Are the Lakers Really Bringing Back Mike D’Antoni?

Darius Soriano —  April 28, 2014

I wouldn’t blame you if you missed the news or, if you did hear it, were immediately distracted by the news the Clippers’ owner had allegedly made another string of racially and ethnically insensitive statements that could land him in some trouble. I won’t rehash, or get into, those comments in this space. If you’re looking for reflections on the topic, you can read here or here for pieces I found thought provoking.

In any event, the Lakers are, reportedly, set on bringing Mike D’Antoni back to coach another year. This comes from the OC Register’s Mark Heisler:

After 10 days of soul searching, the key figures in Lakers management are agreed on bringing back D’Antoni for a third season as coach, a source with knowledge of the deliberations told the Register…

The Lakers have yet to inform D’Antoni of anything, but they intend to keep him, absolving him of blame for the 27-55 finish without Bryant and Steve Nash for 141 of a possible 162 games.

That second part about not yet informing the coach seems to be an important one. As was noted on twitter multiple times by other beat writers who cover the team (Mark Medina and Kevin Ding just to name a couple), the Lakers have yet to have a formal sit down with D’Antoni following the team’s exit interviews and may not do so for another week (or longer). So, while I am not outright doubting Heisler’s initial report, I tend to believe that this is not as done a deal as he might imply. (As an aside, that is not a shot at Heisler who I respect as a writer and someone who has long been on the Lakers’ beat.)

Especially when you consider that, within hours of that report surfacing, both Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles and Sam Amick of USA Today reported that D’Antoni would like the Lakers to pick up his fourth year option this summer. From Amick:

It wasn’t just about whether they wanted him back, but whether he wanted to be there for the final seasons of the three-year deal worth approximately $12 million that includes an option in the fourth year. The crucial kicker, both literally and figuratively, is the option which is currently a key factor in whether he’ll return.

According to a person with knowledge of the situation, D’Antoni is has some concerns about returning as a lame-duck coach and is pushing for the 2015-16 option to be picked up. The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because of the private nature of the discussions.

It’s unclear whether D’Antoni will return if the Lakers maintain their current stance that they don’t plan on picking up the option, but the fact that he would like that sort of security should surprise no one who has watched these last two seasons unfold.

Amick paints a different picture here that should not be ignored. While it is more than fair to say Mike D’Antoni is not in a position to make any “demands”, it is also not difficult to understand his position.

Surely the financial security matters — if there is any inkling the team may fire him either in-season or next summer (and there is), angling for that year’s salary is smart — but the concept of him wanting the locker room authority that comes with that extra security is also real. It’s much easier to tune out a lame duck coach than it is someone who will, theoretically, be around for at least another season. It also is fair to acknowledge that in a summer where free agency will be a major part of how the roster is constructed, having your coach be (again, theoretically) locked in to more than one season is also helpful (if said player is signing on to play for this specific coach).

If D’Antoni is saying he wants the security and influence that comes with the team wanting him back for another season — and he seems to be — I don’t blame him. It is what anyone would want in his position. The question, however, is are the Lakers going to give it to him? The second question is how much does it matter?

We don’t yet know how serious the Lakers are, if at all, about bringing D’Antoni back. They have never been fond of paying people to go away and cutting D’Antoni loose at this stage, with another nice piece of change owed to him, would be exactly that. We also do not know how much that extra year of security matters to this coach. Is what we are seeing going to devolve into a game of chicken between the Lakers and D’Antoni? If so, who will blink first?

In an ideal world both sides would simply come to an agreement about what is going to be best for this team next season and beyond. While some don’t believe this to be true, a roster full of players who fit D’Antoni’s system and have the ability to play the style he wants can be very successful in the NBA. If those players are also strong individual defenders they can form the base of a team defense that performs well. On the other hand, a team built around Kobe and/or other post up threats who enjoy success playing in isolation and in drawing double teams near the paint and kicking out to shooters/slashers, both sides could also agree that it is better to part ways.

Which path ends up being the one the team goes down remains to be seen, but whichever direction they go here is hoping we know within the next couple of weeks.

Darius Soriano

Posts

111 responses to Are the Lakers Really Bringing Back Mike D’Antoni?

  1. The story says bringing him back. It did not say in what capacity?

  2. If they bring him back the plan has went from 1-2 years to 2-3 years for recovery. No Pau, or Hill, no Kaman and another year of a broken Nash. Even with a healthy Kobe we will be scratching for a 6-8 seed maybe. And the last time we scratched like that it cost us Kobe do to to many minutes and dragging the team uphill. I look at coaching the players you have available and Antony did not coach well for two years. Adjustments, rotations, shot selections based on players available which killed any chance of defensive transition. He is not a winning coach at the Lakers level. He is fools gold. He is a coach for an also ran franchise not the Lakers. Wasting Kobe next year and maybe his last year if they give him the option year.

  3. MDA can ask all he wants. In the end, he has zero leverage. I can’t see the team picking up his option. If anything, this could turn out to be a smart play if Mitch is able to sway him into resigning and forfeiting all that salary.

  4. Seems logical a team s/h it’s coach in place BEFORE the draft and free agency begins. In my eyes retaining MDA is the Laker front office admitting:

    -2014/2015 will be a lot like 2013/2014 (missing post-season again)
    -it makes no sense spending anymore $$ than necessary for the upcoming season
    -the only “hi-light” the Lakers and their fans can look forward to in the upcoming season is Kobe’s climb up the NBA All Time Scoring List.

  5. As i said before im not against MDA getting a chance to coach a healthy team, thats it. He havent done anything to deserve that extension. Who does he think he is PJ or Saint Riley? If he somewhow turns a healthy team next year into a 50 win team then maybe even 48 wins, but i doubt it. The only reason im not against him coaching next year is that if he fails there would be no excuses to fire his butt. He is going to be on a short leash . He needs to shut his piehole and count his lucky stars he still have a job considering the amount of hostility he generates on the fanbase.

  6. If the Lakers are holding their cash to make moves next summer it doesn’t make sense to bring in a new coach now. The team’s record is likely to be about the same next year as it was this year. Let MDA absorb the losses and allow a new coach to have a fresh start in the 2015/16 season when the Lakers can compete.

  7. Why pay Kobe $48.5 million to lose? To hell with the minimal $3 million you are paying MikeD. Is it worth it to waste two years of your star’s life? These are quite possibly the last two decent years of the Kobe Bryant Experience, why waste them on Butters? MikeD’s basketball philosophy no longer fits your three best players (Kobe, Pau and Hill). The Lakers need to cut bait and admit that, though the NBA may be changing, the Lakers don’t yet have the necessary tools to change with it.

  8. If Jordan Hill is the 3rd best player on your team, you have issues.

  9. Darius, thanks for that first link on the Sterling topic. Very few participants in what Kareem called the “finger wagging Olympics” are worth listening to, their shameless hypocrisy out in the open.

    Here is another angle worth considering: cui bono?. Magic and his group want to buy the Clippers, but Sterling does not want to sell. Can the accusation of witchcraft communism “racism” force divestiture of the Clippers?

  10. It’s incomprehensible to retain a coach who has alienated players like Pau, Hill and let’s not forget Kaman.
    It’s like a bad dream.
    Let’s cut off our nose to spite our face.
    Save $4 mil in a coach’s salary and lose star players and a ton more games in the process?
    Do they really believe that strongly in Dantoni’s system and coaching style?
    I hope Dantoni’s push for that 4th year gives the Lakers enough incentive to cut their losses now.

