However, it dawned on me that most of the Clippers’ past 27 seasons in Los Angeles are reasons enough.
Yes, the Clippers are a better team now than they were at the end of last season.
Yes, the Clippers seem to have leveled the playing field in terms of competitiveness and popularity in Los Angeles.
But, should the league office start engraving the Clippers’ name on the O’Brien Trophy?
History has proven that even with stellar talent, the Clippers seem destined for mediocrity at best.
Danny Manning. Elton Brand. Brent Barry. Dominique Wilkins.
The list goes on of high-caliber talent that didn’t change the Clippers’ success, or lack of success.
Sure, Larry Brown, Bill Fitch and Mike Dunleavy were able to guide the team into the postseason a few times, but overall, the team has been a bust.
Hope is a good thing and the Clippers have good reason to be hopeful, but to expect anything better than a slightly-better-than-.500 season and an early postseason exit—which is all the franchise has proven it can do—is unrealistic.
Which L.A. team will finish with a better regular season record?
Based on the teams’ recent preseason games, it seems the Clippers and Lakers are a lot closer to each other than they have been for awhile.
In fact, over the past two seasons, the Clippers have played the Lakers relatively well during the regular season, going 3-5 over that span.
Before Clippers fans get too excited over a couple of preseason showings against the Lakers, one of which was without perennial All-Star Kobe Bryant, take a deep breath, relax and let’s observe how the regular season unfolds.
Besides, the shiniest toys always look best on Christmas morning, but the truly good ones are still being played with when Easter rolls around.
Yes, CP3’s arrival has created quite a splash at the Staples Center and around the league, but time is the great equalizer of things that have the potential of proving to be overhyped.
The way I see it, the Lakers—who seem destined for a sub-par season—and Clippers will finish close to one another in the standings and maybe both will even make the playoffs.
But when it comes to the 2012 NBA Playoffs, Los Angeles—Clippers and Lakers—is going to be a non-factor.