The L.A. Clippers are considered among the elite in today's NBA. With Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and a deep bench of talented role-players, they are going to be good for a very long time.
While we have yet to see how they will perform in the postseason, history isn't exactly on their side.
It was just a few years ago that the Clippers had title hopes with a different roster -- one composed of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan. These "Lob City" Clippers were always at the top of the West standings but were never able to capitalize on their talent when it mattered most.
So what was their problem? According to JJ Redick, who played there from 2013-2017, the level of pettiness demonstrated by his teammates ultimately stunted their potential.
“Oh man, I don’t think there was one moment,” Redick admitted in 2018. “Doc used to always talk about how when one group was kind of together for along period of time, instead of getting closer together, you end up pointing fingers at each other. It was weird because, separately, everybody was really cool with each other. Off the court, everybody sort of got along and then there was just so much pettiness. It was so much pettiness. It’s weird to think what we had the potential to accomplish and what ultimately derailed that was pettiness. Like Donald Trump-level pettiness.”
While Redick didn't elaborate on specific issues, it seems as if immaturity and finger-pointing was what ultimately tore the team apart. They were unwilling to work out their issues and instead tried to lead by blaming everyone else.
It has been reported in the past that several members of the team disagreed on certain strategic approaches. It was just a big mess.
Nowadays, with a new regime running the show in Clipper land, the hope is that the era of disappointment is over. We'll find out before too long.