Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Not The Best Farewell For Elgin Baylor

You have likely heard this news already, but I wanted to pass along the Clippers official statement as well as my thoughts.

It's a real shame that Elgin Baylor's career with the Clippers didn't end in a better fashion. While his moves as GM won't earn him a spot in the Hall of Fame, he was still a man worthy of going out with a bit more dignity.

The Clippers actually offered him another role with the team, albeit not in basketball operations, but Baylor's pride, seemingly, would not allow him to take it.

It's not exactly clear at this point what, if any, action Baylor plans to take in the future. Whatever it is, I just hope it doesn't overshadow his legacy as one of the best players in history.

The Los Angeles Clippers today announced that Head Coach Mike Dunleavy will assume the additional role of General Manager, replacing Vice President of Basketball Operations, Elgin Baylor.

In a related move, the team’s current Director of Player Personnel, Neil Olshey, will be elevated to the post of Assistant General Manager.

“We greatly appreciate Elgin’s efforts during his time with the Clippers, and we wish him the very best,” said Clippers’ Owner and Chairman of the Board Donald T. Sterling.

Referring to Dunleavy and Olshey respectively, Clippers President Andy Roeser said, “In Mike and Neil, we're fortunate to already have talented people in place to make this transition a seamless one. Going forward, we have high expectations for our team. From a basketball standpoint, these are the people we're counting on to make those expectations a reality."

Dunleavy welcomed the opportunity, saying, “I really appreciate the trust that the organization has placed in me. We’re ready and excited to move forward, and we think we’ll have a team which can be dynamic and exciting, certainly one with enough talent to be a force in the Western Conference.”

Baylor, an 11-time NBA All Star, joined the Clippers in 1986 as Vice President of Basketball Operations after a stellar 14-year playing career with the Los Angeles Lakers and a brief coaching stint with the New Orleans Jazz. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1976, chosen as one of the NBA’s “50 Greatest Players of All Time” during the league’s 50th Anniversary celebration in 1997, and was named the 2005-06 NBA Executive of the Year.

Dunleavy, entering his sixth year as Clippers’ Head Coach, has manned dual roles before: he was Vice President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach of the Milwaukee Bucks from 1992-93 through 1995-96.

Olshey, originally hired as Clippers’ Director of Player Development prior to the 2003-04 season, became an assistant coach on Dunleavy’s staff in 2004-05. He has been the team’s Director of Player Personnel for the past three seasons.


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