While ESPN’s Bill Simmons cannot lay claim to a bon mot such as “Mike Dunleavy couldn’t coach a health violation at Oki Dog”, his autopsy of the Clippers’ 4th quarter capitulation to the Cavaliers the other night expresses similar sentiments to my twittering that evening. On this rare occasion, I can say without reservation that Simmons captured the grim scenes at the Staples Center far better than I managed from 1000 feet above sea level.
Mike Dunleavy needs to be fired as coach or as GM. Preferably both. If he had any honor at all, he would resign. He doesn’t. Back in February, I wrote, “Normally, in these situations I blame the coach because NBA coaches have a knack for killing a good thing by overthinking, playing too many guys and juggling crunch-time minutes ¦ you know, all the stuff Mike Dunleavy does. But it’s not his fault the team gave him a $21 million extension in December, even as the Clips were quitting on him and each other. That set up an unparalleled scenario in which the coach needed to be fired even before his extension kicked in.”
By the way? That was February 2007. Twenty-five months ago.
Dunleavy won’t get fired because Clippers owner Donald Sterling doesn’t care. After all, this season isn’t worse than any other dreadful Clips season, right? One problem: The Clippers never stank in an economy this bad. Sterling has a rude awakening ahead. He just doesn’t know it yet. In the meantime, these Clippers don’t have to tank to get a chance at Blake Griffin or Ricky Rubio in June. They just have to keep letting the Dumbleavy era run its course. As strange as this sounds, the immediate future is in good hands.