Welcome To Another Edition Of SbB’s “Al Says”!

Ben Bolch of the LOS ANGELES TIMES drops off this gem:

Al Says: Feature Steve Phillips Jumpoff

Reporting from Atlanta - Baron Davis called it heartbreaking. Eric Gordon said it was not up to par.

Al Thornton?

“It was a decent trip,” the Clippers forward said Wednesday night at Philips Arena after his team concluded a two-week journey with a 103-97 loss to the Atlanta Hawks. “We could have done a lot better, but it was a decent trip.”

Asked what he meant by “decent,” Thornton fell silent for several seconds.

“What was our record on this trip, anyway?” he inquired.

Informed it was 2-6, Thornton chuckled and said, “I guess not so decent, then. My bad.”

Not mentioned: two of six losses were to the 4-44 Nets and 11-38 Minnesota with the 14-day excursion ultimately resulting in head coach Mike Dunleavy’s ouster.

Al Says: Vlad The Impaler

New interim Clippers coach Kim Hughes reacted to Thornton’s comment today to Andrew Siciliano on KSPN-AM in Los Angeles.

Al Says: Jose Canseco MMA

Read more…

Clips Take Caps Lock Out On Isiah Thomas Report

UPDATE (5:15p ET): Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com reports that the Clippers are denying they are considering Isiah Thomas for a position with the club.

Clippers deny interest in Isiah Thomas

Shelburne adds: “This feels like story came from Isiah… Can’t see why the Clippers would want to pay $10 mill worth of coach next year.”

ORIGINAL POST: Jeff Goodman of FoxSports.com reports Friday:

Isiah Thomas Mike Dunleavy Donald Sterling

NBA Hall of Famer and current men’s basketball coach at Florida International University Isiah Thomas has emerged as one of the candidates to run the Los Angeles Clippers.

According to a source close to the situation, the Clippers have reached out to Thomas — who coached the Indiana Pacers and also the New York Knicks — to take over coaching, general manager and president duties.

He would replace Mike Dunleavy, who was relieved of his coaching duties earlier this week but remains the general manager.

Goodman’s report is all the more delightful when you consider that 11 months ago, Dunleavy said on the record that he turned down Thomas’ offer to work for the Clippers for free - in any capacity!

Lisa Dillman of the L.A. TIMES:

Thomas is doing what he can to try to get back into the game, and with his daughter set to attend Loyola Marymount, he offered to work for the Clippers without getting paid because he is still receiving money from the Knicks, Dunleavy said.

“Isiah came to us,” Dunleavy said in a telephone interview Thursday morning. “I wasn’t going to be a jerk and say, ‘I can’t talk to you.’ But there’s no position in the organization for him.”

While Dunleavy may sound like he’s somewhat sympathetic to Thomas, to reveal that Thomas was willing to work for free was clearly a low blow.

Then there’s January, 2008, when Dunleavy slammed Thomas for running the Knicks into the ground.

Read more…

Speed Read: Unholy Isiah Thomas/Clippers Union

I’ll be blunt: End Times may be upon us. Sources have told ESPN.COM that the Clippers have had discussions with Isiah Thomas about bringing him into their front office. While the two sides have apparently only had “informal yet substantive” conversations, the thought of arguably the worst executive in NBA history joining forces with perhaps the most sad-sack franchise in all of pro sports should be enough to make anyone tremble in fear.

Isiah Thomas, Clippers and the Rapture

(A sign of things to come?)

One source within the Clippers organization (in between bouts of crying and failed suicide attempts, I’m sure) said that the discussion of bringing Thomas or Randy Pfund into the front office to “help” Mike Dunleavy is just “a smoke screen to defray the criticism of the franchise” about the lawsuit filed by former GM Elgin Baylor. I don’t know if that’s true or not; what I do know is that even throwing the idea of Thomas and the Clippers linking up is tempting fate.