  11. Wasn’t Ariza the last player to push the Lakers into giving him more money? In the end the Lakers quickly went to a backup plan at the same price tag that worked really well for us.

    I’m waiting for the upcoming news on that front. I want MDA gone now but I can understand the logic behind Fern’s argument of “not wasting money and keep him on a short leash to see what happens”. I don’t agree the Lakers FO should do it, but there’s a logic to that thought. Now, giving him an option when he has a grand total of 2 conference Finals (and didn’t go 7 games) and a terrible record ever since is simply illogical. He hasn’t won anything or proven anything yet. And while the system works on offense (from time to time with the right personnel), I wonder if he’s the right man to implement it. Gentry’s Suns team’s seem better prepared for the opponent than MDA’s did…

  12. Prediction on Sterling: $1mm fine, “indefinite” suspension. Nothing more. Player union outraged, and will demand owner “moral clause” as part of their next CBA demands.

    Clipper players and coaches will demand Sterling to sell team or they will leave during the off season. You may see some coaches resign. Some free agents will leave. But in the end, guys like CP3 and Blake Griffin will stay as demanding a trade will only be bringing attention to the fact they all knew (or should have known) they were taking money from a known racist (not to mention help such racist make more money with the Clippers than he had ever before), so at some point media attention will turn to “what did [insert player name here] know before he signed with the Clippers” and, faced with this backlash, said players will stop with their demands and each will hope that this will all die down much like it did in 2006, 2008 and 2011.

    Lets face it folks, CP3, Blake and Rivers did not care when Sterling made crass comments directed at poor minorities (african americans and hispanics), but the moment Sterling insults are directed at current and former NBA players of color and are on tape, they all of a sudden seem to care. Hypocrites.

  13. I think it’s interesting that the Lakers FO so far has said nothing. Nothing. We get tid bits from Heisler, Amick, and Shelburne but nothing from the Lakers themselves.

    Two things could be holding up an announcement: 1) MDA’s insistence that the Lakers immediately pick up his option for a 4th year and 2) the Playoffs.

    Renato is correct. The last time some one tried to strong arm the Lakers into getting more $$$ (see Trevor Ariza), it back-fired. And Ariza was in a better position then than D’Antoni is now to make “demands.”

    But the interesting element is the playoffs. What if Frank Vogel loses his job? What if Doc Rivers resigns from the Clippers and simply refuses to work for Sterling? Could this influence the Lakers’ decision on a head coach? If either of these coaches becomes available, shouldn’t the Lakers at least talk to him?

    And so…we wait.

  14. More fuel for the fire. According to Jason Patt of SB Nation, Doc Rivers won’t return to the Clippers if Sterling remains the owner:

    http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2014/4/29/5664400/doc-rivers-coach-return-donald-sterling-racism-controversy

    Are the Lakers watching?

  15. MidW- Mitch actually already said within the past 2 weeks that the Lakers have Mike D under contract for 2 more years (really, 1 more year with a 2nd year as a team option). Nevertheless, the FO has never discussed whether they plan on hiring/firing coaches until after it happens, so I would not expect them to take a different approach now. Plus, as you mention, there are some interesting candidates out there who may be moving teams after the season (assume Doc Rivers leaves the Clips, aside from becoming an intriguing option for the Lakers, I would expect the Pacers, Bulls and Thunder to also be interested, potentially making other coveted coaches available) – so I would personally prefer if the team waits to make any commitment on the coaching front.

    BusBoys – Kobe is getting paid to retire as a Laker. I hope we are in a position at the end of his contract to truly be a contender, otherwise Kobe may play his last games in another team’s jersey.

  16. We all want things resolved as quickly as possible because we don’t like the current situation. Sorry, but that is not how business is conducted – at least the successful businesses. There is too much uncertainty about coaches in the NBA for the Lakers to act quickly. The Lakers have made at least one mistake in selecting a coach (Mike Brown) and there is a tremendous fan and media pressure against the next choice (MDA). To make any kind of ‘knee jerk’ reaction now would simply be horrendous management. We have until 1 July before players make their decisions about staying/leaving the Lakers. That means we at least have until that time before any pressure mounts to reach a decision.

  17. BigCity: “look forward to in the upcoming season is Kobe’s climb up the NBA All Time Scoring List.” Yes – I said we would be doing this a couple of years back and I said I would be OK with it, being a Kobe fanatic. Low and behold, we did not even get that this year. So, it was a horrendous year all the way around. Hoping next year to be better – in other words – KB moving up the lists. Hoping for more than that is not realistic.
    MD: There are no real good answers right now. We made a mistake with Brown and we made a big mistake with the Phil/MD thing. At this point we are not in a good spot. We could get rid of him, but what is the plan? Is the team going to be any good next year? We bring in another new coach to get creamed? Or we keep MD and continue the circus? Not good choices. I think that we could take a flyer on a young/new coach, because he would not be expected to win right away with this roster. Bringing in a veteran coach, with this roster could be Jim’s nightmare Part 3.
    MD Option: Again – not a good spot we are in. Are we keeping him or not? Keeping him for year 3 without giving him the option is truly a lame duck situation. But 2 years? – unfathomable.

    How did we get here? Never mind : )

  18. Steling gets lifetime ban and $2.5mm fine. Plus, the Commish will try and force a sale. Well, good for the NBA.

    My two cents: Banning him does not prevent him from collecting profits. Sure, he can’t be around the players, but he sure can take the money the players make him. As far as forcing him to sell, most legal analysis I have read concludes that it will be difficult, but not impossible.

    Also worth noting: per Bomani Jones, Sterlings wife was also an active participant in the Sterling racism claims from the housing lawsuits. She went door to door, impersonating a govt worker, so she could talk to the residents of each apartment and determine their ethnicity. Those found to be Hispanic and African Americans would later be targeted for eviction. In short, the Grand Wizard may not be running the team anymore, but you got plenty of his disciples still around.

    It will be interesting to see how the Clipper players and coach react to this news in the offseason, once the playoffs are done and we know more about what the “for life banishment” really entails.

  19. Adam Silver did a windmill/360/tomahawk dunk on Sterling, great job!!!! The door is opened that other members of the family take over the team since the ban affect the scumbag only, and Magic backtracked already . I believe the family will keep the team, my guess of course.

  20. darius: nba commissioner adam silver fully expects to receive three quarter owner support to require owner Donald sterling to give up ownership of the clippers. the ball is now in the owner’s court.

  21. Wow, lifetime ban for Sterling! Surprised and happy for that!

    I actually think there has been an under-reaction to the many cases against Sterling up till now… while the public reaction to the most recent event might be an over-reaction, in the sense that it is nothing new, and that he was more or less tricked into it by his GF.

    But anyway, a late over-reaction is better than no reaction at all, and the NBA will be better off without this fool. I am happy that the Clippers are not punished by losing draft picks (which was a possibility), since the players and the fans do not deserve such punishment. The ban only hurts Sterling and not the franchise, which is a good thing.

  22. D’Antoni does not have any leverage, he is under contract for next season. He can walk away from the money but what other team would hire him? It does not change his credibility to have his contract extended since, if he continues to annoy Kobe, D’Antoni will be gone anyway.

