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San Antonio Columnists Don't Like Corey

Almost exactly one month after Buck Harvey of the San Antonio Express-News called Corey Maggette 'notoriously selfish' and a 'headless horseman' it's now Mike Monroe's turn to trash the Clippers' second leading scorer.

The team's coaches believe Maggette is responsible for having single-handedly ruined team chemistry, separating himself from teammates to the point he sits at a table by himself when the coaches have a breakfast meeting on road trips in lieu of a morning shootaround. Maggette has had two reported confrontations with head coach Mike Dunleavy during, or after, games this season. While Dunleavy has taken the "high road" in discussing the incidents, don't doubt he would be much happier if Maggette were gone.

Why, then, is Maggette still with the Clippers? Ask Donald T. Sterling. He owns the team, and Maggette, we're told, is his favorite player. Sterling has nixed several possible deals already and has made it clear to Dunleavy and general manager Elgin Baylor they are not to do a Maggette trade he does not approve.

If you're wondering why Maggette started in Elton Brand's stead in the Clippers' game at Detroit on Monday night, it was because that game, unlike the team's previous game in Indianapolis, was televised back in Los Angeles. The coaches were hoping Sterling would see enough of Maggette's uninspired (and uninspiring) play to perhaps lift his embargo on a deal. Maggette didn't disappoint, missing seven of 10 shots in a blowout loss.

So we'll start with a little credibility check.  I'm guessing Corey's start in the Detroit game as opposed to the Indy game had perhaps more to do with the fact that Elton Brand PLAYED against Indy, but didn't play against Detroit, and less to do with the TV schedule.  What kind of a moron would even suggest this?  The Clippers have played 27 road games this season, 26 of them have been on TV, and Corey has started 2 of them.  That's some solid research that came up with the 'we'll start him in the TV game' theory.  Besides, if we're lowering the asking price on individual players based on their performance in the Detroit game, don't we have to deal a lot of other guys before Corey?  He did after all score 15 points on 10 shots, get 8 rebounds and actually lead the team in assists while committing one turnover.

The other stuff is at least mildly plausible, but terribly one-sided.  One wonders if one of Mike Moore's 'best inside-the-NBA sources' has the initials MDsr.  Something is certainly effed up with the Clippers chemistry, and it seems likely the Corey's situation is at least partially responsible.  However, to place the blame solely on Corey smacks of an agenda, though I can't imagine what it could be.  Maybe he thinks he can drive the price down to Beno Udrih and a free tour of the basement of the Alamo.  (Pee-Wee's Big Adventure?  Anyone?  No?)  Besides, if Corey were really as alienated from his teammates as this piece suggests, wouldn't we have heard something from those teammates?  Quite the opposite, we've heard nothing but supportive quotes from all of his teammates, up to and including the 'work it out' speech from Elton Brand.

As we've remarked before, if it really was DTS who nixed some of the rumored Maggette deals, then good for him.  Those offers were jokes.  That the situation has deteriorated since then doesn't change the fact that the Clippers should not have accepted any of the offers we heard about.  

Certainly the latest incident has put additional strain on everyone, and I would not be surprised if a Maggette deal happens before next Thursday's deadline.  If DTS was indeed the hold up before, it's probable that he will have changed his position.  But not because of a single game telecast he watched from Detroit - because it's obvious that Corey and MDsr cannot co-exist, and he just signed MDsr for four more years.