Wuxiaworld > Almighty Coach > 568 No Past, No Present, No Future

568 No Past, No Present, No Future

Dai Li stood in the arrivals areal of the Los Angeles International Airport. He stared at the crowd coming out.

Finally, Xiao Yunan came into Dai Li's line of sight.

Dai Li immediately went over, greeted her, and took the suitcase from her hands.

"You are always so busy, I didn't expect you to take the time to come to the United States to see me," Dai Li said with a smile.

"You think too highly of yourself! I am not here to see you. I came to the United States to work. I'm only seeing you because I'm in the area." Listening to Xiao Yunnan's voice made Dai Li's heart itch.

Xiao Yunan then lowered her voice and said, "We at Dingtian Sports have bought the Los Angeles Clippers. The contract has been signed, but there are still some legal procedures that have not been completed, so it has not been publicly announced."

"You bought the Clippers?" Dai Li was surprised. He said, "I have seen some news about the sale of the Clippers. There are a lot of rumors. One of them was that a Chinese company wanted to buy the Clippers. I thought it was just the media spreading fake news to create buzz. I didn't expect that it was true or that the Chinese company was your company."

"In recent years, many domestic enterprises have begun to venture overseas and purchase overseas assets on a large scale. We are keen on investing overseas, especially for overseas fixed assets. However, the cost of overseas fixed assets is relatively high. An NBA team is a much better asset. Managing a team generates income and the value of the team can appreciate. Even if we sell it, we will still make a profit," Xiao Yunan said.

"As far as I know, the Clippers' boss, Stark, does not have a low asking price. How much did you spend?" Dai Li asked.

"1.7 billion dollars," Xiao Yunan replied.

"So much?" Dai Li was shocked.

Dai Li and Blake had had a conversation about this before. At the time, Blake believed that the Clippers could sell for more than one billion U.S. dollars. Dai Li felt that even if there were a premium, at most, it would sell for 1.1 or 1.2 billion. He did not expect the final transaction price to reach 1.7 billion. This was more than half of what Dai Li estimated.

"Actually, spending $1.7 billion to buy the Los Angeles Clippers is indeed a bit expensive. However, the NBA has developed well in recent years. If some talented Chinese players join in the next few years, it will open up the domestic market. Then, this investment will have a better return." Xiao Yunan went on to say, "If nothing goes wrong, I may be stationed in Los Angeles for the near future, to manage the operation of the Clippers."

"Really? That's great. We finally don't have to be in two separate places." Dai Li immediately became excited and he couldn't help but hold Xiao Yunan's hand.

Xiao Yunan let out a long sigh, "The current Clippers are a mess. The team has no star players, they were ranked second last in the Western Conference, and more importantly, even the head coach has resigned."

"I have seen some reports. Because of Stark's racist remarks, the Clippers' coach refused to work for Stark and has resigned from the Clippers," Dai Li said.

"Did you know that the head coach had already gotten a job as the head coach at the Bucks?" Xiao Yunan smiled and then said, "He just used the racial discrimination as an excuse to resign. Stark is a stingy person. The salary he gave the head coach was only $3 million. His income ranks second lowest amongst the NBA's head coaches' salaries. The only one lower than him is the Memphis Grizzlies head coach's salary of $2.8 million. He had wanted to leave the Clippers for a while. Now that he had the excuse of the racial discrimination, he didn't have to pay liquidated damages when he resigned."

Dai Li nodded silently, "A salary of $3 million in California is not as good as a $2.8 million salary in Tennessee. The tax rates in California are quite high, while Tennessee is one of the seven states that does not have state taxes. They have many tax reduction policies as well. If this is taken into consideration, the Grizzlies head coach had a higher salary."

Several states in the United States did not collect state taxes, such as Texas and Nevada. Some did not have a value-added tax, such as Oregon. Some states had reductions in property taxes, petrol taxes, and so on.

For a coach who made millions of dollars a year or an NBA player with a salary of tens of millions of dollars, saving money on the state tax was equivalent to making a lot of money. Teams like the Rockets or the Spurs, who were based in Texas, had an advantage when offering salaries to players. Realistically, the player would be getting a higher salary.

However, in California, where the tax was relatively high, the difference between the player's salary and the actual amount that the player got was relatively big. Just paying a few taxes was enough to make a huge difference. Fortunately, the teams in California were in a large market. Players could make up for the money lost to taxes through other commercial activities.

