PLAYA VISTA, Calif. — Clippers coach Doc Rivers prefers not to offer an opinion about Shelly Sterling’s interest in keeping 50 percent of the team, but he said Thursday that if she did it would be "a very difficult situation."
Shelly Sterling indicated this week her intention to retain her portion of the franchise, which she has co-owned with her husband, Donald Sterling, since 1981. The NBA banned Donald Sterling for life because of racially offensive remarks he made to a female friend.
Rivers said he hasn’t spoken to Shelly Sterling since she sought his approval to attend a playoff game against the Golden State Warriors in Oakland, Calif., last week. She also attended a game against the Warriors at Staples Center.
But Rivers said it might be difficult to have her remain an owner after the controversy surrounding her husband.
"I think it would be a very hard situation," he said at the team’s training facility. "I’ll say that much. It would be very difficult. I guarantee you every person wouldn’t be on board with that. Whether I would or not, I’m not going to say, but I just know that would be a very difficult situation for everybody."
Although he conceded Shelly Sterling had not made any racially charged comments, he said the fact she was married to Donald Sterling might be an issue.
"Because of the relationship," he said. "But on the other end, I do say I don’t know what she’s done wrong. But I think, and I don’t want to go too far in this, I think it would be a difficult situation because we would know who was really in charge."
Asked if he felt it would be appropriate for Shelly Sterling to attend Game 3 of the Clippers’ second-round playoff series against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night at Staples, Rivers said, "That’s her choice. She can be a ticket buyer or whatever."