Mike Dunleavy

(Why is this man smiling? Seriously, help me here - I have no idea.)

Because make no mistake, this is bad news on an apocalyptic scale - the Staples Center area might be turned into a giant vortex of suckage that it would collapse into itself, taking the majority of downtown LA with it. Those little yippy dogs that celebs like Paris Hilton carry in their purses would turn into blood-thirsty savages. Hollywood Boulevard might become a river of molten lava, carrying away the homeless and Japanese tourists there to see “Grease” starring Taylor Hicks to a fiery death.

I’m sure as hell leaving at once if this happens, and I’m bringing enough cyanide pills for the family in case we don’t get out in time. Perhaps I’m being a bit too panicky, but you have to plan for these things: I just have a feeling that more than the Clippers’ salary cap is going to explode if Isiah Thomas joins the Clippers.

Also making plans: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who is significantly more together than either Thomas or the Clippers. His latest plan, according to USA TODAY: expanding the regular season to 17 or 18 games, and eliminating one or two preseason games in the process. Imagine that…actually trying to give fans more meaningful games and eliminate season-ticket holders having to pay for lousy games featuring star players for one series and then a bunch of scrubs for the remainder of the game.

Of course, the union hasn’t approved the plan yet, and they are sure to not be pleased about their players having to play two more competitive games a season. (And if there’s an 18-game season, you can pretty much wipe out things like a 1,000-yard season as being any sort of benchmark for success.) And is certainly interesting that the league would consider putting the players through more wear and tear a day after announcing new rules to “protect” them.

Of course, Goodell has other things on his mind, like the fact that he might need to rule on Michael Vick’s status sooner rather than later. Vick left a federal prison yesterday for a bankruptcy hearing in Virginia, but the day was hardly successful. The AP reports that U.S. Department of Labor has filed complaints accusing Vick of illegally spending about $1.3 million in pension funds from one of his companies for personal reasons, including paying restitution in his dog fighting case.

This should close any debate about who the stupidest person in America is. I wonder if the Clippers have room on their staff for him?

Some other sports news from last night that you might have missed if you were in Brussels waiting in line to use the restroom…and waiting…and waiting…

  • Our economy might be going down a drain, but that doesn’t mean we as Americans are too broke to engage in the American Dream: going to a baseball game and eating a hamburger the size of a kitten. The GRAND RAPIDS PRESS reports that the West Michigan Whitecaps will be debuting The Fifth Third Burger, a 4,800-calorie, four-pound behemoth that includes a one-pound bun, five patties and five slices of cheese. And a cup of chili for good measure.
  • The Fifth Third Burger

  • BALL DON’T LIE salutes Wizards forward Dominic McGuire, who scored on a dunk last night to break a streak of 116 minutes played without a point.
  • Los Angeles TV and radio personality John Ireland made a hasty bet with James Worthy: if his UCLA Bruins didn’t advance as far as Worthy’s North Carolina Tar Heels in the NCAA Tournament, Ireland would sing the UNC fight song on TV. Bad idea, after the Bruins tanked against Villanova. Here are the unfortunate results - it’s like the drunk guy at karaoke who gets pressured into singing by his friends and spends his whole time on stage planning ways to kill them.
  • YAHOO! SPORTS takes promoter Bob Arum to task for encouraging American fans to attend a fight card in Tijuana this weekend, despite the U.S. government’s warning on travel. Something about armed drug violence turning into a civil war. Bob, I think I’ll catch it on TV instead.
  • Scary stuff for Olympic gymnastic hero Shawn Johnson: NEWSDAY reports that a nutjob armed with two guns and duct tape tried to break into the set of “Dancing with the Stars” and “get to” Johnson and her dancing partner. To be fair, if she wasn’t interested in him, she shouldn’t have been sending subliminal messages to him through the TV and through ESP. Women.
  • Of all the things I would think to impersonate in a scam, a youth soccer referee wouldn’t be one of them. But DIRTY TACKLE says that’s just what some fake ref did in Northern Ireland, convincing three teams to give him a “match fee” before games he never reffed.
  • Apparently the NHL doesn’t like it when a goaltender pushes a referee and then shoots a puck at him: the TORONTO GLOBE AND MAIL says that Martin Gerber of the Toronto Maple Leafs has been suspended three games after going nuts Tuesday against the Washington Captials.
  • The Boston Celtics death spiral continues as the BOSTON GLOBE reports the Magic beat them 84-82 to edge closer to the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. Is it too late to give last year’s MVP to Kevin Garnett since we know now just how much he means to this team?
  • I think it’s fair to say that the Dallas police officer who stopped Houston Texans RB Ryan Moats from being at his dying mother-in-law’s bedside - at the hospital parking lot, over a red light - should not just be suspended or fired, but drawn and quartered. SPORTS RUBBISH has the awful, infuriating details.
  • For some players, spring training is a chance to get in shape; for others, it’s a chance to hit the free buffet in the locker room every day. THE LOVE OF SPORTS looks at the Top 10 Overweight Baseball Players. Maybe they’ll win a free Fifth Third Burger for making it on the list?

