Parsons, a former chief executive at Time Warner and Citigroup who took over leadership of the Clippers in May during the media blitz surrounding the banishment of Sterling, said under questioning by Ballmer’s lawyer that the departure of Rivers would ”accelerate the death spiral” of the Clippers. ”If Doc were to leave, that would be a disaster,” Parsons said. ”Doc is the father figure, the one who leads.” Team representatives said Rivers had no comment on the testimony. Parsons said he fears there would also be an exodus of key players, including team captain Chris Paul, who heads the NBA players union. The judge stopped Parsons from giving an account of his conversations with Paul when an NBA lawyer objected over privacy issues. Parsons said corporate sponsors and season ticket holders would likely be the next to leave. ”If your coach leaves, if your players don’t want to play with you, what do you have?” Parsons asked.
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