It seems as if many teams and players are publicly hating on the Los Angeles Clippers lately. This goes back a bit, and various reasons are at play for differing people, but it’s become so popular to hate on the Clippers that it’s a trend rivaling the popularity of those Pet Rocks back in the day.
So, naturally, I had to ask myself the question: Why do so many people in the NBA, as well as fans outside their own fan base, hate the Clippers?
Then, after asking that question, I giggled. Not because the question was absurd, but because the answer was obvious. Really, there are many reasons to dislike things about the Los Angeles team that isn’t the Lakers. To be fair, though, some of the reasons we hate on them are merely perceptions — although, who cares about taking away from this fun and dealing with those semantics? Not me…I like fun.
Regardless, I can’t speak for Mark Cuban’s, or Boogie Cousins’s or all of the Warriors’ hatred for the Clippers. I can only speak of why I think folks hate them from my own perspective. And to be honest, it isn’t as much about my hating of them, as it is to simply have fun with it all. I have no true ill-will for the Clips. It’s more like the annoying tendencies they have make the liquids in my belly bounce around in glee over Los Angeles’ lack of self-awareness.
Let’s start with nepotism. Or, again, the idea of it. No one can say for sure that Austin Rivers is only on the Clippers because of Doc, but it’s pretty safe to assume that it plays a part. Junior is probably better than given credit for, however, it doesn’t mean he’s actually good. He’s somewhere above “not being an NBA player” while being somewhere below “competent NBA player.”
Thing is, especially last season during the playoffs when it mattered, Doc trotted out Junior as if the latter was going to make a positive difference. He actually did at times, too. He also didn’t at other times. So is the plight of a not entirely solid player.
The Clippers had an entire offseason to distance themselves from Austin Rivers. They could have, you know, upgraded at the position. Or, at the very least, got another person who can take all of Rivers’s minutes. Instead the league is forced to deal with Austin hitting some lady in the face with a seat cushion because Doc is an incompetent general manager. That last statement makes no sense, since how does one hit a lady with a seat cushion, but neither does his being given tangible minutes on a team that’s otherwise good.
Simply piggybacking off Austin; there is his father, Doc Rivers. The much beloved former player and championship winning coach. I disliked Doc back when he was with the Boston Celtics. Much for the same reason I think Danny Ainge gets far too much credit for being an “okay” general manager.
Paul Pierce was there, Kevin Garnett was gifted to them at a time when Ainge’s plan of tanking wasn’t working, Ray Allen followed, then an NBA title came about because of the original plan’s wretchedness. It can be said we should give Ainge credit for switching course, but negative stuff is more entertaining.
Regardless, that’s an entirely different story for another time. But both Doc and Ainge’s legacies for their non-playing careers were given a huge bolster because Ainge’s first plan backfired to the point that a downtrodden Kevin McHale basically said, “Take my best player, friends. All I ask for in return is a player with no knees left.”
Okay. So maybe I’m not giving Doc (or Ainge) enough credit for the Boston run of awesomeness. I mean, it was awesome. Until it wasn’t. Until it was a short time removed from Garnett fully bashing Ray Allen for leaving the decomposing corpse of a roster and Rivers somewhat doing that same thing…and then they all bailed too. Classy stuff, you know.
Few things bother me more than people demanding stuff from others, then playing hypocrite. I don’t care if they’re demanding loyalty, accountability or anything else, but at least pretend the stuff that’s being preached matters to you. Doc didn’t, because as soon as the end of the road was obvious to everyone, he left for greener pastures. When the tough gets going, I suppose the tough-guys go to a better roster or something?
So, yeah, Doc is evil. He’s essentially the same as a CEO of a company that went under, but was given a millions-of-dollars safety-net thing, and then as the company began to fold he went out west to become the CEO of another new, fresher and rising company.
But wait…there’s more reasons to hate the Clippers!
Blake Griffin. One of the most athletic players in the NBA. Also one of the most not at all tough-guys guys in the history of the league. Obviously — with his history with the tough talking, only looks to fight tiny Europeans, never throws a punch and will call people with actual skin diseases horrible things Kevin Garnett — I knew there was a reason Doc Rivers loved Blake.
It’s not a horrible thing by any stretch of the imagination. Yet, whenever Griffin stumbles around the floor after a slight breeze touches him and he screams as if he were punched in the face by Mike Tyson, the soul of every other power forward in the league (sans stretch 4s…Blake isn’t a stretch, though, so it makes it worse) dies a little bit inside.
Speaking of Blake’s ability to annoy with his freakish athleticism being trumped by his marvelous-mug of despair; Lob City was dumb, and forced down our throat, and I hated watching SportCenter because of it.
For a few years we had to sit and watch “Lob City alerts” on ESPN. Think about that for a second. Us humans, many of whom have seen alley-oops before, were acting as if seeing DeAndre Jordan throwing down a dunk after Chris Paul passed it to him was revolutionary. Now, don’t get me wrong, it was a fun team and fun times, but Lob City? LOB CITY? Brock Lesnar should’ve went to Lob City and started a war with them on behalf of Suplex City. Then he could’ve allied with Rip City, and nuked them.
All. The. Cities. I blame the Clippers for this.
Oh yeah…Chris Paul. The dude who yells a ton at DeAndre Jordan and may have a Napoleon complex. We get it, Chris. You hate people patting you as if you’re a little kid. But you need to realize you play with giant humanoids. They don’t view you as a giant. Stop getting mad over that stuff. And for the love of Sam Cassell, stop randomly yelling at DeAndre Jordan…he’s going to stomp on you as soon as Doc Rivers thinks you’re washed up and he gives him the okay.
Man, we’re over 1,000 words in, barely went in-depth, and we haven’t even touched on the history of the Clippers. Let’s quickly recap it for you:
The Clippers were owned for a long time by a bigot. During that time they stunk for many seasons. During this time everyone turned a blind-eye to the fact there was a real-life racist owning an NBA team. Many years and horrible racism-fueled eviction notices later, a few guys went to play under the racist. A few of them were actually unaware of his bigotry while a few more took his money and only later pretended to be unaware. Los Angeles became good at the very end of the racist’s tenure. The NBA forces out the racist because I guess it’s better late than never. A billionaire gadget guy who loves to dance around as if he were a member of The Wiggles buys the team. We’re now here, and the Clippers have been relevant for only a handful of years.
Oh, despite writing all of this, I don’t actually hate the Clippers. Now merely imagine how the folks who truly do feel.