Recent Emergency Season Ticket Holder Meeting

Below is an account from Citizen killerbeetim about the season ticket holder's meeting that the Clippers held in February.  The meeting has been referenced in the media, but this is a first hand account.  Thank you citizen, for taking the time to share this here.  As we''ve noted before, Donald Sterling's locker room tirade on March 2nd appears in a different light when taken in the context of this meeting exactly one week earlier.  ClipperSteve

After reading all this DTS and Andy Roeser talk I have to bring up something.

I was invited to a special emergency meeting for "High Risk" season ticket holders at Staples Center before the game on the 23rd of February against Golden State.  The purpose of the meeting was to show how the franchise is working to provide the best possible product on the court.  They want something fans can be proud of.

They tried to make this "meeting" as pleasant as possible.  There was hors d'oeuvres and an open bar.  All high end stuff..because these "High Risk" accounts were people who spend A LOT of money annually on their seats.

This was held in the Wachovia room at Staples Center.  It's a conference room in the premiere level.  I'm not a "High Risk" account because I will be back next season.  I just wanted to see how it was going to be.

There was 3 guest speakers there:
1.) Adam Silver - NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer
2.) Andy Roeser - President and NBA Alternate Governor
3.) Neil Olshey - Assistant General Manager

Ok...I have felt weird talking about this...because I haven't seen anywhere on any message board this subject being brought up.  I was thinking,  word of the fight club never leaves the fight club......but then I realized that this was just too awesome to NOT talk about.  I was so lucky for being there.

To start, Adam Silver was introduced.  This guy was COMPLETELY BORING.  This emergency meeting (the first of its kind to bandage the relationship to season ticket holders) was about the Clippers.  So what does Adam Silver talk about?  USA Basketball and Internation Basketball growth.

He did start his nonsense with the Clippers though.  He was letting us know that on the "business" side that we're a top 5 franchise in this league.  WOW!!!!!!  Ok....we knew that.  We make money!  Season Ticket Holders don't receive any of that money so we DON'T CARE ABOUT THAT!!!!!!  We want a winning team on the court!

He then went on talking about his trip to Beijing with the USA Olympic team.  He was saying how popular Kobe was there and how proud he was oh Coach K and TEAM USA.  Ok.....we weren't there to talk about USA Basketball.  Then he went on saying that Basketball is the Number 2 sport in the whole world...and that it will seen pass soccer in popularity.  Ok....that was just an ignorant statement....but we didn't want to talk about the growth in the world.  We were there to discuss the Clippers.

Once he was done with his nonsense Andy Roeser was presented to the stage for his opening statement.  At that time  Mr. Silver found something more important to do and left his seat at the stage and the Washovia room altogether.  He disappeared never to be scene again even though he was supposed to sit through this difficult Town Hall style meeting.

Andy did his speach,  the team is injured.  Sterling spent money.  The Training Center cost $50million.  Blah....Blahh....Blahhh!

Then Neil Olshey was called to stage.  He said "Well...Andy just covered everything I was about to say".  So we went on to Q&A...

That's when everything went APE &h!t!!!!!!  I mean it went NUTS!!!!!!  The floor opened for Q&A.  There was a microphone to be passed around for the person asking the question.  They were to state their name and how long they've been a season ticket holder for.  The room wasn't that large,  and people didn't want to wait for the microphone.  People stated asking questions and making comments.

"Why is Dunleavy still coach?"
"Hey Andy, you overpaid for Dunleavy!"
"Why didn't we trade Baron."
"Why are our players always hurt?  The trainer should be fired"
"Dunleavy should be fired!"
"What is going on with Kaman?"

There was much more than that...mostly venting.  Some people were saying that if Dunleavy was still there at the start of next season that they will save their $20-30K they spend on seats.

Mostly people agreed that he was great as ONLY the GM,  but not as the coach and GM.  Andy did answer questions like the one above.

"Why is Dunleavy still coach?"
-The roster hasn't been at full strength all season.  They believe that Dunleavy will be evaluated only when the roster is at 100%.  After this season his strength as coach will be assessed.  They are willing to make ANY changes necessary to place a winning product on the court.

"Hey Andy, you overpaid for Dunleavy!"
-He simply answered "Yes....Yes we did" and shrugges his head.

"Why didn't we trade Baron."
-He said that teams weren't offering value to us.  The bids we received were borderline insane and there wasn't a serious offer.  We weren't offering a fire sale to save money.

"Why are our players always hurt?  The trainer should be fired"
-He blamed it on bad luck.  The trainers couldn't stop Elton from his injury.  Shawn's injury couldn't have been stopped by any trainer.  The list goes on and on as you all know.

"Dunleavy should be fired!"
-He told us that after the season he will be evaluated as coach.  Any changes necessary to produce winning basketball WILL BE made.

"What is going on with Kaman?"
-This was a touchy subject.  The organization is geniunely pissed at Kaman and his agent.  Due to the clause in the Collective Bargaining Agreement,  players are allowed to get a second opinion from their own doctor (i.e. their agents doctor) and then decide what's best for them.

In this case the Clippers laid out a general window of when Chris will be able to start working out again with the team.  Unfortunately,  his doctor gave a much longer time for healing,  which is why he's still currently not playing.  Add that to him getting sick and everything else,  he's totally milking the system.  This is really sad to me because I've always been a hugh Kaman backer.

They compared this decision to the of Tracy McGrady.  The Houston Rockets DID NOT want him to have surgery,  they found it unnecesssary.  Unfortunately,  he has a contract year next season and doesn't want to be injured for sure.  So,  he followed his agents doctor and got the surgery.  The team found out about it in the newspaper.  How about that?

With Kaman,  I believe he is the player the team is most likely to move during the offseason for this problem.  That's what I got out of it.  If he was healty they would have unloaded him before the trade deadline,  but once again the offers were low.

Neil Olshey sat there most of this meeting frustrated.  At one point he interupted another rant on Dunleavy by saying "Listen,  I'm here to answer basketball questions....Does anyone have any basketball questions?"  There was not really any basketball questions for him to answer.

Suddenly at 7pm the lights in the conference room were turned off.  Apparently they were on timer at Staples Center for only how long the room was rented for.  At that point it became much louder in there.  That was a bizarre ending to a bizarre night.

What I got from that meeting was:
*Dunleavy can be removed at the end of the season.  It might be important to replace him to keep the season ticket money happy.
*Kaman is expendable,  easily.
*Clippers fans are rightfully upset,  and so much more passionate than I ever believed possible.

That is my summary.  Sorry it took so long to write this out.....I was debating whether or not it was right.  I hope I made the correct choice.

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