Should Mike Dunleavy Get the Axe?

Michael KarapetianContributor IIJanuary 16, 2009


The National Basketball Association has already seen numerous coaches fired this season due to under-performing teams. In fact, we have seen six different coaches let go from their respective jobs, all before Christmas, which was a new record for the league.

Fans of the Los Angeles Clippers have to be wondering if Mike Dunleavy, also the team's general manager, should be the next one to get the axe.

The Clippers hired Dunleavy after the 2002-03 season, which saw two different head coaches combining for a mediocre 27 victories. Just three years later, Dunleavy was able to get the Clippers within one defensive mistake to a possible matchup against the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Finals.

After that season, which gave the Clipper Nation great hope for the future, the Clippers have greatly struggled, going a combined 71-131, which includes this season’s horrid record.

After two injury-plagued seasons, Dunleavy officially took the title of the team's GM from Elgin Baylor. Many fans had believed that Dunleavy was already doing all the work when it came to free agency, drafting, and other GM duties.

During the offseason, the Clippers were able to acquire two solid veterans and seemed to have an improved roster, despite Elton "Judas" Brand bolting. Even with a better roster, we see how mediocre the team is playing, so one wonders, is change coming?

Many people blame Coach Dunleavy for the team's problems, including disagreements with Baron Davis on how the offense should be run. Others seem to be in a wait-and-see-how-the-team-plays-when-healthy mode.

I don't believe Dunleavy should be axed, but if he is, I can see the Clippers going with a young coach, such as Mark Jackson or a Sam Cassell.