NBA Franchise Notes: Clippers Unhappy With Early Road Schedule
Clippers coach Doc Rivers said that the team "complained to the league about its road-heavy start to the season." In L.A., Andrew Greif noted the Clippers have "maintained that they are at a disadvantage as the third Staples Center tenant because they have fewer open windows for scheduling home games." The Clippers "are hoping to open their own arena in Inglewood" by '24. Rivers: "I gave up this fight a long time ago. This is something that really frustrated me my first two years coaching here. ... I don't even look at [the schedule] because we're not going to get a good one. It's what it is" (L.A. TIMES, 12/17).
THE PERFECT FIT: In Indianapolis, Dana Hunsinger Benbow in a front-page piece notes the Pacers' hiring of longtime WNBA exec Kelly Krauskopf as Assistant GM is a "historic one for the NBA." She is the "first woman in league history to be assistant general manager in the role's modern day format." Essentially, Krauskopf "will be building the team." She said, "It's kind of a surreal moment. I really believe this: If you just put your head down and work hard and really try to understand what kind of opportunities are in front of you, you never know." Pacers President of Basketball Operations Kevin Pritchard: "It's going to be made a big deal about (her being a woman) and the truth is she is just the best person for the job, period, end of discussion" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 12/18).
CHANGE OF SCENERY? In Philadelphia, Keith Pompey cited league sources as saying that the 76ers ownership group "isn't in total agreement" on what to do with former No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz. Pompey: "Should they just cut their losses and take in an expiring contract at the appropriate time?" Or "would it better to wait and see if the well-liked Fultz can overcome his shooting woes and get past the things that’ve made his tenure a huge distraction?" Some in the ownership group, which "doesn’t like to look bad, are now pondering if it’s too early to give up on a guy that had so much promise" at the Univ. of Washington (PHILLY.com, 12/15).
STAYING THE COURSE: In Cleveland, Chris Fedor noted Cavaliers Owner Dan Gilbert is "preaching patience during a transitional season," as the team dropped to 7-23 on Sunday for the "third-worst mark in the Eastern Conference." Gilbert: "Our future plans are, as they've always been, commit to keep building the franchise into a perennial team that competes for a championship. ... We will be competing in a shorter period of time than people think. As you build this thing for the long term, I think you are going to see something emerge here in the next couple of years that will be a core and base" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 12/16).