NBA picks Richard Parsons as interim CEO of Los Angeles Clippers
The NBA on Friday announced the appointment of Richard D. Parsons as interim CEO of the Los Angeles Clippers.
Parsons, formerly a chairman with Citigroup and Time Warner, will represent the Clippers as the franchise goes through the process of finding a new owner, on the heels of Commissioner Adam Silver's decision to impose a lifetime ban on team owner Donald Sterling.
Sterling was ousted by Silver after leaked audio recordings captured the team's longtime owner making racially charged statements.
Parsons said in a statement, "Like most Americans, I have been deeply troubled by the pain the Clippers' team, fans and partners have endured. A lifelong fan of the NBA, I am firmly committed to the values and principles it is defending."
Parsons, 66, previously served on President Barack Obama's economic advisory team. He sits on the board of directors for the Commission on Presidential Debates and is a senior adviser at private equity firm Providence Equity Partners.
Born in Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, Parsons was raised in Queens and attended John Adams High School in Ozone Park. He is a graduate of the University of Hawaii, where he played basketball. He earned a law degree from Albany Law School in 1971, became a staff lawyer for New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller, and also worked closely with President Gerald Ford.
Parsons left the legal field in 1988 to become president, then chairman and CEO of Dime Bancorp Inc. Ken Shropshire, director of the Sports Business Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, said Parsons was a "quick study" at Dime, where he engineered a turnaround.
Parson's tenure as chairman of Citigroup from 2009 to 2012 included its difficult recovery from the worst financial crisis since the Depression.
Parsons will bring "stability and professionalism" to a franchise in turmoil, said Mark Conrad, director of the sports business program at Fordham University's Gabelli School of Business.
Parsons will step down as a director of The Madison Square Garden Co., which owns the New York Knicks, MSG said. In 2010, Cablevision Systems Corp., the owner of Newsday, spun off MSG as a separate public company. The Dolan family owns a controlling interest in Cablevision and MSG.
Silver has said he would talk to other NBA owners about forcing Sterling to sell the team. Sterling's wife, Shelly, owns 50 percent of the Clippers and has said she wants to maintain her interest.
With Ken Schachter