Earlier today, we published the second part of our oral history of Donald Sterling’s Clippers (you can read the first part here), in which a bunch of former Clippers beat writers shared stories from their days around the impossibly dysfunctional organization. Things were so bleak in Clipperland then, that Paul Silas, the head coach at the time, once let a beat writer make a draft pick.

Here’s how Nick Canepa, who worked the beat during the 1981-82 season, remembers it:

I think it was the draft where they drafted [Terry] Cummings. I think it was the ’82 draft. This is the honest to God’s truth, there were a lot of rounds in the draft then, not two like there are now. There were a lot of rounds in the draft then. Not two like there are now. I think they were up to like, the seventh round. And I’m sitting in Silas’s office, and you know, he’s looking at these sheets, and he goes, “I don’t know Nick, you pick somebody.”

I’m saying, is Eddie Hughes gone yet? Eddie Hughes was a little guard who was just a rocket at Colorado State. I’d been covering San Diego State basketball before that. ... One of the fastest players I’ve ever seen. [I said] “Is Eddie Hughes from Colorado State gone yet?” And he says, “No.” So they drafted him. I drafted a guy.

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