Jerry West Reportedly Rejects Clippers GM Offer
Posted Mar 24th 2009 9:25AM by Tom Ziller (RSS feed)
Filed Under: Clippers, Grizzlies, NBA Rumors
Over the weekend, the Boston Globe offered up a report suggesting the Clippers could be looking to replace Mike Dunleavy as general manager this summer. In 2006, Dunleavy, you may remember, signed a fat extension that pays him more than $5 million a year and runs through 2011. Either way, Clippers owner Donald Sterling is willing to take on the losses by either canning Dunleavy or forcing him to reliniguish his personnel duties and have him focus on coaching.
To that effect, KNBC in Los Angeles reports that the Clippers recently reached out to Lakers legend Jerry West regarding to GM position. Surprising no one, West apparently declined.
West resigned from his role with the Grizzlies 18 months ago, turning over the slagging franchise to Chris Wallace. Rumors (will always) persist that West had a hand in the Pau Gasol trade -- perhaps convincing Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley that starting from scratch would be the best route. The Grizz (and West) have denied such reports, but that hasn't stopped guys like Gregg Popovich and Mark Cuban from calling foul. (Cuban has also called foul on the Kevin Garnett trade, based on the relationship between Danny Ainge and Kevin McHale.)
As such, you wonder if West might be less effective in any future GM gigs. He once was one of the league's cardinals, respected and feared throughout the NBA. I'm positive he's still highly respected (he's The Logo for criminy's sake) ... but he's probably a bit hated, too. If he took over the Clips, "anonymous sources" would line up around the block to worry aloud about any potential tampering between West's Clippers job and Lakers loyalties.
But this is all moot now. What isn't -- who will the Clips be able to grab, considering Sterling's awful reputation and the specter of Dunleavy staying on as coach? (KNBC mentions deposed Heat boss Randy Pfund.)
But ... isn't this backwards? Shouldn't Dunleavy stay on as GM and lose the coaching role? Outside of the Elton Brand debacle -- which probably wasn't Dunleavy's fault -- he has assembled a fairly loaded roster. He just needs a coach not named Mike Dunleavy to motivate the troops.