“This is an issue that’s actually bigger than just the Clippers, bigger than just the NBA in my judgment,” Parsons said. “The whole world is kind of watching how, frankly, we as a country navigate our way through this crisis. So if I can help, I’m happy to try.”
“I think it’s a very good hire for us,” said Doc Rivers, Clippers coach and senior vice president of basketball operations.
With Sterling barred from anything to do with the team or league, and team President Andy Roeser on an indefinite leave of absence, the league and Clippers worked together to find someone to lead the organization along with Rivers, who has spoken with Parsons a couple times.
“They’ve done a great job,” Rivers said. “I trust the league in this so well. They’re smarter than me in this. I don’t have a lot to say, to be honest, and it’s because I don’t think I should have a lot to say in it.”
Parsons, who is black, met with Commissioner Adam Silver on Monday and accepted the position Thursday. He had gotten to know Silver, then the deputy commissioner, when Time Warner owned the Atlanta Hawks, and he supports what Silver is trying to do now in his first crisis since replacing David Stern in February.
“He’s a good man and he’s trying to do the right thing and he’s trying to do it in the right way, and he could use some help,” Parsons said during a phone interview.
Parsons is currently a senior adviser at Providence Equity Partners and sits on the board of directors for the Commission on Presidential Debates. He has also been on President Barack Obama’s economic advisory team.
A graduate of the University of Hawaii, where he played basketball, Parsons earned a law degree from Albany Law School in 1971 and became a staff lawyer for New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller. He moved to Washington when Rockefeller was appointed vice president, and also worked closely with President Gerald Ford.