One that does not involve the Lakers, which is what happens when you’re winning (despite injuries to two valuable players.) The Clippers are in a bad spot right now with no Elton Brand due to that Achilles he tore, and recently, Donald Sterling had made comments that the team has underachieving and he was considering some wholesale changes:
The Clippers executive suite has been in turmoil since Monday when Sterling told The Times, in a story published Tuesday, he was upset at his team’s poor performance and was contemplating changes among his top management — Dunleavy and Elgin Baylor, longtime director of basketball operations.
Dunleavy responded Tuesday by inviting Sterling to fire him and saying it would be a giant mistake. Dunleavy, coach of the Clippers since 2003, is in the first season of a four-year $22 million contract extension.
I find this particularly rich from Sterling, given how he was nothing but content to field underachieving teams for decades in L.A. (never mind his being a particularly nasty businessman, having apartment buildings with race conditions is something he’s been accused of.) One unexpected playoff run and he’s getting his wanna-be Steinbrenner on. The Clippers, in part, got to where they were because of Dunleavy and the environment he created with Brand and center Chris Kaman, and Sterling is now shitting on the coach that is keeping his team afloat.
So now, Dunleavy says team president Andy Roeser told him to tell the media that he’d patched up his spat with Sterling — who probably really wants to axe him and possibly general manager Elvin Baylor (who likely should be called “Job” in NBA circles) — and the front office is denying it. Essentially, the Clippers have gone aflame ever since Shaun Livingston’s knee blew out and Brand’s tendon went, yet somehow this is Dunleavy and Baylor’s fault.
Blows my mind, the people who are able to own sports teams these days.
Photo: AP/Douglas C. Pirzac