Despite their inglorious history, this may have been the worst week in Clippers’ history. Actually, you can include the entire regular season. It began when Blake Griffin got injured on Christmas Day against the woeful Lakers, and will end in the coming days when Portland eliminates the Clippers from the post-season.
On Christmas Day, Blake Griffin partially tore a tendon in his quadriceps. Originally, he was supposed to miss approximately two weeks but he ended up missing close to four months. It should be noted that while recovering from his quad injury, Blake broke his hand by punching, not once but twice, an equipment manager of the Clippers.
Shockingly the Los Angeles Clippers thrived without Griffin (28-14) en route to a 45-27 regular record, which coincided with his highly anticipated return just before the 2016 NBA Playoffs began. It seemed that for once destiny would be on the Clippers’ side.
But it all fell apart when both Chris Paul and Blake Griffin got injured during Game 4 of their first-round series against the Portland Trail Blazers. What makes this news even more heartbreaking for the players and their fans is that it came shortly after learning that reigning league MVP Stephen Curry, of the arch-rival Golden State Warriors, was out with an injury and the two teams seemed on a collision path to meet each other.
But fate had other plans. But where does this leave us with the Chris Paul-Blake Griffin experiment in Los Angeles?
Blake Griffin was drafted 1st overall in 2009, and while his contribution to the Clippers is warrant of his draft selection, he has began experiencing life in the shadows of one of his draft mates, Stephen Curry who went 9th overall to the Warriors.
Griffin missed his rookie season (2009) due to injuries, but as soon as stepped up on the court he became an instant sensation. He was famous for dunking. And still is. But the Clippers were not winners, yet.
So, during the 2011 NBA season the other basketball team in Los Angeles made a deal with New Orleans to acquire their All-Star point guard.
Five years later, let’s evaluate this blockbuster deal that has drastically changed the fortunes of NBA franchises.
Since that trade, the Clippers have vaulted from a laughingstock to a perennial contender. Sounds perfect, right? Except that its not.
Teams with a history of losing tend to have weak psyches. Their fan base tends to have weaker psyches. This is a sad story of a “cursed” franchise that can never catch a break, similar to the Cubs in baseball or the Bills in the NFL.
What can go wrong will go wrong.
For all the glorious talk and pizzazz surrounding the Clippers throughout the regular season, the talk of “chocking”, “big moments”, “Lakers-town” come back to haunt them in the playoffs.
The Clippers qualified for the post-season every year in the Chris Paul-era except for 2011, however, their shortcomings in that span is what has people jazzing about them.
The franchise moved to Los Angeles in 1984-85, from that year to 2011, the Clippers had two winning seasons (1991-92 and 2005-06), while since signing Paul they’ve had five, including four-consecutive 50-wins seasons. But right or wrong, nobody remembers regular season success. Greatness is measured in the post season.
In those five years, they have four trips to the playoffs and twice they have gone past the first round.
It is not even a case of the owner’s personal feelings towards a player or coach is getting in the way of basketball operations. The Clippers’ front office has made every move possible to put the team in the best situation possible as they compete for an NBA championship.
They have had two very good coaches in Vinny Del Negro (2011-12, 2012-13) and Doc Rivers, a former NBA champion with the Boston Celtics, for the last three seasons. They listened to Griffin’s demands to sign DeAndre Jordan to a long-term deal. They signed veteran players such as Chauncey Billups, Mo Williams, Caron Butler, Josh Smith and Paul Pierce to provide leadership, secondary roles and playoff experience but nothing has worked.
So, after five great years of regular season success but lousy playoff performances, is it time to breakup the Clippers? Yes, it is.
They need to give Chris Paul a chance to win a title he has desperately chased throughout his legendary career.
The most talk about solution is a blockbuster trade that would send Chris Paul to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Kyrie Irving. Can you imagine lineups featuring Chris Paul-LeBron James-(and possibly) Kevin Love in Cleveland, and Kyrie Irving-Blake Griffin-DeAndre Jordan in Los Angeles…. This just sounds amazing.
But, I must say, speaking as a Dallas Mavericks fan I would love to see Chris Paul orchestrating the show in Big D.
For years, the point guard spot has plagued the Mavericks and been the biggest reason behind their struggles, especially in the playoffs. When you consider who the other point guards are in the Western Conference – Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard, Tony Parker, Patty Mills, Russell Westbrook, Ricky Rubio, and Mike Conley among others, Chris Paul would instantly vault the Mavericks from maybe the worst starting point guard in the conference to the best? At the very least, top two or three.
Also, he would not have to do as much because Dirk is one of the best closers in basketball. He is also a hall of famer and does not shy away in the big moments, hence his ring. With talented players like Chandler Parsons and Wesley Matthews, the Mavericks would be instant contenders and if they were to win a ring, Chris Paul would not be seen as somebody who needed the best player of this generation to help him win it. This move would also show Dirk that the team is behind him to capture a second ring.
Philadelphia 76ers’ make Marial Shayok Ottawa’s first-ever NBA draft pick
Ottawa’s Marial Shayok has achieved his ultimate dream — becoming the city’s first-ever NBA draft pick. The Philadelphia 76ers selected Shayok with the 54th-pick overall in the second-round of the 2019 NBA Draft.
The former St.Patrick’s Irish high school standout celebrated his special and emotional moment at home with family and friends.
