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Monday’s Morning Mashup: Doc Rivers unsure of future with Clippers following Donald Sterling controversy

04.28.14 at 8:23 am ET

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NHL playoffs: Penguins at Blue Jackets, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL playoffs: Avalanche at Wild, 9 p.m. (CNBC)
NHL playoffs: Sharks at Kings, 10 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA playoffs: Heat at Bobcats, 7 p.m. (TNT)
NBA playoffs: Hawks at Pacers, 8 p.m. (NBATV)
NBA playoffs: Spurs at Mavericks, 9:30 p.m. (TNT)
MLB: Athletics at Rangers, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: Premier League, Newcastle at Arsenal, 2:55 p.m. (NBCSN)


Doc Rivers is nearing the end of his first season with the Clippers after leaving the Celtics. It might be his only season in Los Angeles.

As the backlash continues against Clippers owner Donald Sterling for the racist comments he allegedly made to his girlfriend in a recorded conversation, Rivers indicated that his future with the team is in doubt.

Asked Sunday what he would need to hear from Sterling in order to continue as coach, Rivers replied: “Don’t know yet. I’m just going to leave it at that.”

Rivers said he had not spoken with Sterling since the tape was made public, but he made it clear his focus is on his players, who are in a tied series with the Warriors after losing Sunday’s Game 4.

“Our guys, they have family,” Rivers said. “They have friends. And they have cell phones. And I can’t imagine how much they’ve been pulled on and talked to, and what you should do and what you shouldn’t do and what you should say. And that’s abnormal to a playoff game.

“Usually they’ll be telling you [that] you should get more shots. Doc’s a terrible coach. He’s not playing you enough. Things like that. And now we’re talking about other stuff.”

Rivers said he hopes fans would not boycott Game 5 in Los Angeles, saying: “I would understand. I hope not. We need them. … We play for them. We always have. So we do need them. We’re going to need them on Tuesday.”

— Brazilian soccer player Dani Alves mocked an apparently racist gesture by a fan at Villarreal when the Barcelona defender took a banana thrown toward him and proceeded to peel and eat it before taking a corner kick in his team’s 3-2 victory Sunday.

The banana-throwing — which has happened a number of times in European leagues, along with monkey chants — occurred in the second half of the game as Alves was getting ready to kick the ball. He calmly walked a couple of step to pick up the banana and take a bite as he returned to his spot to kick the ball. He tossed the rest of the banana off to the side.

A couple of minutes later, Alves helped his team draw even when for the second time in the game he made a cross in front of the Villarreal goal that resulted in an own goal. Lionel Messi scored the game winner in the 83rd minute.

“We have suffered this in Spain for some time,” Alves said afterward. “You have to take it with a dose of humor. We aren’t going to change things easily.

“If you don’t give it importance, they don’t achieve their objective.”

— A longtime 49ers fans filed a $50 million lawsuit this month against the NFL for “economic discrimination” because he was prohibited from buying tickets to the NFC championship game due to the Seahawks‘ restrictions against out-of-town fans.

The Seahawks limited ticket sales to credit cards with addresses in Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Alaska and Hawaii as well as parts of Canada, and that did not sit well with John E. Williams III.

“They’re always boasting up there about their 12th player and everything else,” Williams told The Associated Press. “But by allowing the NFL to decide who can or cannot attend the games, you make it an unfair game. Seattle fixed it.”

Added Williams in the suit: “The practice of withholding the sale of tickets from the public at large and allowing only credit card holders limited to certain areas is a violation of the Federal Consumer Fraud Act and/or common law.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On April 28, 1990, in Game 2 of an Eastern Conference first-round series, the Celtics set NBA single-game postseason records for field goal percentage (.670) and scoring in a 157-128 victory over which opponent?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “You get in a playoff situation, one guy or two to three guys want to do it on their own instead of just running the offense, executing. I think we got caught up into that. When we learn our plays, we’€™ve got movement, we seem to score most of the time, but I just think we got out of our offense and that can’€™t happen in the playoffs. It’€™s got to come down to execution. You can’€™t have turnovers, especially in the fourth quarter.” Paul Pierce, after the Nets turned over the ball six times in the final nine minutes of an 87-79 loss to the Raptors in Game 4 of their first-round playoff series

STAT OF THE DAY: 6 — Dominican players in the starting lineup for the Blue Jays — an MLB record — in Sunday’s 7-1 victory over the Red Sox

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): Orioles outfielder David Clough lays out for a great catch in Sunday’s game against the Royals.

At Kansas State’s spring football game, a young cancer patient named Kaiden Schroeder runs for a touchdown.

While at Arkansas’ spring game, Canaan Sandy, a longtime fan who has Down syndrome, gets to run for a TD.

TRIVIA ANSWER: The Knicks, who would come back from a 2-0 deficit to win the best-of-five series

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Ann-Margret was born on this day in 1941.

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