(Clips owner Sterling, above left, shown performing an unsuccessful exorcism on former employee Elton Brand)

My good pals at Eternal Ministries.org describe the qualifications of a Pastor as a desire to serve, vigilance, sobriety, fairness, non-violence and an absence of greed.  A high tolerance level for lousy professional basketball would come in handy, too, as the Orange County Register‘s Janis Carr explains.

For the second consecutive year, the Clippers and Christian radio station KKLA/99.5 are offering free tickets to 250 pastors for œPastor Appreciation Day on Monday. Good idea. The Clippers, who have lost 12 in a row, could use a few prayers right now.

The pastors get a private tour of Staples Center, lunch, fellowship and a ticket to watch the Clippers play the Minnesota Timberwolves, who could use a few rosary beads of their own. They are 11-26 overall and 5-13 on the road.

The New York Post’s Peter Vecsey points out Raptors C Andrea Bargnani has seen his points per game and rebound numbers improve dramatically in the wake of Jermaine O’Neal’s knee injury.  With Toronto visiting Indiana tonight, O’Neal tells the Toronto Sun’s Mike Ganter he’s open to coming off the bench in light of Bargnani’s emergence.

“He has earned the right to stay in the starting lineup,” O’Neal said of Bargnani. “I have no ego about that. I’ve been out for two weeks. I don’t have the right to come back and take someone’s position who has been playing well. Now, I will continue to work hard to get back to the level I was playing at when I left. Then of course (the starting roles will be revisited) but we will sit down and talk about it.”