I am a Clippers fan. That used to be something that was said with extreme amounts of shame. I know. I’ve been a Clippers fan since the 80s. Before Chris Paul, Deandre Jordan, and Blake Griffin teamed up to for “Lob City,” I was a fan.
We Clippers fans used to wear our fandom like a badge of honor. It takes a real fan to stick by a team that goes 17-65, 9-41 (lockout season) and 15-67 over the course of three years. But I did it. I was there when Lamar Odom and Maurice Taylor were the best players on the team. I was there when Elgin Baylor took a lottery pick, took a shit on it, and picked Michael Olowokandi with the first pick in the draft.
Back then, I was OK with losing. I wasn’t a fan because I expected wins. I was a fan because everyone expected the Clippers to fail. They were the perennial underdogs. Doing the least with the least. They didn’t have a stacked deck of players. It was usually just a bunch of guys who were just good enough to make the NBA. Maurice Taylor, Tyrone Nesby, and Loy Vaught are just a few of the Clippers superstars that you never heard of. These guy lead their teams in scoring and outside of Loy Vaught’s family and friends there’s probably nor more than two dozen people that remember he played in the NBA.
And that’s the Clippers I routed for. The team that once they got just a little bit blue chip talent they surprised the world. Like when Alvin Gentry took a team consisting of Elton Brand, Cutino Mobley, Sam Cassell, and Chris Kaman to the second round of the playoffs. That Clippers team ran through Carmelo’s Nuggets in five games and took a very good Phoenix squad to seven games, before losing. That was an exciting time to be a Clippers fan. Any win was cause for celebration.
Fast forward to present day Clipper fandom. I’m more depressed now than I ever was when Andre Miller was running the point. A team that has Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, the only Duke player I’ve never hated, Deandre Jordan, and Jamal Crawford is supposed to win. They’re supposed to dispatch of their opponents in a fast fashion. They’re supposed to be the Warriors.
And so it’s time for a change.
Chris Paul and Deandre Jordan need to go. Or Blake Griffin and JJ Reddick. Those four need to be broken up. Bring back Matt Barnes, go get Durant when he sprints away from OKC this summer.
Doc Rivers. He needs to be fired. He’s no better or worse than Vinnie Del Negro. I could have coached the Clippers to the exact same outcome. He’s horrible.
As a GM he’s even worse. Aside from completely mishandling the Deandre Jordan signing last summer, he’s never managed to attract any decent free agents. Lance Stephenson and Jeff Green? That’s not going to cut it.
That brings me back to my status as a Clippers fan. I’ve been telling myself for decades that I was done. “I’m not fucking with them anymore. I can’t deal with this shit.” But have I stopped watching games? Have I stopped buying Clippers memorabilia? Of course I haven’t. And that’s why this is all my fault. I know exactly what they’re going to do every. And every year I still watch and root while the Clips underachieve in dramatic fashion.
But next year will be different. Next year we’re going to win it all.