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Clippers express no plans to boycott game

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Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers and several players met for 45 minutes on Saturday to discuss the racial comments allegedly made by team owner Donald Sterling and rejected the idea of boycotting their playoff game on Sunday against the Golden State Warriors.

Among the Clippers in San Francisco for Game 4 of the first-round series who attended the meeting were point guard Chris Paul and forward Blake Griffin. They discussed with Rivers the purported racial remarks that Sterling made to his girlfriend in a 10-minute audio recording obtained Friday night by TMZ.

“We’ve heard all the stuff, the boycotts and all the stuff and all those things are things you could do,” said Rivers, who is in his first year as Clippers coach. “But we choose to play and we’re going to play tomorrow. … It was brought up because I’m sure 20,000 people have suggested it, but, honestly, I’m completely against that and they were, too.

“Why should we let someone’s comments stop us from what we’re trying to do? We’re trying to do something here and we don’t want that getting in the way of what we’re trying to do.”

Paul and Griffin declined reporters’ questions on Sterling, but Paul, as president of the National Basketball Players Association, issued a statement through the NBPA.

“On behalf of the National Basketball Players Association, this is a very serious issue which we will address aggressively,” Paul said. “We have asked (Sacramento) Mayor Kevin Johnson to expand his responsibilities with the NBPA, to determine our response and our next steps. As players, we owe it to our teams and our fans to keep our focus on our game, the playoffs, and the drive to the Finals.”

Rivers continued, “I didn’t like the comments, obviously. We had a great team meeting this morning about it. A lot of guys voiced their opinions. None of them were happy about it. This is a situation where we’re trying to go after something very important for us. Something that we’ve all dreamed about all our childhoods. Donald or anyone else had nothing to do with that dream and we’re not going to let anything get in the way of those dreams.”

Rivers said he has not talked to Sterling.

“We have not and we have not tried honestly,” Rivers said. “This is something that Donald and his family and everyone else has to figure that part out. We don’t need a talk.”

The alleged comments by Sterling, who is the longest tenured owner in the league, has drawn angry reactions from around the league.

“It upsets all of us,” Rivers said. “There’s not one guy that’s happy with this situation. Do you think I want to be talking about this instead of trying to stop Steph Curry? I don’t. I don’t like all the phone calls I’ve been getting and all that stuff. We try to keep clutter away from our team and it’s been brought to our team and it upsets me and it upsets our team.”

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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