News » Los Angeles Clippers Getting Inside 2009-03-10

Los Angeles Clippers Getting Inside 2009-03-10

Los Angeles Clippers Getting Inside 2009-03-10
Are the Clippers giving maximum effort?

That is a question that should not have to be asked, but it is being bandied about as the Clippers' miserable season performance.

Fingers have been pointed directly at starting point guard Baron Davis, whom the Clippers signed as a free agent last summer for the not-so-wee sum of $65 million, over five years.

But Davis said his play, which is well below his standards, is the result of nagging injuries and not from a less-than arduous approach to every game.

Clippers owner Donald T. Sterling has been a picture of frustration after several recent home losses, and he has sent team president Andy Roeser on postgame errands to glean information from coach Mike Dunleavy about why the team is playing so badly and seemingly without much spirit.

In most NBA organizations, there would be a coaching change, if for nothing else than to bring a fresh voice and new approach to the forefront.

But here is the Clippers dilemma: Dunleavy still has two years remaining on his contract, after this year. At over $5 million per year, he is one of the highest-paid coaches in the league, despite having only one season in his six years at the helm in which the Clippers finished above .500 and made the playoffs.

If Dunleavy is fired, not only would Sterling have to pay Dunleavy those remaining years, but Sterling would have to hire and pay a new head coach, not to mention a general manager, too.

That is, unless Sterling can persuade Dunleavy to give up his coaching duties and concentrate solely on improving the team as its general manager.

A novel idea would be this -- bring Elgin Baylor back for the 2009-10 season but primarily to groom team broadcaster Mike Smith to take over the general manager duties the following year.

Smith knows the league thoroughly. He is a former NBA player, he is well-connected and would work hard. If Joe Dumars, Danny Ferry, Steve Kerr and Danny Ainge -- just to name four former NBA players -- can succeed as general managers, than Smith certainly deserves a shot.

As for Dunleavy, it is amazing that he still remains as the Clippers' coach, in a season in which six other NBA coaches have lost their jobs because their particular owner was not happy with the team's performance.

PACERS 106, CLIPPERS 105: The Clippers went without a basket for the final 7:19 of Saturday's game and squandered a nine-point lead with less than five minutes to play.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: March 10, 2009


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