Clippers Yearly Season Checklist:
The chances for the Clippers to make the playoffs left as soon as Eric Gordon (EJ) didn't fly to the Dallas game. Then, the dreadful news that EJ would be out for three to four weeks came... and here we go again. This is the third Clipper star that is out for an extended period of time this season, the other two being Baron Davis (B Diddy) and Chris Kaman (Kaman). In fact, the few regular season games that the Clippers four stars played together did not go as we all expected. As it stands today, the Clippers are 11 games under .500 and have a record of 17-28. So, who are we to blame this season?
Donald T. Sterling (DTS)
First off, DTS is a graduate of Southwestern Law School and a savvy business man that thinks about maximizing his profit before anything. Is he to blame? My opinion as a longtime Clipper basketball fan, former high school soccer player, and third year law student at Southwestern Law School, I just can blame him completely for this season. DTS thinks money first, but in the recent years he has been willing to throw big money at good players, for example: Kaman; B Diddy; Corey Maggette; and Elton Brand. It seems, as the team gets more and more profitable, he is willing to spend more and more money on good players.
So, the problem with DTS is that he is not a professional business man. As an attorney, he pushes the definition of ethics and morals out of the freaking window and as a business man, it works for him, since how many of his employees/tenants are willing to sue big bad ass attorney DTS. DTS contributes to the current Clipper problem, since he is totally irresponsible and unprofessional, for example, he heckled his own players and even David Stern.
In recent years, DTS has been willing to spend big money on players. Yet, his business genius combined with his irresponsible and unprofessional attitude are a a bad mix that can keep many great potential players away from the Clippers. In a business your image is everything, which is especially true in the NBA, and with an image like DTS, he is first to blame.
The Front Office (FO)
I'm sure we all believe (know) that the Clippers did Mike Dunleavy dirty! With a new front office, things could not get possible worst, right? Hmm...yeah, about that! The FO tried to sway the decision of Lebron James this offseason, but we all know how that "Decision" ended. So, the Clippers ended with the awesome offseason acquisitions of Randy Foye, Brian Cook, and Ryan Gomes. Dude, who the hell are they? Plus, Clippers also got three Rookies in the draft, Al Farouq Aminu (AFA), Eric Bledsoe (EB), and Willie Warren (WW).
During the offseason, the majority of sport analysis gave the Clippers FO offseason moves anywhere from a B+ to an A. I just remember seeing one article that stated the Clippers FO had a horrible off season, boy was that dude right! Regardless, can we really blame the FO?
Randy Foye's best season was the 2008-2009 with the Minnesota Timberwolves, where he averaged 16.3 points 4.3 assists, 3.1 rebounds, and 1 steal per game. The next season he went to the Wizards and his numbers declined to 10.1 points, 3.3 assist, 1.9 rebounds, and .5 steals. Then this season he is signed by the Clippers and yeah, he had that hamstring injury. As a 27 year old, four year veteran of the league (he is currently in his fifth season with the Clippers), and the future Dwayne Wade (according to draft scouts), how can we blame the FO for signing him? Plus, we have not seen the best of him, I dearly hope
Ryan Gomes, yeah last season he averaged 11 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and .8 steals with the Timberwolves. In fact, his current numbers with the Clippers are a tiny bit better that his rookie numbers in Boston, which are (yes you guessed it) down from last seasons. So, was it a good move signing him in the offseason as our small forward? Yes (remember hindsight is 20/20), especially since he is a twenty-eight year old six year veteran (this is seventh season) and he is in his prime (just like Randy Foye).
What about Brian Cook (Cookie)? That was a head scratcher at the time, but he has actually surprised many Clipper fans, just like Kwame Brown is doing with the Bobcats, except for the fact that Kwame got the starting job with the Bobcats.