Xiao Yunan said, "The position of the Clippers' head coach is being filled by an assistant coach for now, but this is not a long-term solution. So I came to the United States to solve the Clippers' coach problem. Dad hopes that you will be the head coach of the Clippers."

"Me?" Dai Li was caught off guard.

Dai Li wanted to tell Xiao Yunan that he was not a basketball coach. He did not have a very good understanding of basketball. He was not even as good as a professional player. He may not even be qualified to be the head coach of an NBA team. However, when he was about to say it out loud, he stopped himself from doing so.

I became famous through track and field, not basketball. I am not a professional basketball coach. Everyone knows this. Dingtian Group spent $1.7 billion to buy the Clippers. The head coach is a very important position. How can Xiao Yunan's father hand this position to me, a coach who specializes in track and field? Track and field and basketball are very different sports. Being good at coaching track and field does not mean that I will be good at coaching basketball.

Xiao Dingtian is able to conduct businesses that involve billions of dollars. There's no way that he wouldn't have thought about something so obvious, right? Even if Xiao Dingtian doesn't understand sports, there should be people around him that at least understand a little, right? This involves a billion-dollar team, there should be someone who told Xiao Dingtian about this. I don't believe that this real estate giant doesn't have a professional think tank team. It's a 1.7 billion dollar investment, Xiao Dingtian would definitely not make such a careless decision.

There are a lot of excellent basketball coaches in the United States. Of the ones I know, there are four or five people who have been on NBA teams who are now just spending their time at home. The assistant coaches of strong teams are also not mediocre. For example, the assistant coaches of the Spurs and the Warriors are more than capable enough to be the head coach of other teams. It is not difficult to ask such people to go to the Clippers as the head coach.

According to the current market rate in the NBA, hiring an excellent coach with experience will only cost four or five million dollars. I could even afford that amount. The Dingtian Group is rich and they have already spent $1.7 billion in acquisition fees. They wouldn't mind spending four or five million dollars to find a professional basketball coach, right?

Xiao Dingtian's decision for me to be the head coach of the Clippers must be deliberate. I just proposed to Yunan a few days ago. Now Yunan's father wants me to be the head coach of the Clippers. Is this a promotion? It can't be so simple. In addition to it being a promotion, perhaps it is also a test. Dai Li was frowning while thinking all of this.

Xiao Dingtian is not testing my ability. I got the Laureus World Sports Award Coach of the Year. Naturally, my ability cannot be doubted. I believe no one in the world could question my ability. He is testing how I can contribute to Dingtian Group. Another way of putting it is that he wants to see if I am any use to Dingtian Group. I am a coach, so doing business is not my specialty. Coaching the Clippers may be the best way for me to contribute to Dingtian Group.

Or, Xiao Dingtian hopes that I can make a contribution to Dingtian Group. Xiao Dingtian only has Yunan as his daughter. She is the future heir of Dingtian Group, so I, the son-in-law, need to show that I can do well. At least to the point where outsiders won't feel that I am just a pretty face, useless to Dingtian Group.

Dai Li could not help but think about the incident during the reign of Emperor Kangxi where he made the nine princes compete against each other. At that time, to test the princes, Emperor Kangxi sent the princes on errands. The princes, to make a good impression on Kangxi, all went out and did their best.

Dai Li sighed, I can't refuse to be the Clippers' head coach. I need to accept this job for Yunan. Being the son-in-law of a rich man is really not easy!


When he got home, Dai Li let Xiao Yunan rest first, to let her get used to the time difference. He sat in front of the computer and began to check for information on the Clippers.

Most of the information about NBA teams were public. It could easily be found on the internet. Dai Li was able to understand the situation of the Clippers through the use of the internet.

Presently, the Clippers had a record of 16 wins and 30 losses, ranking second to last in the Western Conference. This meant the Clippers would not make the playoffs.

The best option for a team that wasn't making the playoffs was to get the worst results possible. They should get a very bad record. They could then get a highly ranked player in the next draft. They could get a player with potential as a draft pick. If they could get one of the top three ranking picks, those that were at the top of the list, that would naturally be a very good thing.

However, the Clippers' first-round draft picks were not decided by the Clippers themselves.

