After former Warrior, Baron Davis decided to come play in the Staples Center (with the red floor), it seemed that the Clippers were an Elton Brand re-up away from contending for a playoff spot. Even with the probable loss of free agent to-be Corey Maggette, the Clippers had drafted Indiana stud guard, Eric Gordon and were looking good. Unfortunately for the Clipper faithful, Elton decided Philly gave him a better chance to win and they opened up the check book to the tune of $82 million over five years.
So now what? Your an L.A. Clipper fan huh? You don't need me to tell you how this story ends. With Elton Brand jumping ship faster than Nike did when Michael Vick got caught with a pitbull's head in a vice, L.A.'s other team is back where they started, THE BOTTOM.
Don't fret however, I'm here to help you. As a diehard fan of a team that just had the greatest turn around in NBA history (never get sick of the Celtics references, never) I'm here to say the Clippers aren't those Celtics and holding on for hope that isn't there won't do you any good. Instead you've got to do what is best for you, jump ship and never look back.
There are 29 other NBA teams. Excluding the Hornets, (because you'll be looking like a bandwagon hopper) the Celtics (to many pirates on this ship), and the Milwaukee Bucks (an equally great lost cause) where should you Clip fans take your basketball fandom?
Group C: Future looks bright
Windy City and the Chicago Bulls. If you know anything about me, or what I've been writing, you know I love Derrick Rose. This number one pick overall could be running the city of Chicago in three years time. After doing some small adjustments the Bulls will be among the Eastern Conference elite and in the words of experts, they have huge upside. Despite questionable ownership, the Bulls remain hungry and haven't strayed far from that. Keep in mind your a current Clippers fan, that means Donald Sterling & Elgin Baylor, aside from Bush and Cheney, not many people can f*ck things up that bad. With the exception of Joakim Noah, I like the Bulls youth, Tyrus Thomas (22); Luol Deng(23) & Ben Gordon (25)who must have shown someone something because the Bulls opted not to dangle them for Kobe in the summer of 2007.
The first team to beat the Celtics in 2007, the Orlando Magic. I'm not sure if head coach, Stan Van Gundy, has received his championship ring from Pat Riley yet, but if he hasn't he should. The Magic have a championship coach and are being led by all-world center Dwight Howard. The 6-11 reigning dunk champion is the top center in the Eastern Conference and coached by Magic assistant and former Knick, Patrick Ewing. Since the days of Penny & Shaq the Magic have been consistently trying to get better. From putting big money into Grant Hill (before he broke down), and more recently Rashard Lewis to trading for Tracy McGrady, the Magic aim big. This current Magic team will be in the playoffs every year for the next ten years as long as Howard is playing center and stays healthy. As much as people fall in love with the pride of St. Joe's, Jameer Nelson, the Magic are a stud point guard away from the Eastern Conference finals.
As much as it pains me to see this franchise on the rise, the Philadelphia 76ers. Your not actually upset with Elton for jumping all the way to Philly right? Admit it, your upset you didn't get paid $82 Million to take your pom poms to the city of brotherly love. If you choose to ride with the Sixers, you got some faith. Philadelphia has replaced Boston as the city with the worst attitude and even worse luck. The Sixers, Flyers, Phillies, and Eagles have all failed in bringing a championship to this portion of PA over the past 25 years and they've all had their shot. These Sixers may not be the Philly franchise that has the ticker tape through their streets but they are looking better everyday. With veteran guard Andre Miller and swingman Andre Iguodala the Sixers were already able to take Detroit in the playoff opener. With the addition of 20-10 guy, Elton Brand, the Sixers may have the front court to beat some playoff teams in the East.
Group B: (Won't miss the playoffs, always contend)
The San Antonio Spurs, while I don't think they have another championship left in them, some would disagree. The Western Conference runners-up coughed up a few games in the Conference finals and just proved to be to old, to banged up, and to slow. The truth of the matter is, San Antonio is Tim Duncan. San Antonio has won four titles since the "Big Fundamental" has been a Spur and until he is retired, they'll be a contender. As a fan, it is never good to bank all of your cheering into one player, when he's gone your left with Toni Kukoc, just ask Bulls fans what happened after Jordan won his sixth.
