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Clippers have become a team players want to play for

You can thank Kawhi Leonard and Paul George for that.

2022 NBA Summer League - Houston Rockets v Orlando Magic Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Los Angeles has been a popular destination to many — trailblazers, tourists, and superstar athletes. I mean, it all makes sense — from its balmy weather to the million and one opportunities that lie within the city.

From a sports standpoint, big-market teams with a lasting history of success: the Los Angeles Lakers, for one, have won 17 NBA championship trophies and have been or are home to the game’s all-time greats.

And in their shadow stand the Los Angeles Clippers — or more precisely, “stood.”

Sure, in the past decade, the team’s had its fair share of disheartening seasons and dispensable drama. Near the end of the team’s infamous ‘Lob City’ era, it was revealed that the reasons behind the star-stacked team’s nonperformance and subsequent big breakup were more than just bad luck and jinxes.

JJ Redick admitted to the team’s lack of chemistry being one of the reasons he left the team. Chris Paul also felt that “it was time for a change.” And with more drama with the team’s head coach Doc Rivers, there seemingly was never one Clippers team. Rather just a dysfunctional group of talented hoopers and big egos.

But things have changed. Once the joke of the league, an organization without history, a team that not many wanted to play with, the Clippers have finally turned the projection of their sinking ship. Now, the Clippers' culture is what players all over the league associate with and favor.

The tenacity with which the 2018-19 Clippers — the likes of Lou Williams and Patrick Beverley — played is what earned them their repute. So they landed two superstars in Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. And now the deadly combination of George and Leonard is what’s landing bigger names to the city of angels.

In an interview with ClutchPoints, John Wall, the team’s newest big name signing, couldn't quite contain his excitement about playing with the Californian superstars:

“Just imagine I got to push the pace and I have guys like a Kawhi Leonard or Paul George on this side or Nicolas Batum or Reggie Jackson or Terance Mann or Luke Kennard and have a big like Zu who can run the floor. Just having those guys that can knock down shots but at the same time can defend at a high level.”

And his other reasons for signing for the 213? It’s how he saw the Clippers.

“Then just watching how great they are as a team I think like, they’re a first-class organization first of all with that. Great teammates, great guys, great coaching staff, great ownership. Who wouldn’t want to live in L.A., amazing city, great fans, and I think they have something special they have a chance to do.”

It took nearly five decades for the Clippers to establish themselves as a popular destination amongst the league’s best. Their final step to consolidating their recent popularity? I think we can all agree that it’d be winning their first championship.