The antics shown by the Los Angeles Clippers organization on Wednesday showed us all why they will never win an NBA Championship with this group.
In a day unlike any other in the history of the Association the Clippers put on a full-court press/kidnapping of one of their former players to suddenly bring him back into the fold and make themselves relevant again. It was a stunning turn of events where a hand-shake agreement had as much use as a pay toilet in a diarrhea ward.
Last Friday DeAndre Jordan shook hands with Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban on a 4 year contract worth 80 million dollars. It was reported that Jordan had grown tired of playing third fiddle to the drama-king himself Chris Paul and the flop master in Blake Griffin. It had been reported that Griffin wanted more touches in the paint and wanted to be a featured offensive option within the Clippers offense. Griffin also had lost patience with Paul over the star point guards constant haranguing and “freezing out” of the 7-foot post.
The marriage between Jordan and the Mavericks seemed like that proverbial match made in heaven. Cuban promised Jordan he would be a focal point of the offense, and with Dirk Nowitzki prepared to cede the spotlight and the addition of Wes Matthews and return of Chandler Parsons, the Mavericks had put themselves in the discussion of Western Conference contenders.
Enter the Clippers full court press……
With word that Jordan was having second thoughts the Clippers pounced. Paul hopped off the banana boat he was riding with Melo and LeBron and flew to Texas from the Bahamas. Blake Griffin cut his vacation short and flew in from Hawaii. Newly-signed Paul Pierce hopped on a plane from Los Angeles to court his new teammate. Daddy Warbucks (Steve Ballmer Clippers owner) along with Clippers coach and General Manager Doc Rivers hopped on a jet to Houston as well. As long as Jordan was having second thoughts, the Clippers were going to try to convince him to stay.
After barricading Jordan’s door (as seen above) and some tense moments where Chris Paul feigned exasperation at Jordan’s discontent and promised to treat him better, and Rivers promising to make him more of a focal point, Jordan changed his mind and was back in the fold. But, the drama was just beginning. Reports had surfaced that Jordan would not make a final decision until he had spoken with the Dallas Mavericks. The Clippers and their brain trust were not going to allow that. Instead they set up a pseudo-barricade inside Jordan’s home. According to Ramona Shelburne from ESPN the Clippers were not going to allow Jordan to change his mind again. In fact they were going to stay with their center until 12:01am EST. The first minute Jordan could sign a contract the Clippers would be there to hand him 87 million dollars.
During this clown-show Jordan wouldn’t even take phone calls from Dallas stars or owner Mark Cuban. So, in the end, the Clippers got their man, promising to change their ways and catering to the sensitive psyche of their 7-footer.
It’s truly a bad look for the NBA. The biggest loser in this fiasco is not Mark Cuban. I believe it is Dan Fegan the agent for Jordan. Who will believe this guy moving forward ? Will teams want to negotiate with an agent whose clients shake their hands, look them in the eyes, and then bolt at the first feel of freezing temperatures on their tootsies. What’s to keep teams from employing the same strategy now ? Negotiate with a player in good faith, make on offer in good faith during the eight-day moratorium period. And then as soon as a better option may come around, renege on the offer and chase another prize word.
The Clippers and their fans are relishing the change of heart from their big guy but this is still the team that choked away their NBA Playoff semi-final series against Houston blowing a 19 point lead with 14 minutes to play in the clinching Game 6.
This is still a team that is high on talent but short on character. This is still a club with a high maintenance point guard and center who shoots 37 percent from the free throw line. And, this is still a club that plays in an arena (Staples Center) with 18 championship banners hanging from the rafters, 16 of which belong to their fellow tenant the Los Angeles Lakers with two of them belonging to the Los Angeles Kings.
In the end, the Clippers are all about floppilicious drama and they are still only the 4th or 5th best team in the West. Fun to watch, entertaining but they still won’t get out of the 2nd round