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Old 07-10-2008, 04:14 AM   #1
gts
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Arrow Clipper Kool-aid

Elton Brand is gone, though never a Clipper fan myself, he was my favorite Clipper and now he will not be back for the 2008-2009 season, not only is this a loss for Clippers fans but a loss for all of LA sports.

The Clippers moved to Los Angeles in the summer of 1984. After 6 miserable seasons spent in San Diego they packed up their balls and made their way 100 miles north up the 405 freeway to begin a new era in Clippers history. The buzz in LA was electric, now two NBA teams would share the spotlight and battle for the hearts and minds of the LA sports fan

Optimism faded quickly though for those who threw in their lot with the Clippers, a dismal 31 win season was their debut, while across town the Lakers won the NBA title, and the die was set for the next 24 years. 1985 was followed by 6 more losing seasons and they (the Clippers) became the proverbial red headed stepchild as they floundered in the Lakers shadow. A purple and gold shadow that was built in 1978 when Donald Sterling bought an apartment complex from Dr. Jerry Buss, giving Buss the funds to finalize his purchase of the Lakers.

Sadly, in the 24 years since their move they have not been able to separate themselves from the general consensus that the owner Donald Sterling cares more about his wallet then actually putting a winning franchise on the floor. While Dr. Buss and his Lakers have become members of the NBA elite, the Clippers have become the butt of NBA fans jokes.

For 24 years Clipper fans have been left standing on the altar like a jilted brides, yet season after season the Clipper faithful comes back for more.

There’s a saying for brides to be and the true Clipper fan sees and lives it every year.

Something old, something new
Something borrowed, something blue
And a silver sixpence in her shoe.

Something old: Losing high-level talent to other teams.

Something new: 32 first round draft picks, 24 of them actual lottery picks.

Something borrowed: “Clippers Nation”…? Wait, Clippers Nation? Sounds like “Raider Nation” right?

Something blue: The color of the rat bait used at the LA Sports Arena, home to the Clippers for their first 15 years before their move to current home Staples Center.

And a silver sixpence in her shoe: Well not anymore, despite giving the fans a crappy product year after year the Clippers keep raising ticket prices, the silver sixpence is now a Buffalo Head Nickel.

So are Clipper fans onto something the rest of us in the city are missing? Why do they stand at the altar season after season waiting for their beau Mr. Sterling to show up?
Why, despite the lack of post season success, despite having an owner who’s more famous for being a slumlord then a NBA franchise owner have the Clippers been able to build such a loyal following?

What do Clipper fans have to cheer for? I’ve compiled a short list, (short mostly, because I could not find enough things to make a long list)

Elgin Baylor, the team’s vice president of basketball operations, one of the greatest players to grace the hardwood Mr. Baylor has been the point man/fall guy for Sterling’s inept ownership since Elgin came onboard in 1986 and through it all has remained a study in class worthy of being called NBA royalty

Ralph Lawler. Since 1978 he has been the voice of the Clippers. Through thin and thinner he is the longest tenured Clipper employee outdating Donald Sterling himself. Always informative, entertaining and unbiased he has carried the Clippers torch with dignity and a healthy dose of humor…. “Bingo”

Forbes magazine put you at the top of the list as “The worst franchise in pro sports” Finally recognition for being the best at something…

As another 82 game NBA season unfolds we celebrate 24 years of safe travel, roughly 2100 successful take offs and landings.

They have been to the playoffs 4 times since their arrival! Amassing a 12-13 playoff record, (sadly only reaching the second round once in 2006, but hey Clippers fans will take it)

They are not in Buffalo anymore.

I salute Clipper Darryl, the ultimate fan, so loyal that even a hefty chunk of Mark Cuban’s money couldn’t draw him away.

Bill Walton was a Clipper as were Bob McAdoo, Byron Scott and Norm Nixon

Al Thornton, Baron Davis, Chris Kaman are Clippers now

Elgin Baylor could find his place at podium for the lottery with his eyes closed.

In the 91-92 and 92-93 seasons the Clippers finished over .500!

Errrmm, well and hmmm…. never mind

So as we wait for the 2008-2009 Season to unfold we wonder is this the year the Clippers win their first division title? Is a conference title on the horizon? Will the Clipper Nation finally be rewarded for standing by for so long? I really don’t see it happening but then I never drank the Kool-aid or jumped on that bandwagon in 1984, the year a new era in Clippers basketball began.

Last edited by gts : 07-10-2008 at 04:20 AM.
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Old 07-10-2008, 05:23 AM   #2
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Default Re: Clipper Kool-aid

Great read. Elton Brand leaving just confirmed the Clippers being second class citizens in Staples but I've been a Clipper fan since 95, never jumped off the bandwagon, never will. I still hold my head up high and am proud to be a Clipper fan. Hopefully we can bring in a guy like J Smoove, start a new era and make Clipper basketball exciting again.
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Old 07-10-2008, 08:26 AM   #3
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Default Re: Clipper Kool-aid

Great job summing it up, funny too.

Optimistic? Root for the underdog? Patience? You too can be a clippie.
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Old 07-10-2008, 10:53 AM   #4
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Default Re: Clipper Kool-aid

Quote:
Originally Posted by dab0yech0
Great read. Elton Brand leaving just confirmed the Clippers being second class citizens in Staples but I've been a Clipper fan since 95, never jumped off the bandwagon, never will. I still hold my head up high and am proud to be a Clipper fan. Hopefully we can bring in a guy like J Smoove, start a new era and make Clipper basketball exciting again.



