The Clippers have left on their version of the Odyssey. And even beyond the fact that the Clippers are named for a type of sailing ship, there are some interesting parallels between their road trip and Homer's story of a long and difficult journey.
Odysseus angered the god Poseidon and was cursed not to return to his home in Ithaca for ten years.
The Clippers apparently angered someone, and are said to be cursed, but it was David Stern and the NBA schedule makers who have sent them away, not to return home to Los Angeles for ten games.
Upon returning to Ithaca, Odysseus had to battle the 'suitors' (the men of Ithaca seeking Penelope's hand in marriage in Odysseus' absence) who had overrun his home.
Upon returning to Los Angeles, the Clippers will have to battle the Lakers who will have taken over their home. (OK, this one would make more sense if the Lakers were Odysseus and the Clippers were the suitors, but whatever.)
On his journey, Odysseus battled many foes, as indeed the Clippers will.
The Odyssey starts in Atlanta, where the Hawks represent the Lotus Eaters. There's something in the demeanor of both Josh Smith and Joe Johnson (if not in their games) that makes the analogy apt.
Are Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh the sirens, luring the Clippers to the dangerous waters of South Beach?
I think that Dwight Howard is probably the giant Cyclops Polyphemus. He's giant, though he does have two eyes.
The New York media are obviously representative of the Laestrygonians: giant cannibals.
The middle section of the trip offers some lesser obstacles, but just before returning to LA, the Clippers will have to navigate tough stops in New Orleans and Oklahoma City - between Scylla and Charybdis, if you will.
One thing we can say for the road trip: it's epic.