I love the Clippers man.
They are my favourite team in the NBA and have been for about 5 years at this point.
I’ve seen the capitulation of the Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan led teams.
The despair of a team whose best player was Lou Williams.
The hope of pushing a KD and Curry led Warriors team to six games in the first round.
And of course, the jubilation of the arrival of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
Despite the lows, this is by far the best place the Clippers franchise has been in their 50 year history within the NBA.
It seems as though the curse had finally been lifted after all of these years.
The curse you asked?
The Clipper Curse.
An affliction that was put upon the Clippers franchise at their inception back when they were in rural New York and were called the Braves.
The story itself is a long one, as 50 years of history would suggest.
So this isn’t a story that I will tell today, but it is one that I can tell you on my personal podcast, The Matty B Show, where I already have an episode outlining the first 5ish years of the franchise.
Today however, I want to look at the latest iteration of the curse.
As, on the 16th of September 2020, this new look Clippers team officially blew a 3-1 lead to the Denver Nuggets. Knocking them out of second round of the NBA playoffs.
A team who was touted to at the very least be in the Western conference finals capitulated as they always do.
For coach Doc Rivers, this was the third time in his career that he has blown a 3-1 lead, once again crashing out way short of where his teams were expected too.
This isn’t even funny anymore, its just pain.
How can a team with Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Lou Williams, Montezl Harrell and Marcus Morris not win at least one game when they literally just won 3?
Could it be the roster make up?
Where the team was thrown together somewhat hastily, focusing on big names as opposed to filling roster holes? For example, trading for Marcus Morris in the middle of the season as opposed to filling the big man hole that was half solved by Ivica Zubac but not entirely, or even the PG role which sometimes has been lacking with Patrick Beverly who contributes more on the trash talking end than the box score a lot of the time.
If not that, could it be the Coach?
Well Doc Rivers is considered one of the best in the league having a career spanning 20 years at this point. He has been crowned coach of the year, has coached an NBA championship winning team and has been an influential force in the careers of countless hall of fame players.
If not that, could it be the bubble?
Of course, a global pandemic has the potential to negatively affect the championship aspirations of a team. On top of this, being thrown into a campus environment away from friends and family for months at a time can also do this. But, it wasn’t just the Clippers who had to deal with this. Every other team that is competing including the Nuggets who they just lost to have had to also experience this.
What about the injuries that have plagued the team all year?
At some point in this season for the Clippers at least one of Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Patrick Beverly have been injured. Although they had all recovered in time for the playoffs, what disadvantaged them is the lack of continuity the team had all throughout the season. It was nearly 4 months into the season before the Clippers had a fully healthy roster practice together. How can they be expected to succeed under these circumstances?
Despite all of these perfectly valid reasons for the Clippers demise, there is only one explanation.
The Curse that has caused this franchise to never reach the conference finals.
The Curse that has seen the team be struck with bad luck at every turn.
The Curse that has broken the hearts of what little fanbase remains after a treacherous 50 year history.
May God save the Clippers because no man or woman on this planet can.