Print and Go Back ESPN.com: TrueHoop [Print without images]

Friday, February 5, 2010
Mike Dunleavy and the Hangover effect

By Kevin Arnovitz

For Mike Dunleavy, there have been several flash points over the past couple of months when he thought it might be time to hang it up:
But the clincher, the moment Dunleavy says he was done as the Clippers' head coach?

It was on the plane home from Atlanta:

I was walking by [Clippers broadcaster] Ralph [Lawler] ... He sits right behind me and he's laughing. I went to use the restroom -- I was studying film, doing whatever -- and I said, "What are you watching?"

And Ralph said, "I'm watching this movie, 'The Hangover,'"

I said, "All my boys have seen it and said they loved it."

And I'm sitting there and I said to myself, "You know, I need a break."

I said, "Ralph, when you're finished with that movie, let me know."

He gave me the movie, and I laughed. And I got in my own head and I'm thinking, "Wow."

One of our guys saw me laughing. He thought I was asleep and he says, "Coach!"

I look up and he said, "What are you laughing at?"

I said, "I'm watching this film."

He said, "Oh, I thought you were asleep and were laughing in your dreams."

I think he was shocked that I was watching a movie as opposed to nonstop film. At that point in my own mind, I said the same thing, "This is a sign that it's time to take a break. Time to recharge the batteries ... You're burnt out on this."