What’s a team to do when there are rumors circulating that there is locker room strife which is threatening to destroy their franchise-best season? Fake a locker room quarrel, obviously.
Clippers center DeAndre Jordan shouted across the locker room Sunday to Chris Paul.
“I don’t like you, Chris,” Jordan yelled out.
Paul didn’t flinch.
“I don’t care,” Paul answered.
Meanwhile, Clippers forward Blake Griffin turned to Jordan, whose locker is near his, and snipped:
“Get out of my way DeAndre. Move,” Griffin shouted.
Jordan didn’t back down.
“I don’t like you, Blake Griffin,” Jordan screamed.
Finally, all three players shared a hearty laugh.
Turns out it was all in fun.
Total gotcha moment. One second you think the Clippers are earnestly fighting while specifically using the first names of their adversaries like anyone who’s ever been in a war of words does, the next they’re all heartily laughing at how much they fooled you in to thinking they hate each other. In the business, this is called “the Caan-Affleck” after the Scott Caan and Casey Affleck characters in the “Ocean’s Eleven” franchise, and it’s brilliant.
And while you might be thinking that the Clippers didn’t fool anyone with their fake fight, remember that the Caan-Affleck is typically used as a diversion. And considering the Clippers are just a week removed from having the internet simultaneously destroy their defense and title hopes before two wins against teams that are a combined 28 games below .500, it couldn’t have come at a better time. Instead of worrying about if the Clippers’ schemes make them cannon fodder in the playoffs or if their offense needs to be more than just Chris Paul doing everything while Blake Griffin sometimes cares about being in the paint, now basketball fans will be launching a full forensic investigation in to whether or not this team likes each other.
That’s the beauty of a Caan-Affleck — it makes you worry about one thing while another way worse thing is happening somewhere else. I have a hard time believing Vinny Del Negro came up with this ruse, but I’d love to pluck a strand of that beautiful, lustrous hair to run some DNA tests, just to make sure. We’ll get to the bottom of this one, Andy Garcia. You and me.