Pieces in place for Clippers championship

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Blake GriffinThere was a time when the Los Angeles Clippers were one of, if not the most, laughable team in the NBA.  There was a time when Clipper fans faded to the background when sports fans in L.A. debated who the best team of the city was, regardless of sport.  There was a time when the Clippers owner was thought of as one of the worse in the league.  Okay, that last one is probably still true, but as for the other two thoughts, Clippers fan so “no more”.

With the arrival of The Blake Show in L.A. things started looking up for true Clipper fans.  I say true, because the more the Clippers start winning, the more people are going to jump on the bandwagon. But Clipper fans dared not get their hopes up to high.  They’ve seen it all before.  The “other” L.A. team, as the Clippers have been referred to in the past, have had stars and fans have watched them come and go.  Elton Brand.  Lamar Odom. Brent Barry. Each of them has been all-stars and Odom and Barry have helped teams win NBA titles.

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So when Blake Griffin came back from injury so strong that he actually won the NBA Rookie of the Year, Clipper fans didn’t get too excited. They’d seen this movie before.  An all-star caliber player on the Clippers one day, traded the next. But then, just when you thought you knew how this story was going to end, the team pulled the old switch-a-roo.

Chris Paul had wanted out of New Orleans and it looked like the Los Angeles Lakers were going to get him.  But wait! The NBA put the Kibosh on the trade, keeping Paul on the Hornets. All of a sudden other teams were in the hunt for acquiring Paul and one of those other teams was the Clippers. After a few days of tug-o-war with which players to give up the Clippers finally got Chris Paul. Now, it seems, Clipper fans are letting themselves believe things are different.

Why shouldn’t they?  A perennial all-star, a rookie of the year and the Clips have just acquired Kenyon Martin. They have the all-stars in place and a supporting cast of players that include Chauncey Billups, Eric Gordon, Mo Williams, and others. And as of this time the “other team” in L.A. is actually in first place in their division. If the Clippers stay healthy and consistent, there’s no reason to think they cannot vie for an NBA championship.  Not just this year, but if Clippers management do the right thing, for years to come.

R.H. Tucker is an NBA team writer for The Sports Blitz

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