By Reinis Lacis (@LamarMatic)
Mick Minas, the author of the book “The Curse: The Colorful & Chaotic History of the LA Clippers”, came on the podcast to talk about Clippers history, Donald Sterling’s ownership of the team and reveal unheard stories from the book.
Find “The Curse” on Amazon, at www.clippercurse.com – the website of the book, follow @mminas8 on Twitter or use the promo code for a 10% discount for the listeners of The Handle Podcast – 4U3VRPCT (applies if you buy the book here).
Topics discussed in the podcast:
01:20 – Seeing a 38-point loss by the Clippers against the Lakers — which was Baron Davis‘s first game with the Clips — in person, reading more about the franchise and being influenced by the fact that there was no definitive book on it;
05:20 – Conducting interviews from Australia being an advantage at times, interviewing successful people like Don Chaney about the low-point of their careers, bench players often having fonder memories and better recollections of events;
11:20 – Donald Sterling’s ownership having a more negative influence on the misfortunes of the franchise than any bad luck, Sterling having a different idea of success when it comes to owning an NBA franchise, stories of his frugality like approaching head coach Paul Silas to inquire about the possibility of him taping ankles and thus relieving the trainer;
20:35 – The number of people who said good things about Donald Sterling before the V. Stiviano scandal, Sterling moreso interfering on the big Clipper deals rather than the day-to-day decisions;
26:55 – The stigma of the Clippers franchise, different groups believing in themselves and that they would be successful, then locker rooms turning sour when management wasn’t paying them, the catalyst for breaking up the 1992, 1993 Clippers teams being the Charles Smith trade;
31:55 – Elgin Baylor putting together good rosters, yet not being appreciated as a GM due to things going wrong because of factors beyond his control, the unfortunate situation in which Michael Olowokandi ended up in after being drafted with the first pick;
39:10 – The unluckiest moments of the franchise like the injuries to Elton Brand in the 2000s or to Danny Manning and Ron Harper in the early 1990s, Mike Dunleavy bringing professionalism to the franchise, the Clippers starting to spend money;
42:10 – The what-ifs like the Julius Erving – Terry Cummings trade which wasn’t given the green light by Dr. J, Bill Walton not being healthy and that contributing to Irv Levin selling the team;
48:20 – Coach Jim Lynam being a great interviewee and great story-teller for the book, guys like Derek Smith inspiring Mick to tell great stories about underrated and forgotten guys (link for my story – All Heart: Derek Smith’s Ascent and Tragic Fate)
53:40 – Trying to contact Donald Sterling, there being many examples of the Clippers having chances to thrive, yet it falling apart, the 2016-17 season, perhaps, being the year that they could win it all.
Notable snippets of the interview:
Thanks to Mick for coming on the podcast and providing the listeners with a special chance to buy the book!