The Clippers and Coke Bottle Glasses

Buy The ClippersContributor IMarch 29, 2010

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 26:  Shaun Livingston #14 of the Los Angeles Clippers grimaces in pain after dislocating his knee against the Charlotte Bobcats during the first quarter at the Staples Center on February 26, 2007 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Remember the days when the thickness of your glasses was a clear indicator as to how bad your eyes were? Thankfully, I didn’t have those glasses as a kid. I remember the coke bottle glasses kids as those who were woeful at sports--the type of kids who couldn’t walk and chew gum at the same time.  

These kids didn't know much about sports, and they did not have many friends. If they did try out for the team, they were always cut first.  If they played back yard football with the neighbors, they were always picked last. You remember.

Were these kids simply unathletic, or did their coke bottle glasses ruin any chance of being an athlete?

I imagine these people look back and wonder the same question--could today’s optical technology have saved me from years of athletic scars, or was I simply that bad at sports?

Looking back and wondering “what if,” is a sad way to live your life. That brings me to the Clippers.

We all know some of the current and former Clipper faces that make you say, “what would it be like if ….”

Take Mike Dunleavy for example. All basketball fans the world over knew how poor of a decision it was to hire Dunleavy the moment it happened. It always amazes me how a coach gets run out of one city (Portland) to find a fantastic offer somewhere else.

As expected, Dunleavy didn’t really advance the organization. Think of all the good coaches who have been “discovered” or emerged since 2003. Hindsight is 20/20 but hey, the Clippers were stuck with Dunleavy.  Dunleavy's ineptness plagued Clippers' fans for years, forcing them to think, "what would it be like if" there had never been Mike Dunleavy.

Andre Miller is another example. He may never have won previously while in college and the pros, but he is a whole lot better than year after year of unproven commodities at the point. Granted, Baron and Andre are pretty comparable in my book but finding a way to keep Andre all those years would have been a lot better than Shaun Livingston etc.

Livingston did have a horrific injury and should be given credit for working his way back, but the Clippers have a knack for missing on the high school guys - see Darius Miles. The Clippers could have had Devin Harris, Luol Deng, or Josh Childress in 2004. Once again, "what if ..." the Clippers' didn't pick Livingston?

To be fair, I guess they could have had Rafael Araujo too.  Oddly, I have a dollar bill signed by Rafael Araujo. I think that dollar is worth less now that he signed it. That is my own personal, "what if." 

And then there's Elton Brand.  Sure Baron may have come thinking Elton would stay. When Elton left, the best player we ever had under Sterling, and any hope of a winning team left with him. Maybe Sterling could have done something to keep him around, but of course, he didn't. 

What went wrong? "What would it be like if …" the Elton Brand debacle never happened?

All of us experience 20/20 hingsight in life but the Clippers and their fans have more reason than any to wish they had 20/20 foresight.  That's life as a Clippers' fan, a life of looking back and wondering "what if." And the worst part is, you can never know.

As always, for more go to www.Buytheclippers.com


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