Sports Guy Mailbag

Pretty funny stuff



Q: Does the possibility of Isiah Thomas going to work for the Clippers make you want to renew your season tickets more or less? I think it should be more.
-- Zach, Los Angeles

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Isiah Thomas

Nick Laham/Getty Images

Isiah Thomas working in the Clip Joint? Don't pretend you'd turn away from this trainwreck.

SG: Are you kidding? More! More! A thousand times more! If I had made a sports wish list for "Clipper-related things that would be an unequivocal godsend for my column" before news broke of the Isiah talks last week, the top 10 would have looked like this:

1. Clippers hire me as GM but keep Mike Dunleavy as coach.
It would be phenomenally awkward and fantastic. I'd send him sarcastic notes like, "Mike, I don't think you've done a good enough job of ruining Eric Gordon's confidence this week, can you step that up a little?" and "Mike, Baron Davis seems happy to me this week. Could you yank his minutes around so he starts sulking again?" He'd send me sarcastic notes like, "Thanks again for weighing in, it's always good to get perspective from someone who never played or coached in this league." Eventually, he'd quit or we'd fight to the death.

2. Clippers hire me as GM but allow me to choose my own coach.
And obviously, I'd hire Coach Finstock away from the Beacon Town Beavers. Everything else would be cream cheese.

3. Clippers name Zach Randolph player-coach.
He's my No. 1 pick for the "Which player would make the most ridiculous player-coach?" game, narrowly edging ...

4. Clippers name Ricky Davis player-coach.
"Guys, I'd like to apologize for last night. Passing out those victory pot brownies without telling you what was in them was definitely a mistake ..."

5. Clippers bring in Isiah to run the team with Mike Dunleavy.
I would have stuck this higher, but it's so improbable that even the first four possibilities seem more realistic. From what I'm hearing, Clippers employees have been trying to sell owner Donald Sterling on the fact that Dunleavy's return next season -- if Sterling doesn't fire him -- will result in an estimated $8-10 million in lost revenue from nonrenewals (suites, club seats, courtside seats and season-ticket holders). Eight to 10 million! That's how unpopular Dunleavy is with the paying customers ... and the solution would be to bring in the worst general manager of this decade to help him out? Again, sign me up. Not only am I renewing my tickets, I'm doing it with my fingers crossed and double crossed. Who knew my third book would write itself? We had "Breaks of the Game," we had "Season on the Brink," and now, "A Season in Hoops Hell."

6. Clippers fire Dunleavy, hire Isiah as coach-GM.
Not quite as funny as the Dunleavy-Isiah tandem, although equally ridiculous. You know what's funny? The Clips fans wouldn't even revolt. They would EXPECT something like this.

7. ABC names Chris Kaman as this season's "The Bachelor."
"Coming up, it's the most dramatic rose ceremony yet as Chris forgets how many roses he has left and inadvertently knocks one of the girls over ..."

8. Clips bump Dunleavy upstairs, hire Hubie Brown as coach.
OK, I'm Donald Sterling right now. I need a name coach who will get my fans excited again. I need a TEACHER who can teach my young players, as well as someone who can INSPIRE my older veterans ...

9. Clippers owner Donald Sterling starts showing up in pajamas for games like he's Hugh Hefner.
Don't rule this out. That reminds me, if you've ever wondered whether Sterling was always like this, a 1982 Sports Illustrated piece about eccentric NBA owners includes the following Sterling tidbits: He became so excited during an opening night victory that he "he unbuttoned his shirt to the navel while the game was in progress" ... he was "fined $10,000 by the league for suggesting the Clippers might purposely lose games in order to get the first pick in the draft" ... he owed hundreds of thousands to a variety of creditors, including one Oakland hotel who "refused to accommodate the Clippers at the end of last season for not paying their bills" ... and he hired an assistant general manager named "Patricia Simmons, a former model and occasional Sterling companion, who has what one San Diego newspaper described as 'no known basketball background.'" Ladies and gentlemen, the Donald Sterling Era!

10. Clips fire Dunleavy, replace him with Rick Pitino.
I hated to give Chris Kaman up, but when you have a chance to acquire two proven veterans such as Beno Udrih and Kenny Thomas, and you're only giving up two future No. 1s in the deal, you have to do it. Wait, why am I rooting for this? He'd destroy the Clips in two weeks. And it wouldn't even be fun. Let's switch No. 10 to ...

10. Clips hire Isiah as player-coach.
And GM. And director of scouting. And CEO. And COO. And head of cheerleaders. Is there a way Isiah can hold every job in the organization? Again, I am keeping my fingers crossed. I like the Clippers' spirit here: "We are an absolute joke to everyone, so instead of fixing this, let's push the comedy boundaries so far that our fans won't even know how to react." Done and done.


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