    I would like to see the answer to Kevin Johnson’s question: Why has it taken so long for the NBA to take notice of and action on Sterling’s racism?

  23. This was a Stern mess that landed on Silver’s lap.

  24. to laker front office: clipper stock just went up.

  25. The current Lakers coach’s tenure is O-V-E-R: Injuries be darned, he had two years to prove his mettle as an NBA coach, and both years he’s proved himself woefully incompetent. During his inaugural year he gleefully proclaimed, “Wait till Nash gets back” as a solution to the teams losing record. I’ve said all along, this coach’s offense has only been successfully operated with Nash as his point, and mind you that was with a young Nash and an entire squad of youngsters in Phoenix. He failed in his attempt to integrate his offense in New York with a relatively young team and an all-star in Carmelo Anthony. Moreover, I stated that this coach is better suited as an assistant on offense, but not with the Lakers. His entire persona, offense, demeanor, sense-of-humor, and lack of defense, in the game and between games adjustments are all better suited in a small market devoid of competition for the consumer’s entertainment dollar. The Lakers can ill-afford to _ick-around with fan followership in an NBA market that’s fandom is predicated on winning. Particularly when their down-the-hall rivals are on the precipice of syphoning off a piece of the Lakers market share. Young boys aged 8-9 years old have no memory of Kobe’s 81 point game or the Lakers last championship. On the playgrounds at recess and lunch they are portraying the players that are captivating their imagination: players like Curry, LeBron, Durant, Griffin, Paul, Aldridge, Wall, Ariza, Derozan, and Teague. Once these future ticket purchasers, jersey and merchandise buyers depart the Lakers brand it is virtually impossible to win them back, unless, the Lakers build a dynasty. In marketing, it is well known that it is easier to retain a customer than to try to retrieve them from the clutch of a competitor. For these reasons and more (Kobe’s injury and alienating his frontcourt), it is time for this coach to depart.

    Our 2014 draft pick must enter the league with a coach that will impart Lakers pride in him. It will be futile to draft a player and allow him to learn one side of the ball from this coach to only have to retrain him later. The present coach has not developed any player in two years, save for Sacre. In life, timing is everything it’s unfortunate that this coach arrived with the Lakers in the twilight of Dr. Buss’s life, however, we make our own destinies. Any other person placed in the same position as the existing coach would have altered their strategy to align with the talent on the team, or modified the tempo to accommodate their strengths instead of forcing the team to play at a speed that he favored. His choices were untenable with this team, yet he declined to adjust. As discussed on this blog, if he was going to go down, he was going to use his offense: So be it.

    Good for the NBA to take swift action on Stern, more on him when Forum Blue and Gold articles dictates that conversation.

  26. @Manny P…

    I appreciate your response even if I don’t agree with it. Although Sterling’s alleged racism was common knowledge, his team was able to attract top players and a top coach for a variety of reasons. His team is still in LA, with its appealing lifestyle, weather and off court financial opportunities.

    As I stated before, there is a huge difference, at least in my mind, between alleged racism and the no doubt about it variety that Sterling displayed recently. IMO, the players related accordingly once the facts crystallized. Many of us are forced to make choices and compromises about less-than-perfect employers. NBA players may fall into that category too. Thanks for the civil conversation.

  27. Hearing Sterling, in his own voice, unequivocally reveal his racism, is why this action was taken now. It’s not an action that would have stood much chance without the new evidence. It would be hypocritical for anyone against racism to continue to support or work for Sterling now. In the past, it may have been generous, naive, tolerant, ignorant, patient, etc., but it wasn’t hypocrisy if someone didn’t believe or understand the true nature of Sterling’s feelings. Acting now is the confirmation of belief, not hypocrisy.

    Sterling is a sleaze, but the general public often has to accommodate the rich and powerful like him. If you don’t like the fact that he’s been able to make millions through exploitation, getting away with harmful practices, you can look to blame the NBA, or Clipper players and coaches, but I think there’s a bigger systemic problem that results in good people ending up in bed with the Donald Sterlings of the world.

  28. Ko i mentioned in other posts that Sterling is going to fight this tooth and nail, i dont think he has a chance against the ban but i dont doubt he will fight to keep the team under his family control. He probably would go down but im sure he would take the team down with him and left it in shambles , which its fine with me.#VETO karma

  29. To the subject of this thread, I am totally against MDA’s return. I’ve always thought that a good coach adjusts to his personnel instead of vice versa. MDA’s devotion to the uptempo game at the expense of veteran players is not something I like or understand. There is nothing about his coaching on or off the court that says keeper to me

  30. Sterling’s real estate empire was built on holding properties (i.e. never selling). A strategy that has paid dividends over time. Nothing in his portfolio however, validates his hold strategy like the Clippers do. Being the grubber that he is, he’d sooner croak than sell. Thus I expect he will fight all attempts to force him to sell. The real leverage the league may have is if they can release the Clipper players from their contracts. I just don’t know if that is possible and if that is what the other owners would want (Lakers have cap space, are in LA….). Very interesting times for the league and Laker partisans.

    Billy Crystal: Shame on you too–you knew all along.

  31. darius; back on topic:

    Are the Lakers Bringing Back Mike D’Antoni, Really?

    Go lakers

  32. Don’t hold your breath on Sterling walking away quietly.. he has some solid legal strategies to fight the league outside of arbitration, if he so wishes. Among the most powerful claims he could raise are the following:

    “A potential antitrust claim by Sterling against the NBA would be that his competitors (other NBA owners) and the NBA have conspired to expel him. By doing so, the logic goes, Sterling would have to sell his team at less than market value because prospective buyers would know that Sterling “has to” sell. As a result, he would attract lower bids. Under federal antitrust law, any damages Sterling receives would be automatically multiplied by three. He may have additional claims under California antitrust law.

    Read More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/nba/news/20140426/donald-sterling-la-clippers-adam-silver-nba/#ixzz30JergU6f

    The same anti-trust argument of devaluation of the value of the team would hold if the league “voided” contracts of current players.

    The ownership question is not going to be answered quickly, so it will be interesting to see what happens in the next few weeks and months if Sterling refuses to sell. Will Doc Rivers stay true to his word and walk away from the remaining $14mm on his contract on principle? Can the league allow him to coach another team without Sterling’s approval? What if CP3 and Blake Griffin ask for trades but are denied? How will the NBAPA react? Could they (NBAPA) also be subject to anti-trust claims if they “steer” free agents away from the Clips?

  33. Confused.. We can talk here about rumors???

  34. Lakers: if you read these comments, and I hope you do ( as this forum contains some of your best and most thoughtful fans).

    Please Please Please let Dantoni go. His style can be entertaining, and perhaps yield a playoff team, but will NEVER win a championship.

    Simply put, His teams do not play defense well.

