Even with the
theft acquiring of Chris Paul from New Orleans, the Los Angeles Clippers are not a better team than the Lakers yet. I repeat, the Clippers are still the sideshow; the Lake Show remains the main attraction.
Now that the dust is clear from the Chris Paul trade, it’s clear that the notions of the Clippers being the team to beat in California is based purely on emotion and not facts. Take Blake Griffin’s catch phrase “lob city” for example. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are guaranteed to connect on at least 100 lob passes this season.
Unfortunately the glitz of the alley-oops don’t suddenly transform the Clippers into a contender. The punch line, along with the Clippers style of play, will sell shirts, tickets and attract bandwagon fans, but that’s about it. The Clippers are certainly a more attractive product, but not necessarily a better one.
Even Kobe himself admits the Clippers are going to be must see TV this year. “Blake has a 60 inch vertical and Chris is vastly entertaining,” Bryant said. “I’d for sure check them out. I’m not concerned. I’d rather look at jewelery. I like winning.”
But to even suggest the Clippers have a chance of being better than the Lakers is ludicrous. The Lakers have won the championship 10 times, and made the playoffs 28 times under the ownership of Dr. Jerry Buss. In comparison, the last time the Clippers even made the playoffs was when Kobe was still wearing number eight. Kobe Bryant as an individual has had more success in the NBA than the Clippers have had as a franchise.
The Clippers greatest achievement in the past decade has been Elton Brand leading a team of misfits and an alien to the second round of the playoffs. When the Lakers were bounced out of the second round this past May, everyone in the organization from the fans to the players considered it a flat out failure.
The buzz in the city has seemingly shifted instantly to the Clippers. However, let’s not start counting their eggs before they hatch. These are the Clippers, remember?
Taking a closer look at the Chris Paul trade, David Stern and New Orleans’ general manager Dell Demps really did a great job of squeezing every ounce of talent from the Clippers team besides Blake Griffin. The Clippers gave up Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman, Al-Farouq Aminu and Minnesota’s unprotected pick next year which could very well end up being another potential All-Star.
Compare this Chris Paul trade to the two superstars who were traded last season: Carmelo Anthony and Deron Williams.
The Nuggets received: Danilo Gallinari, Raymond Felton, Wilson Chandler, a first-round pick in 2014 and two-second round picks.
In return for Williams the Jazz received: Devin Harris, two first-round draft picks and $3 million from the Nets.
Both of those deals pale in comparison to the package the Hornets received. I guess that’s what happens when the league’s executives are doing the negotiating for you. But let’s not go there, I’ll save that for another article.
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