The NBA doesn't want its playoffs overshadowed by the growing controversy over racially insensitive comments attributed to Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling in an audiotape.
But keeping it on the front burner Sunday, former Los Angeles Lakers center Mychal Thompson said black fans should stay away from Game 5 in the Golden State Warriors-Clippers series scheduled Tuesday at Los Angeles' Staples Center.
"I think there will be thousands of empty seats," talk show host Thompson said on the radio Sunday on Los Angeles' 710 ESPN. Sterling "has said he doesn't want black people at his games, so I expect them to stay away."
Thompson, father of Warriors starting guard Klay Thompson, also said he thinks the controversy will affect the outcome of the series.
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"Unfortunately," he said, "I think it will go against my son. I think this will galvanize the Clippers players."
Game 4 of the best-of-seven series is set for a 3:30 p.m. ET start Sunday, nationally broadcast on ABC, with the Clippers ahead 2-1.
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