  35. http://basketball.realgm.com/wiretap/233171/NBA-Constitution-Excerpt-On-Termination-Of-Ownership

    There’s the link on the legalese of the termination – as for those saying he could fight or will – since he’s admitted that the voice on the tape is his own it amounts to a deposition – so there is no disputing it as evidence. Since there is no anti-trust violations by expelling sterling (he’s free to go buy another team in another league – just as how the NBA can bar younger players from playing in NBA) – his contractually status with the NBA and the acceptance of the NBA’s constitution and all it’s rules – are entirely legally enforcable without any other recourse. He could try to take it to court, but frankly a small claims court judge would look at it and say there is no validity to contesting any of it. Seen it on 3-4 business hows already where the’ve all said he would lose – and lose very early on in the legal process and no appeals court would touch it.
    Basically the NBA has him by the short and curlies. Best bet will be to reliquish all his influence and legal holdings regarding the NBA to other persons within his family and hope that satisfies
    the league to the point where they do not force the sale by his children etc…

  36. I’d think if the team remains in family hands that players would still revolt, ask for trades, suffer mysterious “injuries”, and Doc may find that “family matters” are forcing him to step down, no connection with the racism, of course.

    Then, the Sterling family, faced with plummeting value of a once up-and-coming team, will have no choice but to sell, if only to cut their losses. So it’s likely in their best business interests (as well as the host of other reasons) to dump it now to the highest bidder.

  37. I think the Lakers brass doesn’t want to be seen as overreacting. They don’t want to look as if they’ve lost all control. So they are slow to make any moves now. They didn’t move Hill, Kaman, or Pau at the deadline because they didn’t like the deals they were offered. It gives the appearance of control when you are the one turning down the deals. But we all know that is not true.

    By retaining D’Antoni the Lakers are pretty sure to lose all three for nothing. They also lost Howard for nothing. A team can’t keep losing competent (let alone All Star) big men for nothing. But for some reason they make sure NOT to lose D’Antoni. Its ironic the Lakers over the past few years have shown loyalty to only D’Antoni and Kobe. It’s going to be interesting watching a 36 year old Kobe coming off two lower extremity injuries try to run D’Antoni’s offense. Those two are an odd couple if I’ve ever seen one.

  38. If Sterling is forced to sell, compare/contrasting Lakers and the Clippers would be interesting. Not only do they share the same city and the arena, but both are linked with the veto, and both of them will be entering the new CBA with “new” ownership. Will it mark the beginning of Clippers taking over LA as the better basketball franchise?

  39. According to @ZachLowe_NBA, Mark Jackson asked Jerry West to stop attending practices and team activities. Crazy. grantland.com/the-triangle/t…

    Great news. Make a deal fast Mitch!

  40. david h April 29, 2014 at 11:39 am
    darius: nba commissioner adam silver fully expects to receive three quarter owner support to require owner Donald sterling to give up ownership of the clippers. the ball is now in the owner’s court.

    —————–

    No doubt Silver’s already polled the owners. Even the most inept manager alive would know to do that.

  41. Ko April 29, 2014 at 4:43 pm
    According to @ZachLowe_NBA, Mark Jackson asked Jerry West to stop attending practices and team activities. Crazy. grantland.com/the-triangle/t…

    ——————

    If true, merely confirms my low opinion of Jackson as a coach, my suspicion he will be available soon, and my hunch he’s no prize. Also, how laughable his advocacy of LA fans boycotting Clippers games – not too self serving is it?

  42. If I were a betting man wink wink

    I would bet the house on Clips tonight!

  43. The new owners would have to pass muster with the other NBA owners. Do you really think a majority of them would approve of the Sterling family members being accepted as new owners, i.e. they would have to go through the approval process, just like any other ownership group. I see no way Sterling, or his family, retain ownership of the club.

  44. Interesting.

    The girl, who has 6 different names, has over 100 hours of recording between Sterling and her. Seems she had been working this for awhile.

    Garbage

  45. All I am saying is that if Sterling wants to make things difficult for the league, he can. I know the league plans to move quickly, but moving quickly can only be achieved if Sterling is on board with whatever process/outcome the league and Sterling have agreed upon. This idea that Sterling has no options and must do as the league says is absurd. The league exercised the most power it had today: it fined him and banned him (and because the ban is permanent, it may be subject to legal challenge). Everything else they attempt to do going forward will either be (1) with Sterling’s negotiated approval or (2) decided through a bitter and lengthy legal process.

    Sterling has a lot to lose here, but so does the league as well as the other owners.

    I imagine both Sterling and the league will come to some sort of agreement that meets halfway. Maybe Sterling gets his “desired” price for the Clippers if he sells (i.e. whatever he thinks his team is worth, even if above what people truly think the team is worth, with the league covering the difference between the highest bidder and Sterling’s “desired” price), Sterling agree to sell at whatever he can get on the market but he retains veto rights over buyers (ensuring Magic or other folks he does not like do not buy it), maybe he sells a controlling share of the team, or maybe a combination of all of these. Who knows. Point is, nothing is certain at this early stage.

    I’m concerned that the NBAPA does not entirely understand this concept. While today was a great step forward, this is far from done and the final outcome may not be what the NBAPA thinks they “won” today. If so, we are in for a rough summer.

  46. You are exactly correct Manny.

    Donald would sue his own mother. He lives for this stuff. Look as his history.

    When the NBA realizes they can not use the recordings in court(fruit of the poison tree) they can be involved in a long legal battle.

    One other thing. Mark Jackson is odd and off. This is now two coaches and the logo jettisoned in one year. No way I see him returning next year.

    Very odd week in basketball.

  47. How the heck did Washington and Nana get so good? They will end up playing Miami.

  48. IANAL, but I agree with Manny here. Article 13 of the NBA constitution talks about stuff like throwing games, gambling scandals, not paying the bills, lying on docs, etc.

    To put it in simple terms: the NBA is in many ways a private club, and Silver runs the club. So he can kick Sterling out of the club, ban him from club functions, keep him away from club events, and force him to pay money into the club’s private kitty based on club by-laws.

    But getting Sterling to sell an asset that he owns, even if said asset is connected to being in the club, is another matter. In practical terms, yes, it will be hard for Sterling’s heirs to run the Clippers. In legal terms, Sterling IMO can challenge an attempt by the NBA to force him to sell the team.

  49. I will moderate this board based on the commenting guidelines. If you don’t like it, that’s really too bad. If you want to go somewhere else, that’s your choice.

  50. Yep Rr

    Donald is still a cell phone call away from Andy Rosen. Bet he used a burner phone!

  51. I used to really dislike Doc in the Green days.

    Got to admit he is a class act and handled this like a pro.

  52. Not sure how the recordings would be viewed inadmissible. The nba didn’t make the recordings – and apparently all parties confirmed the identities of everyone involved. The content of the recordings are now public knowledge. Can’t put the genie back in the bottle. Further more the nba’s case is a civil matter, they’re not getting trouble for anything, and given that the nba’s head office consists almost entirely of lawyers, you can be sure they think. They have a water tight case before going down this road. Sterling won’t lose $. The nba will hold team in trust, determine the appropriate market value of the franchise and sterling will get a fair payout once a buyer has been found. The nba has a 3/4 mechanism to remove owners they see unfit, it may not be explicit in the charter, but this isn’t us disagreeing w the FO over a hire etx… nba didn’t do this unless it wasn’t a lock.

  53. Jerke

    Google Calif recording private conversation laws.both parties must be in agreement or it can not be used in any legal matter.

    Clips by 17 tonight.

  54. @ko, that’s fine but it doesn’t matter. Genie is out of the bottle and as rr said it’s a private club – but not the only one- therefore no antitrust issues and the nba owners can vote to remove him as they see fit. They don’t have to specifically use the recordings – the owners can just arbitrarily decide they don’t like a guy and remove him from the league.