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Old 07-11-2008, 12:30 AM   #5
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Default Re: Clipper Kool-aid

Quote:
Originally Posted by dab0yech0
Great read. Elton Brand leaving just confirmed the Clippers being second class citizens in Staples but I've been a Clipper fan since 95, never jumped off the bandwagon, never will. I still hold my head up high and am proud to be a Clipper fan. Hopefully we can bring in a guy like J Smoove, start a new era and make Clipper basketball exciting again.
i have actually always wanted the clippers to do well, though i'm not a avid fan it would be good for LA to have that rivalry going on...
i have been a laker fan since before the clippers came to LA and i remeber when they came to town it was a big deal...

now all these years later it seems they really need an infusion in the front office, maybe elgin needs to make space for a newer guy, maybe dunlevy needs more control, i don't know what would work...
it's kinda funny with the lakers you know mitch is the guy, he answers to one person... in the clippers office i'm often wondering who's running the show? is it elgin? he got the executive of the year award a couple years ago yet it seems dunlevy and the other gentleman are the ones doing all the talking...
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Old 07-26-2008, 06:54 PM   #6
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Default Re: Clipper Kool-aid

I know that this post is two weeks old, but nonetheless, it was very well written. Good job gts.

I've been a Clipper fan for 16 years now, and I've experienced the many ups and downs of this franchise, and of course it's no defending the ineptitude of Donald Sterling, and even Elgin Baylor. You do bring up a great point, however...you mentioned that with the Lakers, it's Mitch Kupchak calling the shots, and with other franchises you usually know it's one (or sometimes two) making the finals decisions as far as player personnel is concerned. With the Clips, yeah, you do wonder...outside of Sterling having the ultimate final say, it is Elgin...it is Andy Roeser, the team president...or is it Mike Dunleavy? Well, with this offseason, it's clear to me who isn't making the final decisions. This is all Mike Dunleavy's work...and the fact that he can overstep both Roeser and Baylor, going directly to Sterling to make player moves should tell you something. As far as I see at this point, ol' Elgin is just a figurehead GM now, almost just like Randy Pfund is the general manager of the Miami Heat, but we all know that Pat Riley makes all the basketball decisions (the major ones anyway).

As for Roeser, as someone who's on the outside looking in...my assessment is that he should also play a major role in the Clippers' lack of success. He's been Sterling's #2 man in charge for a long time (just about as long as Elgin's been around), and part of his role with the team is serving as chief negoitator...meaning's he fouled up a lot of player moves, thus saving his boss money and not taking risks that could mean the difference of being a perinnial playoff contender or a perinnial lottery participant.

Let's not forget that Mike Dunleavy was the GM and coach of the Bucks in the early to mid 1990s, and during that tenure Milwaukee had its worst four-year stretch in its history. Yeah, they rebounded briefly under the George Karl-Ernie Grunfeld regime. However, it certainly looks like Dunleavy had redeemed himself in recent years with the Clips, and he's greatest achievement arguably is getting Donald Sterling to invest into the franchise, and not just on the court either. The Clippers have spent $50 million on building a first-class, state-of-the-art practice facility and team headquarters on L.A.'s Westside (not cheap real estate either), finally getting with the times. It's suppose to open sometime around the start of training camp.

Anywho, that's my two-cents.

Last edited by ShawnieMac06 : 07-27-2008 at 05:20 AM.
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Old 07-27-2008, 12:09 AM   #7
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Default Re: Clipper Kool-aid

nice post ShawnieMac06, well said
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Old 07-27-2008, 02:40 AM   #8
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Default Re: Clipper Kool-aid

Even though they lost Brand and Maggette, don't you all, as Clippers fans, think the front office did a nice job making up for those losses? A front line of Kamen and Camby seems as formidable to me as Kamen and Brand. Camby is as effective on the defensive end as Brand is on the offensive end -- and Baron Davis isn't bad either. They also pulled off a mother of a backroom deal in luring him away from Golden State. Give these front office guys some credit. It's tough being second fiddle.
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Old 07-27-2008, 03:36 AM   #9
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Default Re: Clipper Kool-aid

Quote:
Originally Posted by JStewart
Even though they lost Brand and Maggette, don't you all, as Clippers fans, think the front office did a nice job making up for those losses? A front line of Kamen and Camby seems as formidable to me as Kamen and Brand. Camby is as effective on the defensive end as Brand is on the offensive end -- and Baron Davis isn't bad either. They also pulled off a mother of a backroom deal in luring him away from Golden State. Give these front office guys some credit. It's tough being second fiddle.
I think they did an exceelent job. I also think we will do some damage this year with our new team.
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Old 07-27-2008, 04:53 AM   #10
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Default Re: Clipper Kool-aid

they did do a good job of salvaging the roster after the brand debacle... we'll see how they do, barons free wheeling style of play is sure to clash with dunlevy's style of coaching... barons had problems everywhere he's been with his head coach's so it's going to take effort on both their parts to ride out the bad times without pointing fingers... if things go bad i wouldn't be shocked to see sterling show dunleavy the door, he almost did last year
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