For many long time Clippers fans, they know why things don't look good when referencing the 2007-08 season. It doesn't take much research to know that the team didn't make the playoffs that season. For you newer Clippers fans, that don't have much knowledge of the past, the Clippers, pre-CP3, rarely made the playoffs. In fact, they only made the playoffs one time in the 2000s, and that was the magical run of 2006. Other than that season, the team was always on the outside looking in.
But the 2007-08 season was not just a bad season, it was a horrible one. Prior to the start of training camp, while working out with Chris Kaman on the basketball court, Elton Brand would rupture his achilies tendon, and miss a majority of the season. In fact, he would only return for the final 8 games, which, as Clippers fans later learned, he used as evidence that he was healthy enough for a new contract. Unfortunately, that new contract was with the 76ers.
Even with Elton Brand out, the Clippers surprised fans by starting 6-5. But it went all down hill from there. They would lose their next 6 games, and 18 of their next 22. From there, the team was destined for another date with the NBA Draft Lottery, finishing with only 23 wins.
In fact, if you look at the team's top players for the 2007-08 season, most of them were gone by the end of the following season:
- Elton Brand: Signed with the 76ers as a free agent (July 2008)
- Corey Maggette: Signed with the Warriors as a free agent (July 2008)
- Sam Cassell: Waved (Feb. 2008), signed with the Celtics (March 2008)
- Cuttino Mobley & Tim Thomas: Traded to the Knicks for Zach Randolph & Mardy Collins
- Quinton Ross: Signed with the Grizzlies (Sept. 2008)
The next season, it got worse, as the Clippers would finish with just 19 wins, although there was a big possitive. Those 19 wins gave the Clippers the worst record in the NBA, and led to them winning the number 1 pick in the Draft Lottery. That pick would turn into Blake Griffin, who has helped turn the Clippers from a NBA laughingstock to legit contenders, although it seems that the only true contenders this season are the Warriors.
Hopefully, history does not repeat itself. So far, there has been no major injury to one of the team's superstars, although, Chris Paul has not yet been 100% healthy this season. Hopefully, instead of losing their next 6 games, they will turn things around tonight, although playing in Portland on the SEGABABA, after having your heart ripped out on national TV is tough. And, hopefully the team can do better than 23 wins this season.