Dunleavy steps down as head coach, will focus on GM duties

Somewhere, Bill Simmons is dancing in celebration because Mike Dunleavy is one step closer to leaving the Los Angeles Clippers. (ESPN)

Although Dunleavy has been under pressure at various points during the past few months despite the season-long absence of No. 1 overall pick Blake Griffin (ESPN.com reported in November that Clippers owner Donald Sterling contemplated making a change after an 0-4 start), one source close to the situation insisted that it was Dunleavy’s “decision to step down.”

Said Dunleavy in a team statement: “I’ve had several conversations with our owner [Sterling] concerning what we think is best for the team overall. We have discussed the possibility of my concentrating only on basketball operations. That option has always been available to me.

“I’ve come to the conclusion that this is the ideal time for me to direct my efforts toward the many personnel opportunities that lie before us, such as the trade market, the draft and the free-agent process. We fully expect to be active and productive on all those fronts.”

J.A. Adande writes that the only reason Dunleavy is still with the team is that Sterling doesn’t want to pay coaches that don’t work for him.

The funny thing is, given the injuries to Chris Paul and Greg Oden, the Clippers would have had a legitimate shot at the playoffs had Blake Griffin been healthy. But the injury bug doesn’t discriminate.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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