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Clippers' update: Mike Dunleavy speaks

March 10, 2010 | 12:18 am
Mike Spoke to former Clipper General Manager Mike Dunleavy shortly before 11 p.m. about his ouster earlier in the day and he was stunned by the development.

Dunleavy, who had dinner with Clippers owner Donald Sterling last week, said he did not first hear the news from the team, only learning of his dismissal when he turned his cellphone on, getting it out of the locker at his club.

“I’m kind of surprised like everyone else,” he said in a telephone interview. “I found out being on the Internet and people calling me, saying, ‘Mike, what’s going on?’ I said, ‘I have no idea what you are talking about.’ I tried Mr. Sterling and left him a message.

“…That’s the story.”

The Clippers said they tried to reach Dunleavy late in the afternoon.      

Dunleavy did not sense anything was amiss when he had dinner with Sterling and thought it was very positive as they discussed the upcoming big summer of free agency and the franchise's plans. He said Sterling always told him that they would sit down and talk if the team ever planned on making a move to revamp the front office.

He said he "appreciated the opportunity that was here," and talked about wanting to complete the job in Los Angeles, the injuries the last several seasons and the strong financial position of the Clippers going forward this summer, getting the payroll down from $69 million last season to $55 million after the trade deadline.

-- Lisa Dillman

Photo: Mike Dunleavy walks the sidelines during a game between the Clippers and Atlanta Hawks on Feb. 3. Credit: Gregory Smith / Associated Press