Who was the worst former player turned sports executive?

View Results

Baron Davis “Wants To Come Back” To Warriors?

So there might have been another reason that Clippers point guard/roller skating enthusiast Baron Davis plumped up this off-season other than getting paid $250,00 by Jenny Craig so he could lose the weight by drinking their flavorless shakes. It turns out he might have been eating to mask the depression of being split from his BFF Stephen Jackson.

Stephen Jackson and Baron Davis - together again?

OK, it was probably the $250,00 that did it, but still…it’s clear that things aren’t working out for Davis with the Clippers, and it’s looking more and more like a return to Golden State is imminent. The latest news comes from Stephen Jackson, who told INSIDE BAY AREA that he and Davis hung out on Saturday night and are already plotting Davis’ return to the Warriors:

Read more…

Both Mike Dunleavys Pained By Clippers Injuries

For Clippers fans, the injury situation is well-known in Los Angeles. Between Baron Davis‘ tweaked ring finger and Marcus Camby’s bruised heel, the Clip Joint probably won’t be at 100% when their season starts on the 29th against the Lakers. So you can be sure the injuries have Mike Dunleavy Sr.’s attention.

Mike Dunleavy
(Any excuse to use this picture. Any at all.)

But, as the LOS ANGELES TIMES reports, that’s not where the Dunleavy injury problems stop. Mike Dunleavy Jr. will be getting an MRI on his right knee later this week, which probably puts the Pacers swingman on the shelf for a while. Said Dunleavy The Elder:

Read more…

Jones Blames ‘Boys Bodyguards On Pac’s Scuffle

Jerry Jones went on Dallas radio today and said he blamed himself for being the “enabler” of Pacman Jones’violent scuffle” last Tuesday at a hotel.  Apparently though, Jones’ definition of enabler is a little different than yours or mine.

Jerry Jones

(Why the stretched long face, Jer?)

From an interview on KTCK-AM: “I almost feel like I’m an enabler, because it’s the very people that I have with him that created this. Had we not had that security with him, this wouldn’t have happened. Really. Had we not had the security with him, it wouldn’t have happened.”

With that sort of thinking, you think Plax Burress is ready for a trade to Big D right about now?

Congrats to A.J. and Enrico. Now if only Brett Myers had been required to pitch six for the win today, the Dodgers might’ve had a chance. Guess he was anxious to get home to the wife. Or not.

Former NBA coach Eric Musselman has a post on his blog that I guarantee will make your day.

Tickets are available for USC’s home game against A-State tomorrow. So much for a soldout season.

