I've just been reading a little bit about the recent turn of events with LeBron James. The Most Intriguing Summer Ever, for us Clipper fans as well as all sorts of other NBA followers, is apparently off to an early start. I was happily rolling along assuming that James and the Cavs would beat Boston and battle with Orlando, and that James would most likely return to Cleveland, and that the idea he might end up on the Clippers was absurd and more impossible every day. It wasn't worth thinking about or discussing.
I have to say I didn't expect the Cleveland prospects to take a direct hit like this. Cleveland is still an option, but it has been shown that the GM and the coach and supporting cast aren't what they need to be.
And I wrote the above earlier in the day and then went out and bumped around and am just getting back. Not much new in the way of commentary: still no note from our fearless leader. Clipperblog still has the Top Ten Plays up, and a quick glance shows that KA's latest effort is a breakdown of Phoenix.
Bill Simmons worked hard on his Lebron analysis today, even though he woke up later than usual because his kid slept in. He broke it down to Godfather moves: Chicago is the Michael Corleone Move, New York is Sonny, and Cleveland is Connie. Then he throws out the Clippers as a joke, quipping that yes, if you're keeping track, the Clippers are "the Fredo Corleone Move."
But don't the Clippers deserve just a little bit more consideration at this point than a Fredo joke? I can't remember what Miami was in the Simmons analysis. And his buddy Steiny Mo, who he wrote about in his story about the Suns game, thinks that New Jersey is a nice dark horse.
Look, I'm the last person who wanted to think about LeBron James coming to the Clippers. Smarter Nation faithful like our Thomas Jefferson (KA) and John Adams (Clipper Steve) have been careful not to get sucked in. The previous analysis is all still out there. This is a modest reversal of fortune, and it's not time to be optimistic, heaven forbid.
But just a little bit of consideration would be nice, especially after the Clippers went to great lengths, including trading away a relatively solid #14 draft choice like Al Thornton, to clear a maximum cap space slot. They're eligible. They're worth discussing. They play in a major market. They have a number of solid and promising guys on their roster, also worthy of analysis. They got rid of their ineffective and disliked (by Simmons, perhaps more than anybody) coach and general manager.
Would it make sense for LeBron James to want to play with Blake Griffin, Baron Davis, Chris Kaman, Eric Gordon, DeAndre Jordan and the #8 pick, and move to Los Angeles? Does that seem like a Fredo move to any of the informed citizens who follow our hapless and beleaguered squad? Are Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah and Chicago and Jerry Reinsdorf clearly superior?
I'm not saying that DTS and "it's the Clippers" and a fake curse that LBJ says he doesn't believe in aren't a problem. I'm not saying that it's going to happen or that I want to spend any time thinking about it. But I'd like to see some of the professionals who do this for a living at least put it on the table and come up with reasons why it won't happen.
The Clippers will make an offer to LeBron James. They will do whatever they can to try to sign him, led by Olshey and Griffin and BDavis. Chicago and Cleveland will have new coaches, just like the Clippers. It won't be so different from when the Clippers tried to sign Kobe. LeBron will flirt with the Clippers and say good things about Griffin and others. These are all just moves that will come up down the road, and things will work themselves out. But let's see that the Clippers get fair consideration and that they can legitmately look forward to some sort of great leap forward and a much better season than what we've been forced to witness over the last three years. The team is primed and ready, with all sorts of flexibility and prospects and options. It's gonna be fun, and it's going to be a great offseason. I just didn't expect the interest level to spike like this so soon. And it's interesting how there's such a resounding silence out there about the Clippers, as if everybody is afraid to talk about them. They had a great stroke of luck last year in getting Griffin, even if we had to wait with special Clipper patience to reap the reward. And maybe more luck and surprises are on the way. Who knows?