Clipper point guard Chris Paul going by a Laker defender
A VIEW OF WHICH ONE OF SOCAL’S NBA TEAMS HAS HAD THE WORSE OFFSEASON TO DATE
I reckon it’s not easy being a fan of the two teams in the National Basketball Association that call Staples Center home and have their locker rooms right across from each other these days.
One team, after surprising everyone by spending their #2 overall draft pick not on a big man who had a stellar college career (even though it was only one year) but on a point guard, had another big man who was very badly coveted spurn them by signing with San Antonio.
The other one of SoCal’s NBA teams lost a center who happened to have led the league in rebounding and field goal percentage to Dallas in free agency, choosing to return to his home state of Texas because according to reports, his relationship with the team’s all-star point guard had hit rock bottom to the point where he no longer wanted to play with him.
Leaving those Los Angeles Clippers with a gaping hole to fill in the middle and very few options to fill that hole, which essentially makes them a “donut” team.
As for the Los Angeles Lakers, after having LaMarcus Aldrige say a resounding “no” to them because they ultimately failed to impress the former Portland all-star in their two meetings with him, they managed to sign Roy Hibbert, a 7’2″ center, and forward Brandon Bass.
Along with Lou Williams, a guard from Toronto who was named the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year this season.
Nothing spells “Consolation Prize” more than this development as while Williams is a solid player, Hibbert and Bass are not exactly Shaquille O’Neal in his prime or even DeAndre Jordan.
And speaking of DeAndre Jordan, the fact that the Clippers have few viable options to pick up another big man in the wake of his departure – names like former UCLA center Ryan Hollins and veteran Amare Stoudemire are being thrown around, but like the Lakers’ moves they don’t strike any excitement from me – earns them my vote for the most screwed L.A. hoops team of this offseason.
The fact that the Clippers’ chances at an NBA title, or even the Finals, took an arguably fatal hit should go without saying.
At least with the duo of Blake Griffin and Chris Paul still wearing the Clipper red and blue (along with black, going by their new uniforms), they are still ahead of their Laker rivals – for now.
If that Lake Show does things right and nurtures their young players along, particularly after Kobe Bryant is officially retired from the game at this time next year (I hope), their status as second fiddle to the Clips may very well change starting in 2016-17 and beyond.
For the moment, however, it looks like another long season for one SoCal basketball squad and a potentially frustrating year for the other.
The Clippers and the Lakers tipping off at a game on the Clippers’ floor