Generally, fans want two things out of their teams: success and effort. Of course, effort tends to be the engine behind success; however, effort is required regardless if success is attainable or not. In the case of this year's Clippers team, it was never exactly clear how far the team could make it, given injuries and the overall excellence of their competitors in the Western Conference.
At the beginning of the playoffs, however, with the full roster in tact, Clippers Nation could feel that we had a memorable year in our midst. Unfortunately, this year's playoffs would become memorable for less than satisfactory reasons.
But Clippers Nation did not let disappointment fester into hate: we promised to support our team until the end, as long as they put in the effort. And that they did.
The Clippers players must have felt the support, too, because after the game they took the time to extend their gratitude:
Austin Rivers, the one-eyed assassin, left the following message:
Jamal Crawford, with a similar message, took to Twitter:
Hope we made you guys proud, thank you for fighting with us until the end! #ClipperNation nothing but love & respect..— Jamal Crawford (@JCrossover) April 30, 2016
And, finally, Pablo Prigioni shared a similar sentiment:
Sad about the way the season ended . But very proud to be part of this team . Thanks to the fans for the support throughout the season.— Pablo Prigioni (@PPrigioni9) April 30, 2016
While it is never fun to cheer for a sinking ship, it must also be frustrating to play on a losing team -- especially when hopes were initially so high. But the pain on both sides can be soothed by mutual respect and admiration. And given the messages of the Clippers players above, we, as fans, helped them during their tough time.