T.J. SIMERS

After Game 3 loss Clippers are in a bad place: still in Memphis

"Their season was on the line tonight, and it took us too long to adjust to that physicality," Billups said. "It's time for us to show a little urgency."

Amen. And does he understand a loss Saturday means the Clippers will definitely have to return to this crime-infested city?

"We do understand that," said Billups. And I sure wish I could walk faster.

JUST WHEN it appeared the Clippers had turned the corner, we get a reminder of just how dysfunctional management remains.

The other day the Wallflower spoke.

The so-called general manager of the Clippers, and until I see a picture of Gary Sacks I refuse to believe he exists, called The Times' beat guy to vent.

Sacks said the media should be talking about the first round of the playoffs and no longer speculate about the Clippers' future of Vinny Del Negro.

Sounds like the Sheriff, as Kevin Malone liked to call himself, when he came to town as Dodger GM and laid down the media law. And how did that go?

"That this is a distraction, bothers me," said the Wallflower.

If the Clippers want to kill speculation, how come Sacks didn't just say, "Of course Vinny will return?"

Instead he chose to mislead everyone. "We're all on the same page right now," he said.

Tell that to Eric Miller, Donald Sterling's son-in-law.

ESPN's Chris Broussard reported the Clippers already have an interest in Phil Jackson as a replacement for Del Negro, a source telling him that's who Miller likes.

That makes Miller either a comedian or clueless; as if Jackson would consider such a thing.

Miller is being groomed to be Sterling's successor. He must be feeling the power, but like everyone else, apparently, paying no attention to anything Sacks has to say.

It might take Sterling to clear things up, and I haven't written many funnier lines.

t.j.simers@latimes.com

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