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NBA chooses Richard Parsons for Clippers, league's third African American CEO

Richard Parsons at a NYC charity event, March 2014
Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images

The NBA announced on Friday that it has appointed a new CEO for the Los Angeles Clippers franchise. Richard Parsons has accepted the position after longtime team CEO Andy Roeser took an indefinite leave from the club, in the wake of the league's lifetime ban of owner Donald Sterling. Roeser, a crony and friend of Sterling had been with the Clippers for three decades.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was quoted in a press release announcing the hiring of Parsons as saying in part:

"I believe the hiring of Dick Parsons will bring extraordinary leadership and immediate stability to the Clippers organization. Dick's credentials as a proven chief executive speak for themselves and I am extremely grateful he accepted this responsibility."

Richard Parsons becomes only the third African American CEO in the NBA among the 30 teams in the league. Parsons has a blue chip resume, having served as Chairman and CEO of Time Warner as well as Chairman of Citigroup. Richard Parsons is 66 years old, born in Brooklyn, NY and a graduate of Albany Law School. He is currently a senior advisor at Providence Equity Partners.

In the NBA press release, Mr. Parsons was quoted praising the actions of Commissioner Adam Silver and the league's mission to change the culture of the L.A. Clippers

"The Clippers are a resilient organization with a brilliant coach and equally talented and dedicated athletes and staff who have demonstrated great strength of character during a time of adversity. I am honored to be asked to work with them, build on their values and accomplishments, and help them open a new, inspiring era for their team."

The NBA is looking to clean house and begin again after the scandal that broke last month over an audio recording of Mr. Sterling made public online at Sterling's views on African Americans being seen in the company of his companion V Stiviano as well as them being unwelcome at Clippers games began the uproar.

After a swift and thorough investigation into the source of the tape and its authenticity, the NBA announced its lifetime ban of Sterling and its intention to organize its Board of Governors to begin the process to remove Mr. Sterling from his ownership stake in the L.A. Clippers franchise.

That process has begun. It will require a vote of 75% of the owners in the NBA to strip Sterling of his ownership. Mr. Sterling's wife Rochelle has recently made noise about wanting to take control of the team. That was met with negativity from the Clippers and others in the league and has yet to be addressed in any formal way by Commissioner Silver or anyone else representing the league office.

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