Mike Dunleavy and his funny-looking suits will no longer coach the Los Angeles Clippers. Dunleavy more or less fired himself, and leaves the Clip Show’s coaching ranks with a lifetime record of 194-298.
This, however, does not mean that the Clippers have gotten rid of Dunleavy’s stench of failure. No, sir. He will simply be spending more time upstairs, and continue to perform his GM duties.
The LA Times reports:
With one year left on his contract at $5.4 million, Dunleavy will remain as general manager, the other half of the title he has formally held for two seasons. If this is it as a coach, he leaves with one more distinction to add to an NBA Finals appearance (Lakers, 1991) and the Clippers’ first foray beyond the first round (2006): Longest-serving lame duck in NBA history.
It has been two years, two weeks and a day since Jan. 21, 2008, when Clippers owner Donald T. Sterling vented his displeasure in an interview with The Times’ T.J. Simers. With GM Elgin Baylor and President Andy Roeser present, Simers asked Sterling, who in happier times declared “I love Mike Dunleavy,” if he still loved his coach. “I don’t think anyone really loves their coach,” Sterling said. “Do you think anybody loves their coach? They’re just a necessity.”
Dunleavy was the only coach/GM in the League, an arrangement that will continue to boggle the mind for years.
This is a good thing for the 21-28 Clippers, who undoubtedly tuned out Mike Dunleavy a long time ago. Assistant coach Kim Hughes will be given a chance, and even if he doesn’t figure it out, at least the team will have a new voice.
The fact that Dunleavy will remain in a decision-making role is troubling for all Clippers fans, but they’re used to suffering, and they have to keep faith that this, too, shall pass someday.