    If sterling decided to be obstinate, the nba could be creative and follow federal legislation giving employees the right nor to work for a discriminatory employeer, and essentially void all contracts w the clippers – award a new franchise to a new ownership group and essentially devalue clippers to nothing.

    Or silver could just veto all personel moves by the clippers for “bball reasons”, again losing sterling all that money. Million ways to skin that sterling cat – just depends how much $ sterling wants to lose on the way out the door.

  55. nba didn’t do this unless it wasn’t a lock.

    You have no way of knowing this. The NBA can fine him and ban him; I do not think that it is clear that they can force him to sell the team for saying racist stuff on tape. Like you said, it is not explicit in the charter.

    I personally have no problem with Sterling’s being forced to sell from an ethical or philosophical perspective; I am simply saying that I do not believe that it is cut/dried legally. Time will tell.

  56. Based on my legal knowledge(I watch Judge Judy) I think you are correct.

  57. You’re right- they may not be able to force him to sell. But they can make it incredibly painful for him financially. Which is worth more to sterling: being known as the racist owner of a virtually defunct nba franchise that is losing $. Or walking away w between 500-750 million assured cash. mind you, he may know he’s not long for this earth and may be inclined to want to die an nba owner regardless of what that really means

  58. Fern

    Good point but it’s not going away. The girl with 5 names has 100 hours of recording of Sterling and her “agent?” Is fielding book offers.

    No doubt her reality show is next.

  59. 4th consecutive overtime game between OKC and Memphis. Unbelievable. The 1st Round of the Western Conference Playoffs have been phenomenal this year.

  60. Seriously tired of the Sterling “debate” in the comments. Don’t bring your politics to this site. If it keeps up, I will just ban you. I understand the issue isn’t going away, but unless there is something basketball related that is worth discussing (and most of these comments I am deleting are nowhere close) take it somewhere else.

  61. I didnt brought any politics, but thats fine, i respect the gag order. Like i said its time to move on.

  62. Big choke from KD missing 2nd ft and bricking a bad 30 footer as Griz win!

  63. Ko,

    Did you see the stunt Joey Crawford pulled to completely destroy KD’s momentum after he hit the first free throw? He made it seem as if he had suddenly found the wreckage of the Malaysian MH370 or something. And feverishly told the scorers’ table to add something back but nothing really changed.

    If that had happened to the Lakers, I’d be so angry. I can’t imagine how the Thunder fans feel about his latest antics.

  64. On Basketball matters that OKC series has convinced me that OKC is seriously flawed as a team and even worse coached or KD is just dumb, you are losing by one and the best play they could draw up is a freaking 27 footer? I noticed that trend on this series OKC is trailing by 2 or 3 points and KD and Russell just shoot 3 pointer after 3 pointer, if they needed just 2 points why in the hell KD didnt drive to the basket? They are going to triple team him, thats a given he could create a shot for himself or kick it to Russell or whoever is open. That team is badly coached, really thin personel wise, i mean they used 10 players and five!!! went scoreless they have two “defensive specialists” in the starting lineups that are just scrubs and both didnt scote a point tonight, you have RW going 10 of 34!!! 7 more shots than the MVP. They are going to have to split up that duo.As giid as Westbrook is he has no business taking 34 shots in a game. Didnt want to pay Harden but are paying almost 10 million to Perkins who plays like he dont belongs in the nba anymore. Looks like OKC front office magic touch is gone.

  65. @ Jerke — what makes you believe the Clippers would become a “virtually defunct” franchise, or that the Clippers are losing money? Forbes reported they made $128 million in the last year and the franchise value was up 34 percent. And that was under the unpopular owner who was just ousted from basketball activity.

    Even if Sterling tries to hang on, there’s a long way to fall before they’re in the red, and the fans who like the players will likely stay supportive. People pay to see Chris Paul and Griffin, not Sterling.

    The league has already made it difficult for him to attempt to retain ownership, and the pressure will rise. I wouldn’t even try to wager as to what he’ll do. But either way, the Clippers are far from defunct and even farther from losing money.

  66. Big choke from KD missing 2nd ft ..

    True indeed Ko.

    Credit also has to be given to Tony Allen. He’s applied the handcuffs to KD35 during this series and locked him up.

  67. So much for the Clips emotional blowout victory, if Curry get going they can take this game.

  68. Jerke,

    I agree with most of that. Thing is…Sterling ran a bad team for 30 years and didn’t seem to care, and he seems like a stubborn guy. I could see him holding on to the Clippers (if he can do so legally) to the detriment of the franchise.

    So…Sterling staying around would help the Lakers. ;-)

    WC playoffs are really exciting, even if, like me, you have no real rooting interest.

  69. Wow 9 TOs for Curry.

  70. Jordan would not get off the bench if he played for MDA?

  71. @ Simonoid, another instance of Joey Crawford taking over a game. He could had wait after the ft when Memphis most probably would have taken a timeout but that would had been too quiet for him and no tv time, he needed the attention. They need to get rid of him. Adam Silver should posterize him too for real.

  72. i am one of those who would want D’Antoni leave…
    its the first step the management need to address, and the one that can decide our future.
    keeping him means we’re unintentionally tanking… losing him gives us a better brighter start…
    i actually think we cannot out-loss this previous season, this is the worst season for us and will stay as the worst for years to come.

    its time to make a change, change starts with changing our coach. he proved himself not capable, and have brought us some back luck in the process… let him go and 90% will be happy…

  73. @chrisj – the clippers aren’t defunct now and of course the franchise is worth money (thats why its in Sterlings interest to sell and get out now while the selling is good and buyers are lined up), but if the NBA was told they couldn’t force him out they still have lots of recourse –

    1. People aren’t obligated to work for a employer that discriminates -even w/o the most recent tapes there would be enough evidence for players and the NBA to say its an unfit workplace – the NBA could then void all the contracts of the players and allow them to sign whereever – Les Alexander – owner of the Rockets -already pushed for this openly to declare all the players free agents (signing bonaza for the lakers!!)

    2. league could award a new franchise and port all player contracts to a new owner (i hear there is a building in anahiem that could use a team)

    3. if sterling remains, good players/people will simply refuse to play for him. Again, the NBA just awards a new franchise to allow those 15 roster spots to be filled.

    Even if “conduct detrimental to the league” isn’t enough to get rid of Sterling – the NBA could make it so that it’s impossible for him to field a proper team etc… which upsets competitive balance or a bunch of other specifically mentioned clauses which once he’s violated those give them the opportunity to shut him down. Players just have to refuse to play or refuse to sign with the team. And this doesn’t even take into account the pressure the NBA could put on Clipper sponsors to cut ties with them (as some already have) or say a company like AEG who runs Staples (or who ever it is) – i imagine they would have a pretty strong corporate anti discrimination policy that would probably allow them to back out of doing business w a tenant that is found to be engaging in discriminatory practices via morality clauses etc… (no more clippers in staples?)

    Wouldn’t take long to drive down the value – players refuse to report for camp in fall/fA’s don’t sign. Doc leaves as coach and as head of bball operations. Nobody qualified in the NBA is taking that position under sterling, and even then that won’t matter. Take into account the general none bball staff – the franchise would literally have no one to run it as many of the operational staff have already vowed to quit if he stays. Sterling can make a fight if he wants – but as soon as he starts court proceedings, the franchise loses money and sponsors and tv time etc… The only person he hurts is himself financially.

