Basketball

Blake Griffin Incident Yet Another Example Of Clippers’ Ineptitude

Image Courtesy of sporting news.com
Blake Griffin Incident Yet Another Example Of Clippers’ Ineptitude

On Tuesday the Los Angeles Clippers confirmed that Blake Griffin will be out an additional 4 to 6 weeks with a broken right hand, after an altercation with the Clippers’ assistant equipment manager Matias Testi.

The incident happened in a Toronto restaurant, a night before the Clippers were about to face a very good Raptors team. Griffin, who was set to return soon from a quadriceps injury that had him out since Christmas day got into an argument as he and Testi were leaving the restaurant and Griffin proceeded to  punch Testi multiple times. Testi was sent to the hospital with visible injuries to his face and upon his release from a Toronto hospital both men were sent back to Los Angeles. The Clippers, minus Blake yet again, would end up losing to the Raptors 112-94.

Don't believe me just watch…. @matit99

A photo posted by Blake Griffin (@blakegriffin32) on

For many years, the Clippers have been a franchise publicly viewed as a joke. They’ve had a lot of bad teams in their history with very few playoff appearances and have had various embarrassing moments, both on and off the court.

Over the past decade the franchise has at last turned into a successful, winning organization that is very entertaining to watch, as well as seriously contend for an NBA championship. Since acquiring Chris Paul in a trade in December 2011 they have become one of the league’s most exciting teams to watch and a team that wins games in the regular season, having gone to the playoffs a franchise best four years in a row. But for a team that is striving for an NBA championship and has had the players in recent years capable of achieving it, they frequently seem to lose sight and end up shooting themselves in the foot – Griffin’s fight with equipment trainer – just another example of it.

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The problem over the last five seasons is not the Clippers losing to a better team in the playoffs, but rather self imploding year after year. They fail to focus on  winning an championship and allow distractions to distract them.

In 2011 they had a shot at winning their first Pacific division title in franchise history, while also having home-court advantage and a better record than their home rivals, the Los Angeles Lakers. For whatever reason the Clippers would end up losing their final two games in the regular season and lose the opportunity altogether.

The following year Clippers would play the Memphis Grizzlies for the second straight year in the first round of the playoffs. After winning the first two games of the series, the Clippers would allow the Grizzlies to win four straight games and ultimately lose the series.

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Image Courtesy of CBS Sports

Unnecessary trouble would plague the Clippers during their 2014 playoffs run, when their former owner Donald Sterling was caught on tape making racist remarks to his now ex-girlfriend. It became a huge distraction for the Clippers with the NBA investigating the matter, especially for Chris Paul who besides being the leader of the Clippers is also president of the National Basketball Players Association. Although the team would rally together and win the first round against the Golden State Warriors, they would ultimately disappoint having a shot to go up 3-2 against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Semi-Finals. Playing the Thunder in Oklahoma the Clippers would blow a seven point lead in the final 50 seconds, which included two critical turnovers from Chris Paul in the final 17 seconds and eventually led to another early exit from the playoffs.

Last year it appeared the Clippers would be a serious contender and proved their worth early on in the first round, as they beat the defending champion Spurs in a thrilling 7 game series. In the next round, however, against the Houston Rockets the Clippers would end up losing their 3-1 lead in the series. What looked like a sure ticket to the conference finals against the Warriors would end up being yet another example of their inconsistencies. The Rockets would come back and win three straight games to eliminate the Clippers which included them losing a 19 point lead in the second half of game six. Former Clipper Josh Smith (who was traded back to the Rockets last week) would score 14 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter for Houston.

More unwanted trouble would arrive this year when center DeAndre Jordan completely mishandled his free agency visit to Dallas. After rumours of him and Chris Paul having a spat were made public DeAndre Jordan verbally agreed to sign with the Mavs, only to change his mind and resign with the Clippers in a bizarre turn of events. Things got so strange that Jordan was essentially held hostage by his own coach Doc Rivers in his own house till he signed the contract.

These issues continued this season when coach Rivers and the Clippers accused the Warriors were “lucky” in not playing them en route to Golden State winning it’s first title since 1975. But while the Warriors have proved this season they are the defending champions for a reason, the Clippers would have been just another bump in the road.

In fact while the Clippers had a team that looked good on paper this season, the results have shown otherwise. They started off the season bad and have allowed teams like the Rockets and Warriors to come back in games that they should have won. Since losing Blake Griffin to injury the Clippers have gone an impressive 12-3, although they’ve had a pretty light schedule and were hoping to getting Griffin back sometime this week. But with this latest incident it seems the Clippers will have to overcome yet another obstacle created by their own stupidity and without their superstar for further 4 to 6 weeks.

Very Clipper like…


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Jamar Stephen is a recent graduate of York University in Toronto with an honors degree in Communications. He is a Videographer, Producer, Creative Director and Video Editor. A huge basketball fan that loves to play in his spare time, watches a large volume of NBA and NCAA games and even plays virtually whether it is on NBA 2k or in fantasy leagues.

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