Five years ago, in order to become the champions, the Clippers formed the so-called "three giants," which brought together three star players. At that time, this "three giants" model was the best lineup for an NBA team.

So, in order to form the "three giants," the Clippers used the first round of draft picks of the next few years as a bargaining chip. They exchanged two All-Star players from other teams to their teams. This behavior was equivalent to using the team's future in exchange for the team's present

However, luck was not on the side of the Clippers. The Clippers' three giants had suffered injuries since the day they were formed. Amongst the three of them, there was always someone who was injured. Sometimes it was only one of them and sometimes two were injured at the same time. Once the ones who were injured recovered from their injury, another would immediately get injured again. In that season, of the 82 games, the Clippers three giants played less than 20 games together.

In the next season, one of the "giants" did not participate and, when he returned, his condition was worse than before.

At the same time, their ages had also started to show. When the "three giants" joined the Clippers, they were already over thirty years old. Their bodies were already on the decline. The process of aging spares no one. After two years, the data on the "three giants" showed an obvious decline. They no longer had the data of celebrity-level athletes. 

The "three giants" also knew that it was impossible for three old guys who were on the decline to go all out and win the championship. So the three men chose to go their own way after the expiration of their contracts, and go to other teams to try and win the championship with them. Thus, the Clippers' "three giants" dissolved. Not only did the Clippers not win the championship, but they also threw away their team's future because they lost the chance of getting draft picks in the next few years.

The current Clippers had no reason to get a bad result intentionally. They had no draft picks. Even if they ranked at the bottom, they would just be helping others. They just helped the teams that received their rights to their draft picks.

The only benefit the fall of the "three giants" brought for the Clippers was freeing up the team's cash flow. The salaries of the star players were relatively high. Once the high-income players left, the Clippers naturally had more money and the Clippers could offer a high salary to the star players on the other teams.

As Los Angeles had a large market for basketball, it was still very attractive to players. If the Clippers were willing to pay a high salary, the All-Star players who had no desire to win the championship, but just wanted to make more money, may still be attracted to the Clippers.

The Clippers could still offer rookies a high salary to get them to join the Clippers. As long as the other teams were reluctant to match the Clippers offer, then the Clippers would be able to get a newcomer with potential.

Whether it was directly offering a high salary to attract all-star players, or giving a high-priced offer to a rookie, they could immediately become stronger. The Clippers could recover quickly. Although they could not win the championship, they still had a chance to make the playoffs.

However, the Clippers chose another path: to rebuild themselves completely.

With no draft picks in hand, the Clippers couldn't rely on intentionally getting bad results to get highly ranked rookies. The option of getting rookies and bringing in several star players could not be implemented immediately.

The Clippers had plenty of money to offer high salaries, but they chose to take over rubbish contracts to gain the right to draft picks.

There would always be garbage contracts in the NBA. For example, if a team signed on a player for a certain price, the performance of the player might not meet expectations. Obviously, the high salary and bad performance made it a garbage contract. Every year, there were always players who earned much more than they actually deserved.

Teams would, of course, want to get rid of these garbage contracts. However, other teams were not fools. They would not take on those contracts if there were no benefits. So, if the team wanted to get rid of these garbage contracts, they would have to offer more. They might also give an extra player who performed well, a rookie with potential, or the rights to a future draft pick. With such benefits, there would be teams who would pick up such contracts.

The Clippers became a team that picked up such contracts. They took over the garbage contracts of other teams and gained players who performed well and the rights to draft picks. The downside of this was that the cost of the garbage contracts also locked up the Clippers' cash flow. Before the garbage contracts ended, the Clippers did not have the extra money to attract star players.

Looking at the Clippers' information, Dai Li felt depressed.

The Clippers have taken on the garbage contracts, so they don't have the extra money to recruit new people. The Clippers can only rely on the existing lineup to continue onwards. With the current condition of the Clippers, it is impossible for them to perform well.

The Clippers' rights to draft picks have been traded. Intentionally getting a bad result to secure future draft picks is useless. They have no highly ranked draft picks. This team has no future.

As for the past, the Clippers' best result was getting to the second round of the Western Conference. They haven't even gotten to the final of their conference.

It seems that the team I will be taking over is a team with no past, no present, and no future! This is another insanely difficult challenge!