  74. I see that the ‘Media Mouths’ are trying to, somewhat, blame Joey Crawford for KD35 missing that 2nd free throw last night. Did Crawford bring “attention”, as Fern correctly stated, to himself at that moment? Definitely. But then the question has to be asked – and honestly answered – was that the reason Durant, mind you, outside of Kobe, one of my favorite players in the league, missed the free throw? I would say no. Now one can say that Joey Crawford’s actions threw off Durant’s rhythm. Or iced him. But those same individuals need to keep in mind that, up until that point, he’d already missed 2 free throws during the game. So was his rhythm thrown off during those free throws also? We’re talking about a player, who, let’s not forget, in a couple of weeks, is more then likely to be announced as the league MVP and more importantly, has been a prolific free throw shooter throughout his career. The bottom line – regardless of how the ‘Media Mouths’ try to spin it – is that he didn’t convert at the line when it counted most. And being that he perennially shoots around 90% from the line, one can say – which I did – that he chocked. Just my opinion, but as the man stated himself, “I’m not sure what happened, but I’ve got to focus and I’ve got to make that foul shot.” Exactly. No excuses.

  75. Sorry Darius I couldn’t resist.

  76. darius: here’s what we learned from yesterday: if there any nba owners who are closet racist/bigots; best to keep those stink butt thoughts to oneself and while they’re at it, keep those stink butt shoes and socks neatly tucked away forever or else subject yourself to the wrath of knowing what’s good for them.

    since nba commissioner said immediately, one would think that the other 29 nba owners are being polled today with an expectant announcement by tomorrow or Friday at the latest; at least that’s how I interpret immediate. of interesting note, commissioner said something to the effect that magic “laker” Johnson will always be welcome as an nba owner. I added the “laker” part because, in addition to having the biggest heart of all laker players ever, if it were not for the magic man, laker history would be different than it is today and we may be asking ourselves, only eleven nba championships?? I understand and can appreciate magic’s desire to own an nba team. only thing I would change would be the name: something like la magic; maybe la midas in memory of the late, great, Dr. Buss and not to be confused with our once proud los angeles lakers.

    speaking of which, go lakers

  77. The fact that D’Antoni is pushing so hard to have his option picked up for year four makes complete sense for him but no sense for the Lakers. He is not the long term guy and I can’t stomach anyone pretending he could be. I want him gone YESTERDAY. The money to be lost is minimal compared to the other losses his presence purveys. SterlingGate has really pulled this issue out of the limelight, but it is still blinding ME.

  78. Imagine if Vogel resigned. We’d immediately fire MDA and sign him.

  79. To fire MDA now, have no coach and not find anyone better, while still paying MDA, might as well have him do his job.

    For all the unfortunate events that was brought us over the last 2 seasons, nowhere else to go but up. MDA is bound for good karma. Lakers bound for good karma.

  80. The Crawford thing is a big deal about nothing. But isn’t sports entertainment like that these days? It’s funny, really. Durant wasn’t interrupted on the free throw he shot. Like any other kind of time-out being called by anyone for any reason after an initial free throw, he had plenty of time to collect himself and follow exactly whatever routine he’s used countless times before. And yet no complaints about all these long interruptions to see who knocked a ball out of bounds that really do disrupt the flow of the game. And Durant didn’t choke. Nobody hits 100% of their FTs.

  81. Jerke – “conduct detrimental to the league” is NOT enough to force an owner to sell. Ultimately, the question of whether or not he can sell lies in whether or not such action is authorized in either the NBA Constitution or the Franchise Agreement signed by Sterling. If not explicitly outlined or addressed, you have room for legal claims, some of which must be arbitrated, but potentially some can be pulled out of arbitration and litigated in open court. The benefit to Sterling in litigating in open court is that the rules of evidence attach and some of his statements may not be admissible. Although most agree Sterling does not have much of a case, most agree that he could prevent the league from forcing him to sell for many years.

    From what I have read, there is one potential “nuclear” option at the disposal of the players. The NBA Constitution allows for the other owners to commence termination proceedings if an owner “Willfully fails to present its Team at the time and place it is scheduled to play in an Exhibition, Regular Season, or Playoff Game.” Remember that league rules provide that a team must at least suit up 8 players for any game. At the end of this season, the Clippers will have 8 players under contract, with 1 player option (9 players), with 4 of those players in the final years of their contracts. If no free agents sign with the Clippers this season and next, Sterling will not be able to put a team together to play a game in two years, and he would be in violation of the NBA Constitution. If just 2 of the 4 players on their final deal “retire” for the year, the Clippers are left with a roster of 7 and would not be able to play a game.

  82. Those on the fire MDA bandwagon ought to take a look at how this season went for Chi, Minn, and even Denver before asserting it’s so blatantly obvious that the Lakers would be instantly better with a different coach. Very soon we can add Indiana to that list. Remember all the noise here chattering for Thibs– that team looks like it quit on him in a way that most assuredly did NOT happen to MDA. Don’t get me wrong– I agree with those who believe he’s not the guy to lead us back into championship contention, but I think if anything he over-performed in terms of getting stuff never previously seen out of Meeks, Swaggy, Blake, Kelly and occasionally (but not often enough) Marshall. The flipside of course is his awful handling of Hill and Kamen, but does anyone really think we’d be better off with a guy like Steve Kerr, because the dismal reality is that it sounds like teams are fighting over that guy? Meanwhile, we’ve seen epically awful coaching by both McHale and Brooks (keep shooting Russell– you’re the best jump shooter on the team!).

    Regrettably, it looks more and more like it’s Pop, then Carlisle, then everybody else. My 2c– it’s counterintuitive i know, but i think the Lakers should make their coaching decision following the draft rather than ahead of it– if they can draft for size then perhaps they should indeed fire MDA, if they draft someone who would fit into MDA’s system then let him play out his run for a final year. I guess it depends to what degree the Lakers seriously believe next season is the first step of creating a championship team or if instead they are playing out the Kobe rope and acquiring draft picks as they go, and then truly restarting their quest to greatness in two more years.

  83. That last Anon comment was me.

    Rfen – I hate to defend Crawford, but given that this was a second free throw and that a miss could result in possession, I’m going to say that having an accurate clock is important. Plus, please don’t tell me that getting into KD’s head is that easy. In short, I agree with you partner.

  84. Lil Pau,

    Chicago did not give up. They were over powered by superior talent. Washington is better than Chicago at every position except center, and Noah was limited with knee issues. If anything, Thibs maximized his talent by grabbing the four seed without their MVP as well as arguably their second best player in Deng. Even without these two, every game against Washington was competitive, unlike the four blowouts we saw last season with the Lakers against the Spurs.

  85. @ Jerke — You make many assumptions in your previous post. I won’t try to debate them point by point. Let’s just say we agree that it’s in Sterling’s best interests to sell.

