach can ensure that the Warriors maintain upward momentum in the ultra-competitive Western Conference. reported April 29 that the Knicks were pressing to try to get Kerr formally signed as their new coach when the first round of the playoffs ended, partly because they knew other teams would soon pursue the TNT broadcaster. The Knicks, though, were forced to relent on that timetable and continue to negotiate with former New York Jets general manager Mike Tannebaum, who is serving as Kerr’s representative.

The Warriors immediately joined the list of prime suitors for Kerr after firing Mark Jackson on Tuesday. also reported earlier this week that the Utah Jazz hoped to court Kerr for their opening as well.

Kerr has been huddling with family members in advance of his next TV assignment with TNT: Tuesday’s Game 5 of the Oklahoma City/Los Angeles Clippers series. A timetable for striking a deal with the Knicks remains unclear, but nothing has yet managed to threaten New York’s longstanding status as the favorite to land Kerr as its successor to Mike Woodson.

The longer it goes without New York and Kerr closing a deal, according to one source, does give the Warriors a small measure of hope that Kerr would give them renewed consideration. But the consistent word for days in coaching circles holds that Kerr — who, at 48, has never coached at any level — would find it hard to walk away from Jackson at this advanced stage of negotiations because of the pair’s close relationship.

Kerr is that rare individual in the NBA who can claim both Jackson and one of Jackson’s oldest rivals — San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich — as mentors. As such, Kerr is said to be highly optimistic about Jackson’s ability to make a major impact as a rookie executive with the Knicks, which runs counter to the more common skepticism about Jackson’s effectiveness in his new job. Only in New York, furthermore, would Kerr have the chance to be mentored by a championship coach, reminiscent of the way Pat Riley groomed Erik Spoelstra in Miami.

Sources say that the Warriors, meanwhile, are still establishing a list of candidates to consider, with Van Gundy — after successful stints coaching the Miami Heat and Orlando Magic — still at the front of that line. reported last Sunday that Van Gundy and Kerr were Golden State’s top two choices if Mark Jackson were fired. Van Gundy doesn’t have the close ties with Warriors management that Kerr has, but he does have a decorated resume that undoubtedly intrigues Warriors officials, who are under some pressure to make a splashy hire to replace the ousted Jackson after all the public support he received from Golden State star Stephen Curry and other Warriors players.

In a radio interview Thursday with 740 AM in Orlando, Van Gundy admitted that he’s not sure if he’s ready to return to coaching after spending the past two seasons in broadcasting and focusing on family time.

“Part of me does, and part of me doesn’t,” Van Gundy told the network. “Look, we’re so happy in Central Florida. It would really have to be a great situation for me to get back in. I miss a lot of it. I really do. I miss the competition. I miss the challenge. I miss the camaraderie of it. But I also like the time that I’ve had, so we’ll just have to see what happens. You weigh every situation.

“Names come up on every job, and my name’s been mentioned in a few,” Van Gundy continued. “But I think the Warrior one comes up because I’m from out there. I went to high school in the Bay Area. I grew up out there. I said several times during my coaching career when we would go play out there that it was always important to me playing out there because I grew up [there].”


SOME RANDOM HEADLINES: Lionel Hollins is expected to interview for the Warriors’ coach position this week in Chicago. … John Wall is hampered by a scratched eye he obtained in Game 3, which continues to affect his vision. … Giannis Antetokounmpo stars in a Greek commercial for chocolate milk. … LeBron James is excited to watch quarterback Johnny Manziel play football with the Cleveland Browns.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY: Celebrate Mother’s Day today by watching newly crowned MVP Kevin Durant discuss the importance of his mom on NBA TV’s Inside Stuff:

VIDEO: Inside Stuff: KD


  1. Travis says:

    Magic has his own dark intentions here. It’s so obvious, he is making it looks so much worst. Donald is banned for life, what else does he wants? Shelly can have the team, he is being a prejudice and racist himself.

    Donald is gone, end of story. Anyone can have it. Why hate his entire family for it?
    If the players wont play for Shelly who has nothing to do with those racial remarks then don’t.

  2. bodjee says:

    If Sterling is racist then so is Magic and the NBA.

  3. Clips says:

    I am so sick of this story and how grown men have acted like little babies over it. Boo hoo your feelings apparently got hurt. You’re rich and were in no way actually harmed by this other than your precious little feelings. Man up.

    Comments like this “Those guys are not going to play for anybody (named) Sterling” are ridiculous. How do you know? And why would you even say that?

    Are you saying that the players are even worse than racists because they actually judge people on who they’ve known in their past?

    Yeah great society. If any player leaves the Clippers over this, then I will no longer be a fan of theirs. I trust the players are better people than the media attention seekers though.

