Baron Davis and Mike Dunleavy in peace talks
Leave town for a few days to test out that winter overcoat and the Clippers' world starts spinning crazily out of whack.
And, amazingly, it had nothing to do with TJ Simers. Or Donald Sterling.
Bill Plaschke's column in Wednesday's L.A. Times about the growing pains of the player (Baron Davis)-coach (Mike Dunleavy) relationship still had an impressive lingering shelf life at Friday's practice at the Clippers' Playa Vista training facility.
(And I'm not just saying that because my friend Bill got me some quotes on deadline after one game last week.)
Baron Davis wanted it to be known that he had a meeting Friday morning with Dunleavy, volunteering such information right off the bat in a chat with me and a Bay Area reporter this afternoon. Davis knows what he's doing, as does his coach. Stars have a way of igniting, and ending, controversies. And Davis was trying to do the latter.
"Our communication is getting a lot better as far as me figuring out what he wants out there," Davis said. "We're understanding each other. It's hard. It's hard when you first start off in any situation, and you want to be perfect.
"Me kind of being a perfectionist, I want to do everything out there possible to give Coach what he wants and what he sees. Like I said, our team is a work in progress and we've got a lot of new guys. Just trying to figure a lot of stuff out there on my own. And seeing what he wants and implementing all that.
"Not having training camp really hurt more than anything. Kind of put me behind. But I don't mind."
The new relationship is very much a work in progress, to swipe a phrase from Davis.
"I think that's the main thing, figuring out what he likes to do," Davis said. "And he asked me what things I like to do. As far as our personal relationship, it's been great. It's just a lot of times I've been frustrated, more so with myself, and putting a lot of pressure on myself to try to accelerate that learning curve instead of just being patient with myself out there on the floor."
Davis then said another revealing thing -- that you hear so often in a relationship talk. It's not you, it's me.
"He lets you play. He's allowed me to play," Davis said. "It's more so me, than anything else. In large part, it's my frustration of wanting to get us off on a winning track and reality setting in. And the ship not running as smooth as I thought it could. Or what I envisioned in the beginning."
And Dunleavy spoke about the situation as well. Look for his comments in a more detailed article later at latimes.com.
-- Lisa Dillman
Photo: Coach Mike Dunleavy and Baron Davis during second-half action against the Los Angeles Lakers a few weeks ago. Credit: Paul Buck / EPA