“You did it bro, you did bro…”
“Let’s go baby! You going to Philly…”
For Shayok and his family the historic moment is a culmination of life-long sacrifices that started in South Sudan with his 6’9″ father Makor Shayok moving his wife and three-daughters to America. The elder Makor set post at Alvin Texas Community College and earned a scholarship to the Dayton Flyers, playing from 1990-1992.
Makor’s eldest, Shayok Shayok (born in Miami) and his sister Yar Shayok also followed dad’s footsteps and played NCAA basketball – Shayok going to Bradley and transferring to UMKC and Yar playing with Detroit Mercy Titans women’s program.
The family migrated to Ottawa, Canada in the mid-90’s and on July 26th, 1995 the youngest Shayok was born.
Marial left Ottawa for New Jersey’s Blair Academy after three-years with the St.Pats Irish — he originally committed to the Marquette Golden Eagles but transferred to the Virginia Cavaliers after the coach (Buzz Williams) that originally recruited him bailed on the program in 2015.
Shayok had busy NBA draft process – showcasing his versatile skill-set to 14 NBA front offices. Here is footage of his 76ers’ work-out.
Mardi Gras For New Orleans On Pelicans Road To Zion
Zion. Zion. Zion.
Cause for celebration, or at least a premature parade in a conclusion as foregone as the Anthony Davis trade with the Lakers. The Duke KABOOM of all the all dunking Zion Lion is a YES for N.O. As with the first pick in the 2019 NBA Draft live from New York City a few days before Saturday Night, Williamson is a New Orleans Pelican.
The most exciting league prospect since LeBron James may not get to play with the King’s new man after the Davis trade. But he has all the toys in the form of all the boys that would have been the future of the Lake Show (out of a lucky 13 over the last half-decade of drafts only Kyle Kuzma remains) in the young princes of soaring, scoring Brandon Ingram, true teammate Josh Hart and the alley-oops to be thrown by point man and former number 2 pick like B.I., Lonzo Ball (have you noticed that since this trade there has been little word of Zion dropping out the draft and heading back to college like Yeezus in reverse?). Not to mention Julius Randle if they can convince the big to stay and bolster their Davis-less frontcourt with the top picks of guys like Okafor. And not to forget like Jrue Holiday all the draft choices over the next few years the Pels will get. Just like the one they’ve just traded on draft night. As with the fourth pick in the 2019 Draft the Los Ange…sorry the New Orle…excuse me, the Atlanta Hawks select DeAndre Hunter.
Good will hunting. See what you could have won Lake Show?
I guess the Duke isn’t going back to college anymore.
What a way to replace Davis in a matter of days with the Thanos game changing, season of wind in a draft snap.
But like the year the King took his throne with the likes of Carmelo and the Flash of Dwyane for his first dance, the NBA Draft isn’t just about one man, Sam Bowie.
And as the Just Do It Nike campaign “from underated to undeniable” don’t write off Murray State’s Ja Morant like people did and for some reason still do (Hello Brooklyn?!) D’Angelo Russell. Replacing veteran the Grizz grit legend of Mike Conley Jr. traded to Utah, Morant will bring that grind. Rolling, expect Ja to rule Memphis like another King with the rock.
Now the New York Knicks may have wanted to make Zion their new King, but the lottery that New York didn’t win weeks ago already said balls to all that. But judging from the reaction of ‘BlackKklansman’ director Spike Lee with the big three pick, the Mecca made the right choice with the franchises new face of Madison Square Garden and Big Apple in another Duke standout in R.J. Barrett, for their post Porzingis and ‘Melo era. It almost looked on the cards, or in the bag like his shot on the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon show. Where he bucketed a Knicks mannequin head (don’t ask) after trying the cap it wore on first to which Jimmy replied after he nailed it, “it must be the Knicks”!
Darius Garland completed the top five for the Cleveland Cavaliers still searching for that new Land owner after the King took his talents to Hollywood. The Timberwolves got the sixth of Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver after a trade with the Suns that will soon be as official as the AD one. Whilst coming in seventh and eighth, the Bulls got Coby White and the Pelicans after a trade with Atlanta further their Lake Showtime future with two top tens and Texas’ blocking and dunking with a Texan name straight out of ‘A Star Is Born’, Jaxson Hayes.
Big in Japan. History was made last night in a draft that was already one for the record books as straight out of Gonzaga and now a Wizard like Harry in Washington D.C., Rui Hachimura became the first ever Japanese player to be drafted in the first round with the ninth. But don’t sleep on last year’s rookie out of Memphis, Yuta Watanabe who still has all the tools to be the future next to Morant.
But in one of the best drafts in recent years in a class of its own, there was so much talent to choose from in this pool that there was always bound to be players that missed the top ten cut, way below their deserved position. But just making it to the first block, Duke’s Cam Reddish taken at ten by the Hawks (who also have their talons in two top tens for their Trae Young lead future) still seems like a sleeper. This Laker fan who when we originally held the fourth wanted us to go with Cam or Manute’s son Bol Bol (second round slide? Really? This guy with the spiders’ web suit has the length and versatility to be a game changer). But just wait until this fire under him proves everyone (or at least nine or so other teams) wrong this killa season.
This draft is so Method Man abyss deep that it won’t just be the Pelicans who fly this season in Crescent City. With so much uncertainty this free agency at least some teams that hit the lottery have just the ticket punched for the future of their franchises with what the draft blew in.
But reaching the mount with Zion at number one is a gift from the Basketball God’s.