After two weeks of voting, the Clips Nation All-Time Favorite Clipper is Sam Cassell.
Cassell defeated Blake Griffin with 57% of the votes in the final round, earning the victory. As it turns out, The Best of the Rest is also The Best of the Best.
We thought we’d spend some time going through the results of this exercise and sharing what stood out to us most from the process.
Do you think the right Clipper won?
Alicia: I’ll say this — I don’t think there was a clear-cut pick and I expected a lot of upsets along the way. I’m a bit surprised Cassell won, primarily because he was never a big star nationally, or even the clear superstar with the Clippers. But at the same time, I think it’s kind of fitting he won, as a fan favorite who was very good, had a great personality, and wasn’t the anointed star.
Sabreena: I thought this bracket would be a two-week long coronation for Blake Griffin, and I was sooooo close to being right. It was legitimately stunning to me not only that Griffin lost, but that he lost to Cassell, who only played two and a half seasons in Los Angeles. Maybe it was hard to expect a clear-cut winner given that Griffin is no longer a Clipper, and most of these players spent much of their careers elsewhere. Regardless, I love Blake. He’s still my no. 1.
Blake: Since the title of this series was “Favorite Clipper,” there is no wrong answer. If Cassell is everyone’s favorite, then well done. I was surprised though to see it not be Griffin. I’ve been a Clippers fan since around 2000-2001, and I’ve loved a lot of Clippers, but there wasn’t a player I loved more than Blake. He’s the reason the Clippers are where they are today. He turned them into must-see TV, and he helped turn them into a destination. He was never problematic while in LA, and he didn’t even leave on his own, he was traded! Again, there’s no wrong answer since we were voting on our favorite, and Cassell is a great pick, but I was personally shocked to see Griffin not win.
Which player lost much earlier in the bracket than you expected?
Alicia: I was really surprised DeAndre Jordan got booted in the second round, being routed by finalist Blake Griffin. It was a matchup and seeding issue for Jordan, and I would take Griffin over him, but it was still a bummer to see a player who was around for 10 seasons fall out of the competition so early.
Sabreena: Like Alicia said, it was surprising to see DJ — and Lamar Odom — go out so early, but they both lost to Griffin, so it was just bad luck. I also thought Michael Cage and Brent Barry would have some staying power, and they were both second-round exits. Barry was especially surprising, but I’m a sucker for any Dunk Contest champ.
Blake: I guess I’m not really surprised, because this bracket favors newer players, but the fact Eric Piatkowski didn’t make it out of the first round is a shame. For nearly a decade, he was a fan-favorite, and is arguably the best shooter in franchise history. I’m fine with Baron Davis moving on, but I thought that “The Polish Rifle” would have been more loved in the voting.
Which individual matchup was most surprising?
Alicia: Cassell’s closest match along the way was in the third round, against Corey Maggette, who he edged 53 percent to 47 percent. I don’t think Maggette would have had the juice to win this bracket himself if he advanced, but I’m also not surprised the former teammates had such a close contest in that matchup, and arguably, the whole bracket ended up coming down to that one.
Sabreena: A lot of personal bias here, but I was pretty stunned that Eric Piatkowski lost in the first round. He played nine seasons with the Clippers, had some clutch moments, and was a beloved teammate. Pike is the most representative player of the early years of my fandom and my first favorite Clipper. Meanwhile, the guy he lost to, Baron Davis, wasn’t in L.A. for long and had some truly rough, disinterested years.
Blake: Going back to Griffin, he almost lost to Kawhi?! When it’s all said and done, Leonard will likely finish with the overall better NBA career, and he might finish as the greatest Clipper of all-time, but the fact he nearly defeated Griffin is blasphemous. The voting was 52-to-48 percent. I was just shocked that half a season of Leonard almost took down nearly a decade of Griffin.