Clippers owner proves that he’s still out of touch

Mar 1, 2010; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling (left) and Dave Winfield (center) watch during the game against the Utah Jazz at the Staples Center.

Funny read by the T.J. Simers of the L.A. Times, who interviewed Donald Sterling at a recent team event:

A couple of months ago this was going to be the summer of all summers for the Clippers, a fresh start, a chance to hire a new coach, $17 million in cap space to go after LeBron or other big names like him and make a huge splash.

And so they signed Randy Foye and Ryan Gomes.

Or, as Sterling put it, “If I really called the shots we wouldn’t have signed Gomes and what’s the other guy’s name?

“You know, they told me if we built a new practice facility we’d attract all the top players in the game,” Sterling adds. “I guess I should have doubled the size of this place.”

Good stuff. Simers asked Sterling about how the public dispute with former coach and GM Mike Dunleavy might have affected LeBron’s decision:

Sterling says he can’t understand why LeBron didn’t listen more intently to the Clippers’ overtures, which included $100 million and unstated things being done by Staples Center to enhance the L.A. invite.

But picture LeBron sitting there, free agency yet to begin, and reports out of Los Angeles the Clippers are pinching pennies and embroiled in a public dispute with their former coach and last two GMs.

“If you resign from The Times, what rights do you have?” Sterling says. “The lawyers say [Dunleavy] quit.”

He says the NBA deals in litigation every day, missing the point the Clippers cannot afford such messy nonsense when trying to rehab a horrendous reputation.

“In the overall picture,” Sterling continues, “[Dunleavy’s] situation is not that important.”

Reminded again he’s in charge of the Clippers, as well as the lawyers, and he owns almost every building on and off Wilshire in Beverly Hills — why not just take care of Dunleavy and avoid such a public embarrassment?

“And not listen to the lawyers?” he says.

Sterling has a reputation for being a penny pincher, but he has been willing to spend of late. Still, the organization is a joke. In the last 34 seasons, the Clippers have made it out of the first round of the playoffs once — once! — and during that span, they’ve only made the playoffs four times. In a league that rewards poor play by giving teams early picks in the draft, that level of ineptitude is mind-boggling.

However, there is hope in the form of Blake Griffin, who looks like he can be the real deal if he can only stay healthy. It’s going to take a superstar with a big heart (a la Kevin Durant) to drag this franchise out of the doldrums and back to respectability.

Is Griffin that guy? Only time will tell?

“What’s the other guy’s name?”


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