Mike Dunleavy: Clueless Until The Very End

Buy The ClippersContributor IMarch 12, 2010

26 Apr 2001:  Head coach Mike Dunleavy of the Portland Trail Blazers looks on during the second quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 2 of the NBA playoffs at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.  DIGITAL IMAGE.  Mandatory Credit: Harry How/ALLSPORT NOTE TO USER: It is expressly understood that the only rights Allsport are offering to license in this Photograph are one-time, non-exclusive editorial rights. No advertising or commercial uses of any kind may be made of Allsport photos.  User acknowledges that it is aware that Allsport is an editorial sports agency and that NO RELEASES OF ANY TYPE ARE OBTAINED from the subjects contained in the photographs.
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Mike Dunleavy was stunned, STUNNED I tell you, to learn that the Clippers had fired him.

As related in an article for ESPN Los Angeles, written by Ramona Shelburne, “Mike Dunleavy still doesn't know exactly what happened.

Tuesday afternoon he got a haircut, packed for a scouting trip to the ACC tournament, then went out to a local golf course for a couple hours. “Unbeknownst to him, and still unexplained to him as of late Tuesday night, during that time he was being fired as general manager of the Clippers.

"‘I come back to my locker around 7 p.m. and there's a million messages on my phone,’ Dunleavy said, when reached by ESPNLosAngeles.com late Tuesday night.

"‘This guy comes up to me and said, 'What's going on? They just said on TV that the Clippers severed ties with you?'

"‘I had no idea what they were talking about. I'm like, 'Wow. I haven't even talked to the Clippers.'"


Not only did Dunleavy apparently not see this coming from a mile away, but they didn’t even bother to inform him first before they pulled the trigger. What an ignominious way to be canned. Now, I find it fascinating that Ex-coach, now GM, Dunleavy had no idea he was in danger of losing his job.

Keep in mind that his record as coach of the Clippers over the last six plus years is 215-325. That’s the worst record over that stretch of seasons in NBA history. But Mike had no idea the Clippers were about to send him packing.

There can only be four reasons why Mike would be so oblivious:

1) He is a raging egomaniac who has convinced himself that, despite the horrendous record of the Clippers during his tenure, he has done a magnificent job, and that the poor showing is the result of things beyond his control, like injuries and market conditions.

2) He was banking on Donald Sterling’s legendary cheapness to protect him from being fired before the end of his contract.

3) He understood that he coached about as well as bag of hammers, but he thought his GM’ing was peachy keen.

4) He recently suffered a concussion at the hands of sledge hammer wielding irate Clippers fan. No matter the reason, ditching Dunleavy was long overdue, which is just one more in a series of reasons why the Clippers need a new owner.

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