    • LAKER KING says:

      This one’s for you CLIPS- Ideas like the one you just shared says everything that’s wrong with this society we live in called America- But I pose a real question- Since everyone has so much to say about the players and their reaction to their clearly rasict owner, why don’t they all leave? better point why don’t all the black players leave on all teams, not just nba also nfl, take all their money and start a world league? why do they remain the subject of exploits such as Donald Sterling and people like CLIPS- they aren’t the only racists in the entire country- Hey, I’m on a roll here, but what if all black people left this country in search of one that doesnt exploit you for your talent but will never treat you fairly because of the color of your skin? why not? what would it hurt? we only cause crime and the ones who don’t have to depend on the Donald Sterlings of the world to feed us and cloth us right? I guarantee one thing and one thing only- if African Americans adopted this idea, it would leave America in ruins- Hyporcrites- the very one you hate, is the very one you need. Wake up all black players- this is unacceptable, period. Feelings or no feelings. If it were up to me, I would leave this country and take all of my talented brothers with me- what would your sports be then?….needless to say non profitable and a sight for sore eyes at best. #Inspiration #thankslildonald

  4. stevetallent says:

    So, the issue here is that Donald Sterling made comments that discriminated against people because of skin color, not because of anything that they could change, like their clothes or their attitude, but skin color. Now all of these people are discriminating against Shelly Sterling, not because of anything that she has done or said, but because of her last name? Makes perfect sense.

  5. ronhawkster says:

    “However, she does not want to be the team’s controlling owner and would welcome “a new, dynamic management team and investors to come in.” ”

    Garbage PR talk. “She would welcome a new, dynamic management team…” Yeah… “Dynamic” like you two racists who for 33 years made a mockery of both team ownership and slumlords. Never in those years did you utter a word against the racist Donald as he put on display his utter racism in dealing with tenants. In fact, you were as much a party to the racism lawsuits brought against the two of you. If you stay married to a racist for 58 years you’re a racist too. Besides, enough of this bullcarp about you being a “estranged wife”. Estranged my food. That’s a last minute legal ploy like so many rich folks pull in the face of legal or financial trouble. Furthermore, you, Shelly, went out to dinner with Donald a few days ago and then told reporters “he’s not a racist”. You’re neither estranged, nor does your apple fall far from Donald. Gone be with you.

  6. Milly P says:

    This is for josh and reccghost- magic has every right to have a say -Magic Johnson was the black man Donald sterling was being racist against when he was audio taped. Donald Sterling’s wife was married to a racist for 50 years, she knows he’s a racist and when the story broke she defended him until she realized that she needed to separate herself then she changed her story! She is not innocent in this and all the players in LA know that she is just as racist as her husband! That is why no one wants to play for her! She needs to go and the NBA should have gotten rid of Donald Sterling and his racist posse long ago!!!! I hope that the NBA doesn’t continue to allow this poison of hatred and racism- it is time to sever all ties! It’s time to tell these racist rich people that they can take their money and shove it!!!!

  7. franktown8 says:

    Everyone that complain about Magic must be forgetting this was because he was the one the hatred was directed towards. He aslo has did more for the state of California, and city of las angles than the people who spurred their hatred for the different races. So i understand you all reasoning for being hard on Magic, it’s truly understood why you say he should sit by!

  8. Rob Mor says:

    If you are useless and cannot own an NBA team, then………rip it off from someone else. Hire Adam Silver to do it. He is qualified communist to do it.

  9. ShawnKemp says:

    Last i checked, there are players are still playing for Donald Sterling, let alone Shelly Sterling. Just sayin.

  10. Recceghost says:

    I’m getting tired of Magic and his “I can do no wrong” attitude. He wants this team and he will sit in the shadows and stir the pot at every given chance to try and pressure the players and the league into any kind of revolt possible to get it. I find it amazing that people can sit back a judge others and talk about what’s in other people’s closets when their shady personal lives leaves little to be desired. Fight Shelly! If the players are stupid enough to walk then let them walk. THERE WILL BE OTHERS. It’s a business and it’s all about money. Speaking of which: These player’s have known about your estranged husbands views long before this and seemed to have no problem getting rich of his money until this became publicly wide spread. Shame on him…shame on them.

  11. franktown8 says:

    If the clippers ownership is that naive to risK the fallout of a franchise because of their arrogance then let them retain ownership. They are losing money as i write this, and will continue to lose money. Who would want to play for them, but we’re forgetting they been here before!

  12. Edjumacator says:

    Everyone is jacked up about this now, and the NBA-Media complex is talking trash. But try to view it from some distance. The skeletons are already out of Sterling’s’ closet. Litigation will open the NBA’s closet, and the fans and politicians will see what’s been in deep storage for a long, long time. The Clippers are not the only team that could see its financial base shrink. Who cares about millionaires and billionaires offending each other? This should have been handled quietly and professionally a long time ago. Chances are it won’t end well for Adam Silver.

