Friday, August 6th, 2010 at 9:00 am  |  26 responses

Clippers Accuse Mike Dunleavy of Fraud

by Marcel Mutoni / @marcel_mutoni

We knew that things would get ugly when Donald Sterling finally decided to fire Mike Dunleavy. And eventually, of course, they did. I guess there shouldn’t be any surprise that things have gone from bad and embarrassing, to much worse.

Dunleavy’s former employer is now about to take him to court, in a bizarre lawsuit: the Clippers are accusing him of having defrauded them into an employment agreement. Or something.

The LA Times
does its best to make sense of things:

The latest curious twist in the battle between the Clippers and owner Donald Sterling and the team’s former coach-general manager took a wild turn last week when the Clippers, trying to halt Dunleavy’s arbitration claim, alleged that Dunleavy fraudulently induced the Clippers into entering an employment agreement.

Dunleavy’s lawyer, in an interview with The Times on Thursday, said the lawsuit does not pass “the laugh test.” The Clippers quit paying Dunleavy when they fired him as general manager in March and he is owed $6.75 million on the remainder of his contract. “It’s a pretty bold and reckless piece of strategy,” Miles Clements said. “But I think it’s just another delay tactic. From what I can see, that has been the Clippers’ pattern in the past when they don’t honor contracts of coaches they terminate. I don’t know if that’s been a good strategy for them in the past. I wasn’t involved in those lawsuits. But I do not expect it to be a good strategy for them in Mike’s case.”

The Clippers’ lawsuit, filed last week in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleges that Dunleavy “had no intention to perform his duties and obligations as head coach through the 2010-11 season and knew these representations and promises to be false.”

I’m still confused.

Wake us up when the made-for-TV movie special about this mess comes out.

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  • http://www.laumol.nl/weblog Laumol

    They can’t run a basketballteam and they can’t run a legal suit either. What exactly CAN the Clippers do well? Make a mess of things? (That could be a handy talent)

  • http://www.threadsandkicks.com.au Eduardo

    only good year clippers had was when sam cassell gave the suns crew a run in the playoffs a few years ago.

    gives even more signs for young guns like eric gordan and griffin to leave.

  • http://dez@nba.com dez

    there should be some competition for dumbassness between the clippers and the knicks management

  • tavoris

    Mike D HAS been impersonating a coach & GM for a long time. It’s a little late to accuse him of fraud.

    Side Note: Has any franchise squandered more talent than the Clips?

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    There are WAY too many easy jokes here.

  • http://sdfjklf.com Jukai

    I hope Dunleavy counter sues on race and age discrimination.

  • AL29

    And to think, these guys thought they could land Lebron. Which superstar in his right mind would play for a team like this? NO credibility. @Tavoris: I doubt it, although the Warriors and Bulls (since ’99) have wasted a LOT of talent.

  • tavoris

    This is what happens when a team keeps incompetence employed too long. New owners of the Warriors: TAKE NOTE.

  • newzealanderinlondon

    They forgot to mention dunleavy was smashing out that welfare fraud too – claiming checks through some made up alias called mike dunleavy jr

  • tavoris

    that’s cold newzealanderinlondon…Mike D Jr is an alright guy. It’s not his fault that his dad can’t coach

  • The Philosopher

    Again, shout out to Donald Sterling.
    That man is a thug.

  • newzealanderinlondon

    antarctica is cold tavoris – im merely stating the facts of the day…

  • http://gmail dirty frank

    Can the Clippers be sued for fraud of pretending to be an NBA team?

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    What’s amazing, and truly enlightening for those interested in the real power dynamic in the NBA, is how Sterling can continue to ignore standard business practices yet have his antics ignored by Stern. Not to mention the racism complaints.
    That shows you who really runs the league.

  • MikeC.

    @dirty frank – I think all of the Clippers season-ticket holders (if there are any besides Bill Simmons, Billy Crystal and Malcolm in the Middle), would need to get together and file a class action lawsuit against the Clippers organization for years of pain and suffering in a toxic environment. They might need to get Erin Brockovich on the case if they want to see any results though.

  • MikeC.

    @Allenp – Technically, Stern works for Sterling and the other owners. They elect him to be the commissioner of their league. Stern can’t crack down on Sterling unless he’s actually convicted of something. If Sterling has been convicted in his civil suits in the past and not been fined by the the league, feel free to ignore my post.

  • The Philosopher

    Is Sterling on the Council of Foreign Relations too?

  • http://sdfjklf.com Jukai

    MikeC: He has

  • http://slamonline.com nikehead23

    the curse would lift if sterling died or sold the team

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Mike C
    I know that, that’s why I said Stern’s response is a good lesson for those who don’t understand the power dynamic in the NBA.
    And Sterling has been successfully sued by the federal government for discrimination in his housing. I can’t remember if he settled or straight lost. I think we discussed it on here last year.
    No fine, no “suspension” nothing.
    And, Stern has players come in for “discussions” or public floggings for all kinds of situations. He also comments on their behavior and their choices.
    Where is that with Sterling?

  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com/ albie1kenobi

    the real question is, what would clipper darrell do?

  • total scrotal implosion

    Too bad baron is wasting away on scrub-mediocre team

  • Shem

    The clippers have such a talented team on paper, I have yet to figure out where they go wrong.

  • hammer

    An embarrassement of an owner. But that’s the clipper way I guess. And the list of players they have gone thru goes a lil something like this: lamar odom,q richardson,elton brand,sam cassell,danny manning,corey maggette,marcus camby,derek anderson,matt barnes,doug christi, sherman dougla,derek strong,msalik sealy and the list goes on…just a thought but I don’t think the bulls or warriors have gone thru that much talent

  • http://slamonline.com Dave.

    The NBA should have the ability to close teams down, or buy them back off owners. Surely that can be written in to the license owners buy? “If, on majority decision by the NBAPA and the NBA Owners Council. a team’s owner is designated non compus mentus, they will be stripped of license and it auctioned on eBay, starting bid at $1,000.”
    Or something.


    The Clippers, just lose baby.