Latest News, NBA / Mar 9, 2009 / 11:55 am

Al Thornton: “The Most Selfish Basketball Player I’ve Ever Seen”

Al Thornton

Those are supposedly the words of Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling. Last week, Sterling came into the Clippers locker room in a hysterical fit following L.A.’s loss to San Antonio, basically ranting and raving at his entire club.

As details continue to emerge, this episode paints Sterling as a complete lunatic.

For the first time in six seasons, Sterling came into the locker room. And in his first appearance, he went on a “profanity-laced tirade”, threatening to trade his entire team and specifically singling out Thornton.

When Thornton asked coach Mike Dunleavy (who was standing nearby) how he was playing, before he could answer Sterling told Dunleavy to “shut up” according to one of the sources.

We could go on at length about how Sterling’s leadership has screwed this franchise – the Elgin Baylor scandal earlier this year, the abject failure to see that Dunleavy cares less than any other coach in the League – but we’ll hold off on that.

However, how does Sterling accuse Thornton of being “the most selfish basketball player” he’s ever seen? How is that even conceivable? Ricky Davis is on this team.

Thornton hasn’t progressed as many people thought he would – he’s shooting 43% from the field, and a God-awful 24.7% from three. The worst part is that he continues to shoot three’s though he really isn’t making any of them. But still, that’s not even the worst on the team. Sterling’s $40 million man Baron Davis is shooting 36.5% from the field, and he’s a shade under 30% from three. Ricky Buckets is shooting 33.9% from the floor and 31.5% from three.

This whole thing would make a lot more sense if Sterling was yelling at Thornton, not knowing who he was, thinking that he was Ricky Davis. In that case, I might even forgive him for his wildly inappropriate tirade.

Source: True Hoop

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  • E$

    wow, great dental work Al


    LOL huge @ss picture LOL that’s right give em trouble they were a respectable team 3 years ago

  • thomasmmm


    this was supposed to be a playoff bound team this season. oh well.

  • Vinny

    ‘THE DONALD’ AS some people in la sarcasticly call sterling is the worst owner in the history of the nba-and to top it off he’s a proven racist-he’s lost lawsuits for discriminating aganist blacks and latino’s in his real estate business! So all that being said- i dont care if he does own the team he should stay the fuck out of the locker room and shut the fuck up! he has no credibility!! He’s a joke!! always has been. That team has made the playoffs how many times in 20 years-3 times i believe.

  • Brown

    Damn, and I thought the Warriors were the biggest mess in the NBA. They have something in common though. The team sucks because of owner and won’t go anywhere until that changes.

  • Doog

    I’ll say it again. The worst thing about this site is that too often the authors make assertions that are contradicted by facts. In this case, I agree that Donald Sterling is a terrible person and NBA franchise owner. But this article appears to take issue with the claim that Thorton is a selfish player despite his 7.2 assist ratio (#58 in the league for SFs) and his 1.5 assists/game (1.8 a/40min). It is particularly odd that the article then uses Ricky Davis as the comparator despite the Davis’s assist ratio of 21.5 (#3 in the league for SFs) and 2.3 apg (4.0 a/40min).

  • Jah

    This will come back to haunt the Clippers…

  • Coop

    The Clippers are right up there with Atlanta and Golden State when it comes to being run by UTTER morons

  • G
  • George W Kush Sr

    lol at Sterling instructing Dunleavy to keep his mouth knowing anything he was going to say was going to prove Sterling dont know what the hell he is talking about, ha ha

  • G

    Post #6 is actually Ricky Davis trying to defend himself. Because I think only Ricky Davis would know his own stats like that.

  • Prof. TX

    This is from a guy who really liked having Corey Maggette on his team, so … yeah, not a great judge of team needs.

  • Doog

    The point of my post (#6) wasn’t that Davis isn’t a knucklehead. And, frankly, a case can be made that Davis is a more selfish player. But there is no denying that Thornton’s statistics (i.e., a record of fact) support the notion that he is a selfish player and that he is—at least, by one measure—more selfish than Ricky Buckets. Thus, absent further explanation or dicussion, the rhetorical force of the contrast is reduced when it relies on unfounded assertions that are not only unsupported but also contradicted by an evidentiary record. Analysis and commentary tends to be much more insightful when it does not privilege anecdotes or one’s own subjective perceptions over objective fact.

    But maybe that’s just me.

  • http://myspace.com/bigfreeze101 Big Freeze

    Nice post #13. After I dug trough all your pompous, bullshit-ridden language, I can summarize it in a much easier to read form: Post articles based on facts, not opinions.

    But check this, if Dimemag – and the media in general – only posted articles based on facts and statistics, that would be boring as fuck and it wouldn’t attract any readers and thus no potential consumers for advertisers to appeal to. That mans Dimemag would get shut down. So fuck facts and statistics, I wanna read more misleading and biased articles!

  • the cynic

    @ Doug

    you don’t watch clipper games, that number is skewed by the fact Ricky Davis was forced to play point guard for about 3 weeks and also missed a chunk of the season due to injury along with accumalating tons of garbage time. Most of the season Thorton has had to scored 20+ just for the clippers to have a chance not to get blown out, so he has forced a lot more of his offense. I will say Thorton is a terrible passer though who is even worse passing on the move

  • doc

    Sterling is a racsist anyway and one of them Clippers need to beat the shit out of him.

  • Doog

    @ #14 (Big Freeze): I’ll take the hit on the language. But the point is slightly different. It’s not that Dime should post articles based only on facts, not opinions. My point is that a good article (or post) doesn’t blithely ignore facts that appear to contradict the opinions. It’s as easy as adding a quick sentence like comment #15, which provides some additional color that might explain the discrepancy.

  • recession balla

    …they were more successful when they were the Buffalo Braves….

  • recession balla

    …you must be new to dimemag they make quite a lot of shit up….

  • AB_40

    al thornton is a year older then lebron james so his game won’t grow in leaps and bounds it will grow in baby steps. Seniors who go to the nba have that… well at least if they’re already pretty sollid players like kenyon martin and al thornton.

  • Will

    The Clips should give their team to Seattle………..

    Was that inappropriate?

  • shd

    theres a real good article on this on http://www.clipsnation.com