  13. #justsaying says:

    You guys are misinterpreting what he has said. He is not discriminating against anyone. He simply made it clear that it would be difficult to separate the two not only as a player but as a fan. In no way did he state his own viewpoint or thoughts on her, simply on the situation she has found herself in.. justsaying

  14. Mett says:

    Shelly’s attorney is an idiot if he thinks he can fight this in court and still have any value left as a Clipper’s franchise “if” he wins (which is doubtful).

    If the players won’t play for Shelly then the Clippers are pretty much worthless as a team – you go from $800,000,000 value today ($400,000,000 as a 50% owner) if you go away quietly to something near $200,000,000 ($100,000,000 as a 50% owner) if the players leave, which is a LOSS of $600,000,000, plus attorney’s fees. Maybe Shelly Sterling can afford to lose over a quarter of a billion dollars in a legal fight, but the Clippers fans, and the City of Los Angeles will never forget that it was Shelly Sterling that destroyed the Clipper’s franchise.

  15. dave says:

    This is ridiculous. People have rights and societies are built on it.

    This whole this is so blown out of proportion, its mind boggling. The NBA should be ashamed of themselves for making a mockery of justice and taking this way to far.

  16. Graham says:

    That is sadly a most disgusting attitude from Magic and a guy whom I had the utmost respect for and loved as a player has now been relegated to the status of a bigot, because that is what he is. Prejudice in any form is abhorrent. Be it on the basis of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or who you happen to be related to. The idea that everyone related to Donald Stirling is equally racist based on anything other than their own opinions is no better than Mr Stirling’s comments themselves! We won’t see uproar, we won’t see the NBA taking action against Magic though because no doubt this will be seen as an acceptable prejudice.

  17. The King says:

    I hope the nba will get sue and lose big time for attempting to kick the Sterling out of Clips ownership. This is not a moral thing. this is about right and wrong. How many rich ppl out there that do bad things (i.e. Donald Trump), yet still owning what they own? Why is Sterling an exception? is it because black ppl are more important than any other things?

    • The King says:

      look at how the rappers degrading women and setting bad examples for kids. Apparently that’s not important to try to stop that.

      • josh says:

        Is this about rappers or donald sterling? Im just curious to know how you draw comparisons to rappers and the sterlings? Learn how to debate u moron.

      • The King says:

        it’s not about trump or sterling…it’s about what’s right and wrong. apparently nba players think they’re making the money instead of owners giving them jobs. They don’t have to play, there will me millions of othre people out there who want to play for owners. This is not a debate you moron. this is a warning that the nba will lose a big lawsuit. it is a statement from your king.

    • Think about it says:

      Right so let’s go out and take everything from Donald trump. Let’s get the federal government involved too. It’s not like the NBA is a private organization with its own rules and by laws.

      Oh wait…

  18. Goldenstar says:

    Plz speak for yourself Magic Johnson. I like Johnson as a player but in this fiasco he really get on my nerve by being so unreasonalble. D. Sterling and his wife are 2 different person, 2 completely different people. We never heard of anything that she is a racist or has racist belief or said something racist. What Donald Sterling’ sin has anything to do with her?

    You against discrimination on black people, yet you provoke discrimination on Sterling family, wife, children, relatives, “anybody name Sterling”. So what make you better than Sterling and his discrimination against skin color? This is getting extreme and rediculous and it doesn’t even make sense.

    • He's right says:

      Magic said players won’t want to play for her.. He didn’t say she is just as guilty.. And he is right!
      I believe she is going to end up keeping the team however, the team will crumble and enter a whole different dark ages that the organization has never seen before. No star players will resign with LA and they have no chance landing any good players..
      So she can keep the team and watch it destruct or sell.

      • artifex says:

        I’m not sure what “freedom” the players will have. Sure, they can boycott the team – the consequences are unknown to me…
        In fact, 8 players are signed through the next season and Paul and Griffin are under contract through 2016/17.
        Surely, they can’t just walk away and play anywhere else.

    • josh says:

      Ridiculous***** learn how to spell please. Magic wasn’t speaking for everyone. He was speaking for himself. They might be 2 different people, but what makes u so sure they dont hold the same views since they were married for 50+ years? You dont make sense and obviously u aren’t married. “You’re against discrimination” again learn how to spell. Shelly couldn’t run a team if she wanted to. What does she know? Even if she was allowed to run the team the players hold alllllllllll the cards. They wont play for her so what team is she going to own if not 1 single player or staff member is willing to work or play for her? What team will she have if there is nobody playing? A make believe team?

  19. okc2014 says:

    Yeah Kevin Durant!

  20. dunjav2013 says:

    Reblogged this on dunjav.