OK, this might be old, but a kind soul a couple weeks back sent me these screen grabs of a Slovenian sprinter named Alenka Bikar, and they’re too good not to post (’specially since I hadn’t seen them before):

Alenka Bikar

Video of her after the jump. Read more…

Camby On Trade to Clips ‘Lowest Point of My Life’

After spending the last six seasons in the cold of Denver, you’d think Marcus Camby would be overjoyed at the idea of moving to sunny Southern California as a member of the Los Angeles Clippers. You’d think, but according to the BOSTON GLOBE who caught up with the former UMass star, you’d be wrong.

Marcus Camby

Camby who was dealt to the Clips on July 16th in exchange for a second round pick in the 2010 draft says, “With everything I’ve been dealing with off the court, this is the lowest point of my life.” Ouch! Sure, the Clippers are considered by many to be the worst franchise in all of sports, but they just added Baron Davis and more importantly you’ll be living in Hollywood.

I don’t know if Marcus is aware of this, but they shoot American Idol in Hollywood and all those kids say “It’s a dream come true,” when they get picked to go to Los Angeles. Why you so down on the Clippers, Camby? Read more…

Brog: Dunleavy Goes Ballistic, Brands Falk a Liar

Los Angeles Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy went on a rampage today on KSPN-AM in L.A., calling David Falk a liar in the way the agent has represented the negotiations between Elton Brand and his team.

Brand Falk Dunleavy

At dispute: Dunleavy claims Falk knew that Brand told the Clippers he would commit if they signed Baron Davis and offered him a contract worth $75M. Falk denies he knew of any dealings Brand had with Dunleavy personally until “the 11th hour” - after Brand’s new deal with Philly was done.

In an exasperated tone on 710am, Dunleavy said he knew otherwise, citing among other things, text messages he saw from Brand to Clippers players. The coach also intimated that Falk had “poisoned” Brand. Of course, a source close the situation told SbB all this was going to happen last Friday.

Coincidentally today, both Falk and Dunleavy were interviewed separately by Steve Mason and John Ireland on the ESPN radio outlet, and Falk first told the pair that he knew of no pre-emptive deal (verbal or otherwise) between Brand and the club that was predicated on a commitment from Davis (audio): “I never had a discussion with the Clippers about a different deal, I can’t say whether they had discussions with Elton. I never had one discussion with them about trying to package the thing up (with Davis and Brand).

I learned at the 11th hour that Elton had hoped that Baron could be the mystery player, he likes Baron Davis, and they (Clippers) need a point guard, but no … with me, if there had been a deal, Elton would be in L.A. right now.

The Dunleavy interview followed the Falk visit, and the Clippers coach emptied both barrels on Falk and Brand with some astonishingly candid comments. Read more…

Blog-O-Rama: “Mike Tyson’s Knockout” On Stage

• FAN IQ punches up this amusing video of “Mike Tyson’s Knockout” - the Off-Broadway version:

• SIGNAL TO NOISE documents the latest drama at Staples Center - and it has nothing to do with Kobe.

• HUGGING HAROLD REYNOLDS serves up this fun quiz - tennis player, vodka brand, or Bond villain?

• DEADSPIN horses around with news that Central Park will be putting up a statue of Barbaro - upside down.

Barbaro Upside Down

• The LADIES… pass the bean dip, as they present ‘How Not To Throw A Super Bowl Party‘.

Read more…

Mike Dunleavy Is So, SO Fired (Not That You Care)

T.J. Simers scores the rarest of exclusives, a wide-ranging interview with L.A.’s most lovable slumlord and purveyor of prostitution, L.A. Clippers Owner Donald T. Sterling. Yippee!

Mike Dunleavy

Sterling immediately drops an H-bomb on Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy and fake GM Elgin Baylor, saying “I want to make L.A. fans proud of this team, but if [Baylor and Dunleavy] can’t make it happen, then I have no choice but to make changes.

Later in the piece, Sterling says Al Thornton will be a good player if “he gets some coaching.” And Corey Maggette would be a better player with “aggressive coaching.

So take one guess why Dunleavy isn’t fired already.

Read more…