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Rivers meets with angry LAC employees

Saturday, May 03, 2014 - Updated: 4:08 AM

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Clippers coach Doc Rivers said employees on the team's business side considered not working for the franchise after owner Donald Sterling's racist comments were exposed a week ago.

Rivers met with team employees who were still upset and angry Friday morning, several days after Sterling was banned for life from the NBA.

"What I witnessed today, you realize this thing has touched a lot of people," Rivers said hours later at the Clippers' training complex in Playa Vista. "The people that didn't do anything are being harmed by this, and I wish we could find the right solution, and I don't have it."

Rivers made the trip downtown at the request of other top executives with the Clippers, who will play the Golden State Warriors in Game 7 of their first-round playoff series Saturday night.

Instead of preparing for the biggest game of the season, Rivers spent the morning at the Clippers' team offices, listening to employees in ticket sales, marketing and other departments who took the brunt of public backlash against the Clippers in phone calls and other contact with the public.

"They really haven't had a lot of people talking to them," Rivers said of the team employees. "It was really hard to see them. I didn't realize. Ticket people, marketing people, and they're sitting there crying, and I felt so bad for them. I was thinking, 'My God, we've been in this thing as players and as the coaches.' You forget that these are the people that are on the front line, and they work for the organization, too."

When asked why he made the trip at such a crucial time for his basketball team, Rivers said: "There was a need."

"I can't share everything, but it was important that I did it today, let's put it that way," the coach added. "They're just like our players. I'll say this much: Our players thought about not working. So did our employees, and they still felt that way. They needed somebody to ask them to continue to work and support us. So we're still trying to put this thing together."

     

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