The Los Angeles Clippers have been second-class, or maybe third-class, sports citizens in Southern California pretty much from the day they moved to L.A. in the early 1980s.
They’ve made the NBA playoffs a total of just seven times in their 41 seasons (stretching back to when they were the Buffalo Braves). Their all-time franchise record is 1,207 wins and 2,123 losses.
But suddenly, the Clippers are THE buzz team in basketball, thanks to a trade they pulled off late Wednesday (Dec. 14) for Chris Paul, one of the best point guards in basketball.
They gave up a good amount to get Paul from the New Orleans Hornets, including guard Eric Gordon, but hoop-heads are salivating at the idea of Paul teaming up with Blake Griffin, last year’s Rookie of the Year and slam-dunk contest champion.
To put it in a pop-cultural perspective, the Clippers’ acquisition of Paul is like The CW suddenly being the home of, say, “Modern Family,” or Slash sitting in with your bar band.
One other measure of the trade’s impact: When informed of the deal Wednesday, Griffin exclaimed, “It’s gonna be Lob City!” Within hours, Lob City T-shirts were available online.
We’re guessing long-time Clipper fan Billy Crystal will finally have some celebrity company in the stands at games this season.