The Los Angeles Clippers were heavily criticized for trying to avoid the Los Angeles Lakers until later in the 2021 NBA playoffs. Tyronn Lue rested his best players in the final games of the season, which people saw as a move to avoid their city rivals until the Western Conference Finals.
That actually worked for the Clips, but their current situation doesn't seem favorable. They're trailing the Dallas Mavericks 2-0 after losing the first two games in the first round of the postseason at the Staples Center.
The picture is anything but good now. More jokes will come their way after Chris Broussard reported that they did tank to avoid facing the Lakers in the early stages of the postseason. Joining FS1's Undisputed, the sports analyst claimed that he received a text confirming what people were already suspecting.
“The notion about Shannon [Sharpe] and I making this up about the Clippers tanking to avoid the Lakers,” reported Broussard on Wednesday. “I texted somebody who would know, Skip, last week and I was like, ‘Man, I keep hearing that the Clippers tanked to avoid the Lakers. There’s no way I believe that. That can’t be true.’ I got the text back from a person that would know that, totally true, and he didn’t like it. He was ‘bad karma,’ all that. I believe it. They didn’t want the Lakers. I’m not saying they wouldn’t have been scared of them in the conference finals, but for whatever reason, they didn’t want them early. That’s what I’m told.”
These rumors sparked several reactions around the league and even Lakers players talked about it. Jared Dudley said it was a good strategy for teams not to see the purple and gold until the final stages of the postseason. Kyle Kuzma said the same, claiming he understands why teams made this decision.
Now the Clippers can see all their plans fall apart in front of them if Luka Doncic keeps playing at the level he showed during the first two games of the series. They tried to avoid the Lakers so much that they could wait until next year to see them in the playoffs.