    As for this subject, I highly recommend this ESPN.com piece:

    http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/10859219/nba-commissioner-acted-la-clippers-donald-sterling-now-prior-regime-ignored-similar-racist-comments

  86. How can you say with a straight face that the Lakers did not quit on D’Antoni? To begin with, players have already admitted that they did not play as hard as they could every game. If this season represented the best effort from each player, what happened to the defense? It is easy to count points scored and rebounds grabbed but a little difficult to quantify how hard each player worked on defense. However, it is very telling that the Lakers ranked last in just about every team defense category. Either they were terrible defenders or maybe they just did not try as hard as they could at that end of the floor. The Laker FO needs to figure out what they want from the team and hire the appropriate coach. After two seasons they should have a pretty good idea of what they will get from D’Antoni.

  87. lil pau: Agree on waiting until after our pick to determine who’s the coach. Wouldn’t MDA to coach a traditional big if that’s our pick. There would be zero development.

  88. With the playoff teams (and their coaching situations) in such flux, I now think (unlike my prior comments of 2-3 weeks ago) that it would be wise to wait for the dust to settle.

    With some possible openings occurring (Frank Vogel? Doc Rivers? others?), it would be wise to just simply sit and wait. If, say, Doc Rivers decides to resign and seek employment elsewhere, grabbing him could be an opportunity that wouldn’t come up again for a long time…if ever. again.

    So maybe the best thing to do is just to wait. And if that displeases D’Antoni, so be it.

    Surely, the Lakers FO must be noticing that these playoffs have turned some coaching careers upside down.

  89. lil pau,
    I also agree with you that it makes sense to keep MDA until after the draft – that is if a coach the Lakers really wanted didn’t become available first.

    With the possible exception of the last few games, when everything was lost and fans were revolting, I also agree that MDA did a very good job of keeping the team focused and trying hard. The talent wasn’t there to play any real kind of defense. Besides, it also takes people who have played some time together to help out on defense. Our team never did play together for any length of time during the season. First it was injuries and trying to find a combination, then it was injuries and struggling to find anything that had a semblance of working.

  90. Michael McCann, SI.com legal guy, on the legal complexities of forcing Sterling to sell:

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/nba/news/20140429/donald-sterling-nba-adam-silver-clippers-lawsuit-lifetime-ban/

  91. Yikes! I guess there is no way to phrase anything intelligently.

  92. Baylor Fan,

    I attended just about every home game this season. This makes me either a super fan, a masochist, someone with nothing else in his life, or a combination of all three. The sense I got was (and of course there were exceptions) was that, in general, this team worked incredibly hard and played with a lot of passion. You are right of course that they were atrocious defensively, but although I realize the question you asked was rhetorical, I would answer ‘yes’, the primary reason in my opinion is that they were indeed just terrible defenders. Before a single injury, many were saying that this could be one of the worst defensive teams ever (that was with Nash/Kobe), and lo and behold, it was true. Plus I can’t for the life of me figure out what MDA’s defensive scheme was (thanks for the help, Kurt Rambis). This is another argument against MDA that I should have included, but ‘with a straight face’ I assert that this team’s defensive problems were less about effort and more about ability and defensive philosophy (or the absence of one). Did you see the end of the Bulls game? Wash got about 7 straight offensive rebounds while Noah and company just stood there. I see that as quitting and, as awful defensively as the Lakers were this year, I didn’t see anything like that.

    And LT Mitchell, you are right about last season against the Spurs, but what about the last PJ coached team losing to Dallas. That team’s body language looked so much worse than anything I saw this year. We basically fielded a D-league team that occasionally managed to compete and even steal a few from first rate competition.

    Again, I’m not an MDA defender; I just reject those here who seem to take it for granted that the guy was some kind of unmitigated disaster. I think he deserves a lot of credit for some players’ development (esp Meeks and the Swag) and plenty of blame for others (team defense, Kamen, Hill). The worst thing he may have done is increased the value of Meeks and Swaggy so we won’t be able to afford to resign them. In this regard, I agree with Aaron….

  93. Rr

    I have been making this point. First rule in life. Don’t sue or threaten a guy who has been an attorney for 55 years. He lives for this stuff.

  94. I am fine with the Lakers being patient about deciding what to do with D’Antoni (retain or not). However, I think drawing some line in the sand about a date (after the draft, before free agency, vice versa) is mostly tied to flawed reasoning. Said another way, either the team thinks he is the right guy for the job next season or the they don’t. If it’s the latter, it doesn’t matter who the draft pick is, what free agents opt-in/out or what other coaches are/are not available as replacements — those things should not matter if you don’t think this guy is the right coach.

    On the flip side, if it’s the former those other things also shouldn’t matter. If you think he’s the right guy, then that’s it. I can understand having some buyer’s remorse if a coach you really love shakes loose and is open to coaching the team. And if that were to happen, maybe you explore your options at that point. But saying “oh we picked Dante Exum so we should keep this coach” doesn’t add up even if MDA is really good with guards/wings, especially if you don’t think he’s the right guy in other areas.

    Basically, the Lakers should be looking at all the variables and then making a final call for the next season. Timeline shouldn’t matter. And, in a way, roster construction should only matter within the context of team building to try and best fit what is the agreed upon philosophy for the how the team should play, but not necessarily because “player A or B is/is not available so let’s choose this coach” kind of way.

  95. Timeline matters regarding retaining their free agent bigs. Outside of that, it doesn’t matter.

    MDA has already been coach two years longer than he should have been.

  96. MDA seems like the type of coach who, at his best, “has” to have a particular type of lineup to win.

    Well, in the past, the Lakers set the bar much higher in terms of coaching talent. The first LA champs were coached by Bill Sharman, who won titles in the ABL ad ABA previously, with very different lineups. Riles of course won first in LA and later became one of the very few NBA coaches to win titles with two different franchises, with varied lineups. Which brings us to PJ, who of course is another of the very few coaches to win titles with two different franchises and varied lineups. For the record, only three NBA coaches have ever won titles with more than one NBA franchise. Two have coached the Lakers.

    In stark contrast, all MDA has demonstrated is his ability to lose with more than one franchise.

  97. lil Pau,

    I would go with masochist except that I envy you being able to go to the games. The bits and pieces shown on TV do not do the games justice. You have seen much more than I could have even if I had watched every game on TV. The Lakers base defense is a strong side zone with the big man (often big Pau) within a step of the free throw line. Ways to beat it include having players cut from the weak side and attacking the weak side with one or two quick passes. My point is that players worried about their next contract often put their energy into offense first (Ariza comes to mind). For example, who consistently ran back on defense to stop the initial ball penetration? Once the ball swings to the weak side, everyone has to scramble to pick up their new assignments. That was haphazard. Coaches that have strong defensive teams are calling out assignments so their players are not making mistakes on defense. I cannot tell if D’Antoni or Kurt were trying to correct positioning on the court, maybe they were. However, even with a change of personnel, I do not have confidence that the Lakers would become even an average defensive team.

  98. I gave MDA (nearly) two full seasons before really deciding about him, and as Hale mentioned, it matters if we’d like to keep any of the three relatively-talented big men this big-man-averse coach has jerked around for the past 18 months once free agency opens.

    Here’s how I feel: he’s really just a brilliant guard’s coach, and a great offensive coach overall. I don’t know if it’s people skills or what else exactly led him to play his frontcourt so erratically, and if their public statements are to be believed, with so little communication on his end.

    I guess what I’m saying is he’s the Jerry Glanville of the NBA. And his Falcons teams piled up some pretty great numbers but never won anything. I’d like to watch a team that contends more than I’d like to see some exciting fast breaks and a 44-38 season. I’ve already seen this movie, it’s called 1993-1995.

