LA Clippers : Revamped in 2017 or Cursed forever?

Kevin Sojan
|Published 14/07/2017

Times are dark for Clipper fans with the recent trade developments that occurred in the past few weeks.

The year 2017 was going to be the ultimatum for the L.A team with high hopes of clinching the conference finals and maybe even having a shot at the finals.

The big three Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordon were going to bring it with their individual play as well as their team work.

And They Did. Clippers led the western conference and held that dominance for a whole month of regular season garnering more wins than the Warriors and Cavs.

All was well until injuries and competition from back to back game nights pulled them down to 5th seed.

Then a blowout loss to the Jazz in the first round of the playoffs ended the any dreams for the Clippers this year.

All of this really leads you to believe whether the Clippers are the most cursed franchise in the NBA.

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The Los Angeles Clippers or Lob City as the fans call it are a major contender for the playoffs with top 5 standings in the western conference for the past 3 years.

A fairly new team when compared to that of Laker’s timeframe, the Clippers started their franchise in 1984 in Los Angeles.

However, they never had any playoffs success and are always seen as perennial losers not just in the NBA but in the entire sporting world.

Their luck turned in 2009 when they got first draft pick Blake Griffin who spawned the Clipper’s first superstar fandom.

With the trade for Chris Paul, a powerhouse team was formed to take on the playoffs. But with sad misfortunes, the Clippers never made it to Conference finals in the team’s history.

The Clippers choked, everyone said.

That, however isn’t the first time this team has been known infamously for its bad luck.

Here is a timeline summarizing the Clipper’s past history from youtuber Mike Korzemba’s Channel.

Summer, 1976 – Fires Head Coach Jack Ramsay. Ramsay goes to Trail Blazers and wins the 1977 NBA Championship. Clippers never see the playoffs for 15 straight years.

Regular Season, 1976 – The Clippers trade a player to the Houston Rockets for two first round picks. The player was Moses Malone; 12 time All-star and the first Hall of Famer.

Draft, 1977 – Managed to trade away 3 future Hall of Famers and misses draft for another Hall of Famer.

Regular Season, 1978 – Trades first round picks for Nate Archibald who gets injured before the season and never plays a game.

Summer , 1979 – Trades 1984 First round pick for Sixer’s World B Free. World B Free averaged 30 ppg but unluckily the 1984 Pick was Charles Barkley, MVP Hall of Famer.

Summer, 1984 – Derek Smith, Norm Nixon and Marques Johnson become the starting big 3. Derek Smith injures his knee in 1985, retires at age 29.

Norm Nixon blows out his knee too and misses two full seasons. Marques Johnson gets an injury in his vertebrae and retires the very same season.

Summer, 1987 – Drafts Reggie Williams who only plays 4 seasons with the Clippers instead of Scottie Pippen, future hall of famer and Michael Jordan’s duo combination who assisted him through his legacy.

Draft, 1989 – Drafts the number one pick, Danny Manning who was poised to be the next big thing in basketball.

Danny Manning injures his knee in his first season and never played up to his hype.

Fast forward many more injuries and trade misses. We have the year 2000 where Sports Illustrated names the Clippers as the worst franchise in sporting history.

Regular Season, 2007 – Shaun Livingstone breaks his knees, making it one of the most ‘gruesome injuries in basketball history’.

Draft, 2009 – Blake Griffin is the Clippers first pick. He injures his knee in preseason and misses out the entire season only to rejoin in 2010

Playoffs, 2015 – The Clippers are set to overtake the Rockets and finally break the barrier to Conference finals for the first time.

With a lead of 3-1, it seemed inevitable that they would win the series. The Rockets come back and become the 9th team to win after a 3-1 deficit.

Playoffs, 2016 – Clippers lose first round to Trail Blazers after Blake Griffin and Chris Paul gets injured in the same game of the series.

If that isn’t cursed I don’t know what is.

And now the question about the current situation. Chris Paul, one of the faces of Clipper’s roster (their team captain, and also the president of the Player’s association) got traded to the Rockets.

Their 6th man of the bench, Jamal Crawford (6th man of the year in 2014 and 2016), has been traded to the Timberwolves too.

With these trades and as a hardcore Clippers fan, you begin to think whether the curse has returned again or not.

The Clippers have every chance to revamp their roster and build their play with the new additions like Patrick Beverly and Danilo Gallinari.

Without Chris Paul’s leadership their playing style will differ with Austin Rivers taking up the point guard mantle with Patrick Beverly.

It’s the perfect time to build up with Griffin and Jordan as all-stars.

A new rhythm can be found and Clippers can have the ball back in their court once again. Or the curse can annihilate any playoffs chance.

As a major Clippers fan like myself, the wait for the season to begin can be stressful.

Here is hoping Doc Rivers and company will bring a nail biting experience with lots to celebrate this oncoming season.

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