NEW YORK — Dick Parsons is hoping for a short stint running the Los Angeles Clippers, though ready to stay on as long as it takes.
Moving the franchise away from Donald Sterling and to new ownership might require a lengthy fight, but it’s one Parsons thinks is worthwhile.
“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.”
The NBA chose Parsons, a former Citigroup chairman and former Time Warner chairman and CEO, as interim CEO of the Clippers on Friday.
Parsons will oversee the management of the franchise and represent it at owners meetings while the league tries to force Sterling to sell following his lifetime ban for making racist remarks.
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 coach Doc Rivers.
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.