03.26.09

Oh No Fucking Way Dept., Los Angeles Bureau: Did Isiah Interview With Donald Sterling?

Posted in Basketball, History's Great Hook-Ups at 4:55 pm by

Actually, per ESPN’s Chris Sheridan, Zeke and Donald Sterling definitely had “informal but substantive” talks several weeks ago — The Donald being in the market for an executive to take the pressure off High-Voltage Bummer Generation Device and nightmarish martinet/Head Coach Mike Dunleavy. Dunleavy, who brokered the talks, was apparently playing some sort of practical joke. See how much, if any, of this makes even the slightest bit of sense:

Thomas remains under contract to the Knicks for the remainder of this season and two more, but he has the franchise’s permission to seek employment elsewhere. He was fired as Knicks coach and general manager last spring and was replaced by Donnie Walsh in the front office and Mike D’Antoni on the bench.One source with knowledge of Thomas’ thinking said it now appears he has shifted his focus to pursuing a head coaching position at the college level. The same source said Thomas’ name was discussed at the highest levels of the Grizzlies organization when Memphis fired Marc Iavaroni earlier this season.

…Dunleavy has generally won praise for his salary cap management and his most recent personnel moves…[His] coaching is actually the area where the most justifiable criticism could be directed. The Clippers entered Wednesday night’s game against New York 37 games under .500. He has clashed with some Clippers players, most notably Baron Davis and Chris Kaman, although Sterling has been publicly supportive of Dunleavy and overtly critical of his players, most recently when he went on a postgame rant in the locker room after a loss to San Antonio earlier this month.

It is hard to know where to start with this. ClipperBlog’s Kevin Arnovitz just reprints half the Sheridan story under the headline “When Real Life Exceeds Parody.” Brendan Flynn, who sent me this link, writes, “You can’t make this up. Bill Simmons could try — and if Isiah Thomas becomes the Clips GM, I’ll want to read his column again. Dear god: Could one organization have Sterling, Thomas and Dunleavy? Really?” The answer, it seems, is that only an organization already featuring Sterling and Dunleavy could conceivably also support Isiah Thomas.

4 Responses to “Oh No Fucking Way Dept., Los Angeles Bureau: Did Isiah Interview With Donald Sterling?”

  1. David R. says:

    Hey, maybe if they consult Zeke solely for his thoughts and feelings on potential draft picks, and nothing else, and keep him at least 2 states away from the team at all times, and only correspond with him via carrier pigeon or smoke signal, and, um, do what the Knicks are doing to him right now … maybe?

    Letting Isiah loose on a college program, though — that’s some truly scary shit.

  2. David Roth says:

    I thought the same thing — that he’d probably work wonders with good draft picks, considering how well he did at the end of the first round in New York. But you don’t get just Isiah the draft guy, as you noted. You get the “You and me are like Love and Basketball” guy, too, and the nightmarish coach, and the spookily faux-serene media presence — the closest thing the NBA has to Michael Jackson, I think, for blithely baffling statements into open mics — and the myriad illegalities. All of which is to say, probably about right for a franchise that seems intent on finding new ways to eff itself.

    Or, failing that, the University of Indiana. If things had worked out differently, time-wise, I honestly think he might’ve had a shot at following Kelvin Sampson there. And then the universe would’ve exploded.

    I honestly can’t even figure out how to feel about this, either as someone who has called himself a Clippers fan and as, like, a human.

  3. GC says:

    in all fairness (as you’ve both alluded), getting something out of David Lee, Nate Robinson and Wilson Chandler means Isiah has a bit of credibility when it comes to scouting. Trevor Ariza, too, though only for drafting him.

    Renaldo Balkman didn’t turn out to be the next Dennis Rodman, but Thomas’ batting average in the draft was respectable enough.

  4. Rog says:

    Maybe he can bring his friend Bobby Knight with him to coach the team (Dunleavy can be a VP of Something and Isiah can be GM).

    The funny thing is, I think that this whole thing is a reall smart move by Isiah. He cannot possibly do anything to that team that would make it worse. So, he goes there, has a good draft, they win a few more games next year and generates enough buzz on the sports blogs to justify his next gig at some poor pathetic franchise with amnesia. Remember, he’s batsh*t crazy, not stupid.

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