NBA Franchise Notes: Clippers In Position To Reverse Troubled Past
ESPN.com's Kevin Arnovitz wrote Clippers President Andy Roeser and VP/Basketball Operations Neil Olshey have put the franchise "in a position to reverse decades of futility." Selling team Owner Donald Sterling “on the vision was likely every bit as challenging as swinging the deals themselves.” Whatever liabilities remain for the Clippers on the roster or in the locker room, “they pale in comparison to the damage that could be unleashed if Sterling were to decide to meddle in the progress.” With G Chris Paul and F Blake Griffin “weighing their long-term options over the next 18 months, the Clippers can't afford to have Sterling do anything to disrupt the aspirations of everyone involved in this project -- not Roeser or Olshey, not the superstars, not the supporting players, nor the fans in Los Angeles” (ESPN.com, 12/20). In L.A., Jon Gold wrote there “may be some buzz” to the Lakers-Clippers rivalry now, "but one blockbuster trade does not a rivalry make.” Despite having Paul and Griffin, the Clippers “are no Lakers” (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 12/20). NBA.com's Scott Howard Cooper after the Clippers exhibition win over the Lakers Monday wrote under the header, "Clippers Look Good In Rout, But It's Still Lakers' Town" (NBA.com, 12/20).
HELP NEEDED: Pacers Owner Herb Simon yesterday spoke for the first time about the new CBA and said that he expects the agreement “to help teams like the Pacers.” Simon said, “I think it's an improvement over the last CBA. That, along with the new revenue sharing, will help the smaller markets." In Indianapolis, Mike Wells notes while Simon “likes the progress made with the revenue sharing,” he still believes his franchise “needs help running Conseco Fieldhouse, which will have a new name Thursday.” Simon: “We still need to finalize our deal with the city to alleviate some of the arena expenses in a building that they own. That's the issue.” He added, “It's never been the Pacers are losing money. Part of the reason we're losing money is because we're having these arena expenses that most other teams don't have to deal with” (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 12/21).
CONSCIENTIOUS SPENDER: In Philadelphia, Ed Rendell wrote 76ers Owner Josh Harris believes the team “can be a viable economic entity if they connect with the fan base by playing winning basketball and providing a great fan experience.” Rendell: “I predict Philadelphia, and especially Sixers fans, will love having Harris as an owner.” He “has clearly said all basketball decisions will be made by Doug Collins and Rod Thorn.” Harris also said that “he will spend money ‘for value.'" He “simply doesn't know how to lose.” Rendell noted Harris “turned Wall Street on its head and made a boatload of money at a very young age” (PHILLY.com, 12/19).
HYPOCRITICAL SITUATION? Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban in an interview with TMZ said, “(W)e went through a long lockout, and one of the things we were trying to gain was that small-market teams could have confidence they could keep their star players. ... And within two weeks of the new collective bargaining agreement, the smallest-market team, which is owned by the NBA [the Hornets], threw up their hands and said, ‘We can’t keep our star player.’ So it’s not about Chris Paul. It’s more about the fact that the NBA kind of gave up on the CBA before giving it a chance. And to me, that made them kind of hypocritical -- or very hypocritical -- which didn’t sit too well with me.” He added, “We had a lockout. What was the purpose of the lockout? … Of all the teams not sticking it out, you would think the team owned by the NBA and run by the commissioner would be the first to stick it out, and they weren’t. And to me, it’s hypocritical, and threw a lot of us under the bus” (ESPN.com, 12/19).