    If this season was a placeholder, barring some great luck in the lottery (which pains me to even type), I think next year may be too while we wait for the 2015 free agent class to become available. But this organization and this GM have swung for the fences before, I hope my trust in them is well-placed.

  99. Lil Pau,

    I think it’s unfair to compare the body language (energy level?) of the Lakers team that lost to Dallas to this year’s team.

    The team that lost to Dallas was coming off of three consecutive finals appearances. Physical and mental exhaustion is to be expected.

    In addition, Kobe was basically playing on one leg. His knee issues forced him to miss most of the practices that season, and he was a shell of his former self in that series. (This was before the German knee procedures that rejuvenated his career).

    They lost to Dallas because Dallas was the healthier, fresher, hungrier, deeper, and better team….not because they gave up on Phil.

    D’Antoni did some things well and poorly this season, but getting players in their contract year, or players just trying to make the league, to play hard is not a difficult task. It’s almost a given. Getting veterans to respect you, or to buy in to your philosophy, or be be a good communicator?……these tasks are a bit more difficult….and D’Antoni failed miserably at these tasks the past two seasons.

  100. KD has it easy. If Kobe or Lebron’s team was on a verge of losing in a first round of the playoffs the Internet would go crazy. They’d say Kobe is ball hog, Lebron’s a choker, he can’t win without Shaq yadayadayada.

    Where as KD, the dude never gets the flack Kobe or Lebron would get if they’re team was on the verge of being upset in the first round. All blame usually falls on Westbrook.

  101. Craig: Well, no one outside of the NBA owners has the full legal picture here so all guesses seem to be possible until disproved as information is leaked to the press. One thing is certain: its going to be a mess if Donald does not want to sell.

    rr- Interesting link. The tax implications alone (potentially $330+mm in taxes if forced to sell now, versus $30mm if Sterling’s heirs sell after inheriting team) may be enough to get Sterling to fight this tooth and nail. If I remember correctly, Sterling boasted that he only agreed to pay the $2.5mm fine in the housing discrimination lawsuit b/c it was covered by his insurance, so his net worth was never impacted – and he fought that suit till the bitter end. With this in mind, if Sterling is forced to sell now but later wins on an anti-trust issue (and assuming the hypothetical sale price and tax implications of the CNNSI article remain true), the potential liability to the League and each Team could reach as high as $1b as anti-trust awards allow for “treble” damages plus attorney fees. Sure, all the Owners are “united” on principle now, but lets see what happens to their collective conviction during the dead months of the summer when the NBA news cycle has slowed to a trickle and each of their teams of lawyers have had an opportunity to review the issues here.

    Personally, I think there are sufficient legal risks here to make any owner thing twice about voting Sterling off their league, although I am admittedly a pessimist (and no Robert, that is not why I defend the FO). IMHO, it would not surprise me if we do not hear anything from the owners until late this summer – but when we do hear from them, it is something along the lines of “hey, we want to force this guy to sell, but our attorneys have advised us that the NBA Constitution does not clearly give us that right, opening up the possibility of a lengthy legal battle hurting the league and the teams, and so hurting our dear fans, whom we love so much, K? So, going forward, we will collectively work to change the NBA Constitution to give us the power to kick mean racists from our billionaire ranks (but hey, maybe we still allow misogynists and homophobes). :-) Also, we will work with the NBAPA to come to a realistic compromise with Mr. Sterling. Sound good fans? Ok. Thanks. Love you lots. Ok, Bye.”

    Of course the above paragraph is in jest, but given the tax penalties and the lack of clear authority to force a sale, perhaps compromise is the only realistic option available to the Owners and Players. One possible compromise may be that Sterling remains on as owner but transfers all day-to-day activities and management to a league and NBAPA approved third party (can you say Magic Johnson Enterprises)? Or maybe the NBAPA requires that certain portion of the Clips (or league) profits are distributed to charities that fight racism and housing discrimination? Perhaps there are other comprises?

    Regardless of where we end up in the future, there are ample questions to be answered in the short term. For example, what impact will this incident have on the future of the Clips 3 biggest stars (CP3, Blake and Deandre) with the Clippers? Also, since CP3 is the NBAPA elected president, does this mean that he has to recuse himself from any negotiation/settlement related to Sterling as his interests may conflict with those of the NBAPA (i.e. maybe he does not want Sterling to own the team under any circumstances or wants to be able to void his contract but the Union as a majority is OK only with silent ownership + donations)? Also, what impact will any delay in resolving the ownership question have on FAs? What about trades (Do you see any team willing to do any type of deals so long as Sterling is to profit)?

    All of these are very interesting discussion points that could keep us talking for weeks on end. Normally, I would not really care – its the Clippers after all. But hey, my Lakers are out of the playoffs so I need something to entertain myself (and focus my anger on) while I avoid watching any games featuring the Clippers, Heat and Spurs. I’m sure Celtic and Knick fans may also find hating Sterling more fun than watching the Heat. Fans of the Bulls, Thunder and Pacers may also soon join this bandwagon.

  102. Darius, exactly….

  103. I agree with Darius (I think).

    In terms of drafting, the best approach has always been: you draft the best available player. You never draft based on need. Imagine the Spurs passing up on Duncan because his skillset was too similar to the Admiral and they were in need of a PG. You draft the best and then figure out how to incorporate them into your team and long term plans.

    Otherwise, if need is so critical, you trade your pick prior to drafting for a veteran player that fits your critical need.

  104. Donald Sterling set to fight NBA ban with lawsuit to block sale of Clippers: source

    Surprise surprise

  105. MDA Gone!!!!!!!!!!

    There is a God after all!

  106. Mike D’Antoni has resigned as Lakers coach, source tells ESPN
    6:17pm – 30 Apr 14

    So what the heck?

    It’s a beautifully day in MudVille as Might Mumbles has struck out.

  107. According to ESPN, Mike D’Antoni has resigned from the Lakers because they refuse to pick up his fourth option.

    http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/story/_/id/10864513/mike-dantoni-resigns-coach-los-angeles-lakers

  108. Darius: “If you think he’s the right guy, then that’s it.” Isn’t that the central issue? And you know what – I do not see anyone saying that he is. Not on this board Not in the media. and not in the FO. There are two groups of people on this issue. There are those who say he should be fired. And group 2 simply says that we need a plan/alternative before we fire him next year. I am not seeing anyone say that he is “our guy”- as in 3 years from now we will be contending and MD will be at the helm. If I missed anyone saying that – feel free to do it now.
    lil pau: Yes – the bandwagon has formed hasn’t it? It is a thing of beauty from where I am sitting – which is riding shotgun on the lead wagon : )
    Jane: Nice post. Is there anything we don’t agree on? Oh yea – you are not rooting against the Spurs. My mission s to change your mind on that. The rematch between he Spurs and Heat is almost inevitable. LBJ is already the new MJ. Do you really what the Duncan/Pop worship to start in the media again? : )

    Edit – Well I guess we were due for some good luck. This resignation could be the beginning of something good.

  109. Re MDA: why walk away from one year of guaranteed cash? Could this be a buy out spin like a resignation to allow him to save face?

  110. Goodbye Mike D’Antoni, Hello Stan Van Gundy!