The Clippers are known for being a bad franchise and for doing everything that comes along with that designation. Signing bad players, refusing to give money to good ones, losing tons of basketball games, being owned by a racist, slumlord doofus — you know, all that stuff. But it’s not just actions, it’s also words, as Donald Sterling has gone out of his way to put his foot in his mouth time and time again in his quest to be widely hailed as the worst person in sports. It’s working.
But things have to turn around sometime. The Clippers are playing well this year, and for the first time since maybe the Lamar Odom days, people are excited about the team. Plus, they have an executive who’s not saying the dumbest thing ever. In fact, he’s saying possibly the wisest thing to ever come out of the mouth of any Clippers employee in the history of the franchise. From ESPN:
“I can guarantee you he will only ever be a Clipper,” general manager Neil Olshey said of his prized rookie. “If [Oklahoma City Thunder general manager] Sam Presti arrived on Kevin Durant’s doorstep at midnight on July 1st with an extension, understand that Blake Griffin lives two blocks away from me in Manhattan Beach so it’s going to be a much shorter commute for me.”
On one hand, no doy the Clippers want to keep Blakey GrifGriffs forever and ever, amen. But on the other hand, at least they realize what they’ve got and are committed to doing anything necessary to keep him in red, white and blue, even if that does kind of entail stalking his home. Yes, that’s probably illegal but it’s also definitely worth it.
Now, the Clippers can’t guarantee that they’ll always have Blake Griffin. They’ll probably be able to keep him when he becomes a free agent in 2014 — under the current CBA, they’d for sure keep him but who knows if that’ll be the case after this summer — but after that he’s free to do whatever. In the same situation, I’m sure the GMs of the Cavaliers, Raptors and Nuggets would have said the same thing. Sorry, ClipBros, but it’s not really a guarantee. More like a probablyantee.
That being said, they’ll have a shot. Los Angeles is a huge media market, they have young talent who will grow around Blake Griffin and they have Blake Griffin — all things that a budding superstar could ask for in a team. Barring catastrophe, the Clippers could end up being a team that free agents actually want to join, if you can even fathom that.
Then again, they are the Clippers…