Well, that’s what the Clippers are trying to the public think, especially with team president Andy Roeser going on Fox Sports Prime last night to explain just that. However, Donald T. Sterling may still need some time to put coach Mike Dunleavy’s harsh words behind him.
We can only really speculate on Sterling’s true feelings because he has repeatedly refused interview requests this week. There certainly are some divided members in the organization on various issues. Is that natural? Perhaps. But a lot of this stuff is carrying into the press, and that ain’t pretty.
In another Clipper note of interest, Clipper Darrell — the boisterous fan with a half red and half blue suit — indeed is mulling over a job offer to become Maverick Darrell.
Just when you might think things can’t get any weirder in the NBA world and Clipper world, how bizarre would it be to see Darrell get up and move to Dallas and cheer for a different team? I can’t possibly see that happen. But who knows? Weird stuff is happening practically every day in the kooky world of professional basketball.
Lets judge the Mike Dunleavy, Donald T. Sterling feud: Dunleavy has lost his cool, big time.
In case you havent heard, Sterling criticized Dunleavy and Elgin Baylor in Tuesdays T.J. Simers column in the L.A. Times. Simers is known for being combative and abrasive in interviews, and that may or may not have helped Sterling be so critical. Who knows? Sterling said if more wins didnt come he would think of replacing Dunleavy and Baylor.
The owners statement was a shock because Dunleavy is in the first year of a four-year, $22 million deal and Baylor has been with the team since 1986. Still, Sterlings words werent off base. The NBA is a results-based business, and if there arent positive results, replacing a coach and/or general manager is reasonable.
But heres where things went wild. Dunleavy fired back at Sterling, saying “Be by guest, with replacing him as well as criticizing management for not following through on two deals he wanted.
That was completely o.b. — out of bounds.
Dunleavy is the coach of the basketball team, not the owner and not the GM. He should not have the right to criticize his co-workers and should still be indebted to Sterling for signing off on his mega-millions contract. As owner, the signer of paychecks, you earn the right to criticize your guys, as long as its done fairly.
Dunleavy deserves a thumbs up for speaking his mind. But a little diplomacy would have gone a long way in handling a situation that is getting worse.
Today, before the Clippers meet the Kings, it will be interesting to see where the coach is with his comments. Also, these two, Dunleavy and Sterling, should speak face to face, but there is no guarantee they have even done that even with all of these insults flying.
The Clippers have been going through loss after loss, and the question has to be asked if, or when, they’re going to make some roster moves, other than signing guys to 10-day contracts. Sam Cassell is 38. Plus, Corey Maggette can become a free agent after this season, and Elton Brand is nearing the end of his contract. So what should they do?
Right now, a possible trade is not happening because of what the Clippers can get in return. There’s no value there.
The hope is that the Clippers can get something equal, or better, back for possibly Cassell and/or Maggette near the Feb. 22 trade deadline. But there is no telling what that will be. And who knows, this could be a third straight year that trade rumors eventually surface about Maggette and nothing happens. The Clippers still like their nucleus of players with Chris Kaman, Shaun Livingston, Brand and now perhaps Al Thornton. It will be interesting to see if the team can improve itself in this defeat-filled season.
Nothing is imminent, and the Clippers have been quiet about possibly moving Sam Cassell. But there are logical reasons to think the 38-year-old point guard will be traded before the league’s February trade deadline.
The Clippers already are far out of the playoff picture, and this is the final year of Cassell’s two-year deal with the Clips. He can still score and could help a playoff-bound team looking for scoring from the point-guard position. A big question is what the Clippers can get for him, and their dream probably would be a first-round pick, but there’s no guarantee they can get that.
If the Clippers are thinking about their future, and they should be with so many key injuries this season, having Cassell really doesn’t benefit them. It will be interesting to see how things play out and if the team finds something worthwhile for the likable veteran.