Clippers Accuse Mike Dunleavy of Fraud

by August 06, 2010

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.