The Los Angeles Clippers have never been counted among the NBA’s elite franchises. This season things were supposed to be different after the team landed bona fide superstar Kawhi Leonard. In the end, they weren’t. Many said he was the one to finally change things. He couldn’t.
I can only imagine what it’s like to be a Clippers fan in a city that has a team like the Los Angeles Lakers. Instead of going to games to celebrate your team’s countless achievements, you merely go to watch as they stack up countless failures.
Cast in the role of a redeemer for the Clippers this season, Kawhi has received major backlash from some fans who hoped he would save the franchise from another subpar season. But, he isn’t to blame. The team’s elimination from the playoffs after blowing a 3-1 lead to the Denver Nuggets can’t be placed on just his shoulders alone.
Kawhi needed a Pippen to his Jordan, an Anthony Davis to his LeBron, a Dory to his Marlin. He needed a sidekick, a reliable partner. Paul George wasn’t that. In fact, many considered the Clippers to be the deepest team in the NBA, but no one really showed up. Not even the typically reliable 6th men Montrezl Harrell and Lou Williams who have been solid fallbacks for the team for many seasons now.
You don’t need a crystal ball to see that if Kawhi doesn’t get the backing he needs, and deserves, then the Clippers’ chances of winning a championship next year and their hopes of escaping this continuous cycle of mediocrity are dim.
Looking at the bigger picture, the Lakers are still going to be contenders, the Golden State Warriors led by Clay Thompson and Steph Curry are expected to be back in contention and young talented teams like the Nuggets will return with plenty more experience and a drive like never before. And, that is just the Western Conference.
Don’t get me wrong, by no means am I saying this is the end for the Los Angeles Clippers, they could come out of this disappointment a stronger team and even go on to be champions, but they need to find a way to at least live up to their name.
Unlike the famous speedy ships that once passed through San Diego Bay, their performances have been slow and plodding.
In fact, they came into the NBA bubble performing more like the old, dull scissors being used by many at home in the pandemic. You know, the ones you have laying around the house somewhere that you would never cut your hair with because you would rather look scruffy than use scissors you don’t have faith in. The ones you could give your children to use for craft projects to keep them busy in between homeschooling sessions.
It would be great to see the other LA franchise really sharpen up. Be the clippers our trusty barbers use. The ones known for their precision. The ones that have a razor edge and are cut-throat sharp.