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Ex-Clippers coach Doc Rivers to be played by Laurence Fishburne in ‘The Sterling Affairs’

Laurence Fishburne is set to star as former coach Doc Rivers in a documentary about the downfall of disgraced former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.

Los Angeles Clippers v Golden State Warriors - Game Four
Doc Rivers to be played by Laurence Fishburne in Donald Sterling documentary ‘The Sterling Affairs’
Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

ESPN’s 30 For 30 podcast series The Sterling Affairs, hosted by reporter Ramona Shelburne, is getting its own TV show. According to various outlets, FX has formally given the green light to repurpose the docuseries for the big screen, with a behind-the-scenes look at the collapse of disgraced former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.

Laurence Fishburne has been cast as former coach Doc Rivers, Jacki Weaver will play wife Shelly Sterling, while Shelburne has been brought on to executive produce the series alongside American Crime Story’s production team Color Force.

Sterling owned the Clippers for 33 years as they pushed to win a championship and shake off their reputation of being the most losing franchise in NBA history. However, after tapes were leaked that showed the then-79-year-old making racist remarks to his girlfriend, the league handed him a lifetime ban and the maximum possible fine of $2.5 million. He was ordered to sell the team but not before his reputation was rightfully trashed, with the players protesting against him and his actions ahead of their game four face-off with the Golden State Warriors in the first round of the playoffs.

The scandal made global news with basketball’s biggest stars coming out to slam Sterling, and even the then-president of the United States Barack Obama encouraging the NBA to take action. They did and Sterling was rightly shunned from basketball and the public eye, and Shelburne’s brilliant documentary series provides even more detail about the whole ordeal courtesy of eye-witness accounts from staff, players and others close to the ex-Clippers owner. Now it will be brought to life further on the TV screen, serving as another important reminder of a bleak moment in the franchise and basketball’s history.