The Clippers came up on the short end of a 33-point loss to Memphis Wednesday, two nights after suffering a similar blowout defeat to San Antonio. In between the two humiliations, L.A. owner Donald Sterling (above) delivered a scathing address to his workforce that seems to have left them less than inspired. From the LA Times’ Ben Bolch :
According to team sources, Sterling offered a blanket denunciation of the players and strongly backed Coach and General Manager Mike Dunleavy. The owner said he would be willing to trade all the players and said he was putting their future in Dunleavy’s hands.
“Bottom line is he stated some views and everyone understood the views he took,” said Dunleavy, who declined to comment further.
Asked if Sterling singled out any players, forward Al Thornton said, “You’ll have to ask Coach about that. He can give you more detail. Ask Sterling.”
Did the talk help the team?
“I really can’t say did it help or did it motivate us,” Thornton said. “I can’t go either way with it.”
The Cleveland Plain-Dealer‘s Branson Wright doesn’t think much of Sterling’s threat (“too bad the trade deadline passed”) but offers more dirt than Thorton was willing to offer.
Sterling, according to the sources, blasted players by name, including the team’s second-leading scorer Al Thornton. In one exchange, Sterling called Thornton the most selfish basketball player he has ever seen. When Thornton asked coach Mike Dunleavy (who was standing nearby) how he was playing, before he could answer Sterling told Dunleavy to “shut up” according to one of the sources.