I’ve been traveling non-stop this week and haven’t been able to devote the time to the Donald Sterling fracas that I’d like.
No matter, because Steve at Clips Nation has written the definitive manifesto on the matter. Read the piece in its entirety. Twice.
We sometimes get upset at the overly simplistic “It’s the Clippers” approach to the coverage of our (unnaturally, undeservedly) beloved team. When Sterling is quiet long enough that we can almost forget about what a bad, bad human being he is, we think “Hey, why can’t the Clippers succeed some day?” And then he opens his mouth and we know the answer. As long as Donald Sterling is the owner, I fear that “It’s the Clippers” will be a valid explanation for everything.
I also recommend Citizen Zhiv’s thoughtful commentary in the comments section, also brilliant in its entirety, and a particularly smart articulation of Mike Dunleavy’s very complex place in all of this:
I’m not a Dunleavy hater and I try not to be a Dunleavy apologist. He can be maddening at times, and I hate the way that he seems to have double standards. He always seems to be taking a “building blocks” approach, starting with defense and working matchups. That approach can be quite effective when you’ve got a healthy roster and you’re competing in the playoffs, when good, disciplined teams are battling against one another. But Dunleavy’s situation for the last three years has been just the opposite. He’s had hobbled, undermanned teams that are missing key parts, and he has never even begun to try to shake things up, even in the most desperate situations, to figure out ways to shake things up and foster creativity and energy. He’s always forced into moves that seem fairly obvious.
One thing that people should think about very carefully, in the call to get rid of Dunleavy, is that things can get much worse on the Clippers. Dunleavy may be holding onto a conservative, wrongheaded approach, but at least there’s a logic to it of sorts and he has DTS’ confidence and the ability to make trades and sign players. We should remember that things can be worse, much worse.
Whatever the franchise lacks in success on the court, they’ve somehow attracted a smart, devoted, and tremendous collection of loyalists that deserve better.