Alright, I just joined Clips Nation blog. I've been reading this blog since 2001, just never bothered to sign up until now. I'm sure a lot of people have already posted on how they felt on Eric Gordon being traded for Paul, but I'm really starting to wonder. I thought about this long and hard, what actually makes us Clipper fans?
I mean we say a lot of things about how we chose the Clippers ever since World B. Free, or Loy Vaught, but honestly I only started following the Clippers in 2000 (before it was the Knicks because they were always on TNT and TBS and they wore my favorite color blue, I was 10 at the time) due to the fact I found out they existed. Then it was Odom, Miles, Richardson, Dooling and Maggette, and I gotta say Maggette at the time was my favorite Clipper with Miles a close second.
Then we traded Miles for Andre Miller... which I thought was a horrible trade mostly because Miles was someone I loved watching and he WANTED to be a Clipper. He went to the Cavs and I felt never he lived up to his potential. It was like he left and was never the same player.
We traded Chandler and got Brand, which excited me at the time. Brand went on to play for us 6 years with the 7th year of injury and was my favorite player until the betrayal. However let me recount my favorite Clippers and what happened before I go onto what I have to say about Gordon. I loved all these players until they went away, so this list will not include Andre Miller. I'm not going to go into Mobley or Cassell because they left through trades, and Cassell was at the end of his career and wanting a championship.
Clippers that left Disgruntled
Odom - Even though he had marijuana problems, I always loved watching the guy. Then he went to Miami and didn't want the Clippers to Match. After that, his attitude made it seem like he always hated being part of the Clippers.
Miles - Like I said, heartbroken by the trade.
Richardson - I thought they had something going with him, then he asked the Clippers not to match him going to Phoenix. It was like he never wanted to be a Clipper.
Jaric - Went to Timberwolves and same thing.
Olowakandi - Believe it or not, I really like this guy way back when. First couple seasons though before I realized how lazy some players were (I was a kid of 12, so bear with me). To me watching him play under Gentry, I thought he was trying his hardest.
Maggete - Left to the Warriors, it seemed like he really didn't care.
Brand - Well, don't let me get started on Brand. I loved Brand, he was like Mr. Clipper, I want to play hard, I will do my best every game. Then when it came to the end of 2008, he just signed elsewhere. It was like he never wanted to stay in LA but continued to give impressions that he did (which he did save the Clips a lot of cap space because I don't believe he was worth what he would have been paid now in hindsight), but that was like being dumped 10 times over. At this point I followed the Clippers for over 8 years, you could say I bled red white and blue, and this guy ups and leaves.
On these Trades?
Baron - Well first of all, I was bummed we traded Baron. I know he played like a shell of his former self and showed up overweight and uninspired, but when he was traded he actually wanted to stay and his play was steadily improving with the Blake Effect (I'm sure that's a coined term by now), then we just trade him. At first I was kind of upset, Baron had been playing for the Clips 3 years and did his best to keep up his face despite us knowing he was unhappy with losing and not being able to play his way (under Dunleavy), but he still never said anything bad and never caused distraction for the Fans. Even after the trade he was a classy act and didn't have anything bad to say.
I liked Baron, but it was something that Had to happen.
Kaman - 7 years, and although I have had a lot of gripes with him missing layups, he was always fun to watch and seemed to give his best despite having a lot of trouble paying attention. Developed into an all-star, although he now has trouble staying healthy. I never really had an emotional attachment to Kaman, funny as it is.
Gordon - Okay, here's why I don't like this trade. As good as Chris Paul is, and as great as he can make us, I've been a Clips fan not because I like winning but because I just happen to like anyone who suits up for the Clippers. It's part of my identity as a person, I like the Clippers, that's all. So getting Chris Paul is awesome, but losing Eric Gordon really hearts. I know Pelinka might have been pushing for 4 years/18 million, I'm sure agents area always pushing for high numbers, but why didn't the front office have Eric come in and talk to them with the agent? I know, we can say this or that, but although getting Chris Paul is awesome and I bought Dish Network so I can see the games in HD now, it still hurts losing Gordon. Not that Gordon was the best player to ever suit up with the Clippers but because every year he took a leap in improvement, even quietly. He never displayed much of an ego, and he was always there to compete regardless of who was on his team.
I never once saw him as malcontent. I never saw him as someone who was a bad player. In some ways, he's the Clipper player I was most attached to, even more so than Griffin. A lot of us don't know what Griffin is thinking about his future, he says a lot of things but like Deandre, I'm sure he'd sign the highest offer sheet available.
But Gordon? He wanted to negotiate an extension rather than going out on the open market. He wanted to be part of the team, and he wanted to continue here. So trading him hurts, because after seeing player after player leave not wanting to be part of Los Angeles, pushing out Gordon when he wanted to stay was hard for me to accept.
It's like you got a little brother who's getting better everyday, and then you trade him for some guy who just happens to be better than him in the present. That brother is still your brother, even if this new guy might be your new brother, but Gordon had always been a Clipper and never worn another Uniform. Not like Brand who was first a Pull, and not like Deandre who would go elsewhere for just 10-20% more on what is already a huge amount of money.
I'm just saying, as excited as I am to see this new season, I'm going to miss Gordon. I wish we could have just built through the draft and have an organization that's loyal to our own players, but it is what it is. Like a lot of people say about the NBA, leave your emotions at home, it's a business and it's entertainment.
Enjoy the male version of a soap opera.