So, the FO did all the right moves. They signed good (not great or not stars) role players, Ryan Gomes as the starting small forward and Randy Foye as the backup to EJ. Except, things have not worked out too great. Today, I am still glad they made those deals. When you looks ate ludracris deals players got this offseason and the fact that players wanted to chase a championship, I think they did a pretty good job. Shoot, it could be worst, the FO could have signed Josh Childress for the same amount that the Suns did (and its not going to well for them).
The Players (and thier injuries)
B Diddy showed up to practice as a little fatty (due to the deliciousness of “Pinche Tacos “in West Hollywood) and well Ryan Gomes and Randy Foye have not lived up the expectations. Even Kaman brought out Mr. Flippy! But how much blame can the players get when they play for the Clippers? Really? Jokes aside, maybe it is a chemistry issue, maybe not, maybe its a motivational issue (I am looking at you B Diddy), or maybe not, or maybe the Clippers are just a little bit crazy!
You have to admit the team has looked really, really, really, really super duper good at times (and stretches). But, it has also looked super duper terrible. I go back to chemistry, with a bunch of new players around, they got to adjust right? Well, half the season is gone, so now what? Injuries man, I am telling you its injuries!! We can't really blame blame injuries on players, right? Oh wait, we can blame B Diddy's, but that is the only one. Injuries happen to team, just look at Dallas and Miami. In the NBA they should be accounted for, but when two of your star players are out at a time due to injuries, who is to blame?
Yeah, youth NBA teams are usually “Hot & Cold,” but eventually they get everything together. The Clippers are a fairly young team, with the majority of players in their 20s. So yeah, we can blame it on the youth, got us feeling blue, blame it on the... But, will this excuse ever run out?
The Clipper Curse
How many of us honestly think the Clippers are cursed? The real question is: Those bad luck equal a curse? I honestly, think the Clippers are not cursed. If the Clippers are cursed, then what are the TrailBlazers? Wait, the Trailblazers are still over .500 with all of their crazy injuries, hmm. Regardless, can a Clipper Curse actually be real? Hmm...interesting...
The Culture of Mediocrity
So, I heard Culture Club is to reunite in 2012! Yes, finally I can see Boy George and all his gayness live in concert! Back to my point, I squarely blame the Culture of Mediocrity that surrounds the Clippers. Years and years of losing seasons creates a mentality that it is okay to lose, when it is not! Years and years of losing, created mediocrity, Thus, the Clippers have a culture of mediocrity that is squarely to blame (a conclusion I achieved by using simple philosophy!)
According to BG, our Moses, that can be changed! Yes! BG speaks the truth; this is what has to change! I go back to what I said about image, because when players sign with the Clippers I am sure they think, "Hey it is okay to be a loser!" We have all seen rookies play decline throughout seasons as they see the season is going down faster than a drunk fat five dollar... This is not acceptable, but the best example is Kaman and B Diddy, last year their play declined when the season was done for. Can the Clippers change this? Yes. When? I dearly hope soon!
While I am writing this post I have that Black Eyed Peas song stuck in my head. It goes something like this: "No, no, no, no, don't phunk with my heart." Basically, the Clippers play with all of our emotions. Maybe, it is the fact that the best season that Clippers ever had is not too far in the past. Maybe, it is the fact that the Clippers always seem to have exciting young talent and has so much potential. Maybe, we like the rollercoaster feeling that the Clippers give us or maybe, to take a word from Rihanna, we love the way they lie to us.
Regardless, the past determines who you are in the future! But the Clippers have to learn from the past in order to better their future. In the end, I honestly think this season is done for, so fudge it! Let’s play it up like it is 1999! I would like to see the Clippers go all out against every team! I am down for the youth movement in the team as much as I am done for OPP, and boy I am down for OPP! When Kaman and EJ come back, we begin playing for tomorrow. It is always darkest before the dawn people and can it really get much worse?
I leave you with this thought, if you survived this long blog post: It seems like we as Clipper fans wait for Godot each and every season. We don't know who Godot is, but yet we wait. So is BG our Godot? Or do we keep waiting for the unknown?