One of the best teams in the NBA, in their building, the Utah Jazz. For a team that will forever be the SECOND most important franchise in their own home, the Clips haven't exactly had major home court advantage. However, the Utah Jazz epitomize the words home court advantage. It's UTAH for Christ sake, besides a visit from the Olympics every 100 years, what do these fans have to go nuts about? Aside from their 4 wives, Jazz fans love them some basketball. A great coach in Jerry Sloan AND a great young point guard in Deron Williams. From Malone & Stockton to Boozer & Williams, the Jazz have been in it for a while. With the exception of having to wear purple in your wardrobe, cheering for the Jazz doesn't have much downside.
The Purple & Gold, Los Angeles Lakers. Now before you ride me for thinking you would trade in your red seats for purple seats, just think about it logically. Your familiar with the building, both the Clips and Lakers play in the same Staples Center. No one would question your switch, Laker fans no what it's like to have a winner and they would hate to be in your shoes. More famous celebrities than the kid from 'Malcom in the Middle,' more banners to look at, and you can finally say you remember the days of Magic's no look passes. The Lake Show are always going to be a quality team, Kobe is a Laker for life and has about a 2-3 year window of still being the best player in the world. They have more money, they want to win more, and they are by far the smarter franchise in the Staples Center. All you have to do is be a rawkus no-it-all and you'll be a Laker fan. Come on, you mean tell me you've never thought about switching to the dark side?
Group A: (If I were leaving the Celts, I'd be on these yachts)
These teams aren't teams that I currently root for or currently even give a sh*t about, but as a fan I respect what they are trying to do and have done.
The Detroit Pistons, love em' or hate em', you've gotta respect em'. The Pistons have become an Eastern Conference Finals staple, reaching the destination each of the last six years. Despite the egg they laid in the 08' conference finals, several good things came out of it. With the emergence of Jason Maxiell & guard Rodney Stuckey the Pistons made several malcontents (cough, cough, that means you Rasheed) expendable. The promise from GM Joe Dumars that changes WILL BE MADE gives Pistons fans that four letter word that starts with H and ends with OPE. Joe D hasn't made many errors in the front office, except passing on Carmelo, which wouldn't even be tops on Clippers board of mistakes.
The Oklahoma City errrr JUST KIDDING, the Brooklyn Nets. The phrase, ALL EGGS IN ONE BASKET, comes to mind here. Cheering for the Nets has nothing to do with history, their coach, Jay-Z, Brook Lopez, or the amazing (insert sarcastic undertones) Yi Jianlian. It begins and ends with one word, two syllables; LEBRON. When the make room for Lebron project is complete the Nets will be littered with helpers that don't make more than your average pizza guy (if he were a second year NBA player). The Nets will be moving to Brooklyn, new building, new jerseys (lame pun) , and of course one GIANT GLOBAL ICON, Lebron James. Not bad team to cheer for and if you get your Nets season tickets now you can avoid paying out the nose for them come 2011.
Yes, I saved them for last for a reason. The Portland Trailblazers. Now hear me out, I know they haven't won anything in a LONG TIME, but like I said countless times before, your a current Clipper fan. The Trailblazers won't make you look like a bandwagon fan, that's for sure. They have a great young nucleus of LaMarcus Aldridge, Brandon Roy, Greg Oden, and rookie guard Jerryd Bayless. Roy came onto the scene fresh out of Washington throwing in 19 a night and 6 assists. This team is young, they draft well, and they have pieces to trade to bring in veteran players to help them out. I love the Trailblazers over the next few years, the oldest guy on their team is Joel Przybilla and he's not even 30 (excluding Raef Lafrentz because I try not to utter his name in fear he'll get dealt back to the Celts somehow.) Your a Clipper fan, you can still cheer for a Western Conference team, on your coast. Trade in your Clipper red for some Portland Trailblazer BLACK.
WHY THEIR OUT:
Atlanta Hawks: 2008 Eastern Conference first round action; I hate them
Charlotte Bobcats: Adam Morrison smokes cigarettes
Cleveland Cavaliers: Lebron to Brooklyn, Cavs to NBA purgatory
Dallas Mavericks: Cuban will be owning the Cubbies in a year or two
Denver Nuggets: They entertained trading Carmelo
Golden State Warriors: Good bye Baron, Hello ummmmmm, exactly.
Houston Rockets: Win Streak in the REGULAR SEASON, emphasis on regular.
Indiana Pacers: Even though he's retired, Can't stand Reggie
Memphis Grizzlies: Really? You need something extra for this one?
Minnesota Timberwolves: Kevin McHale meet Kevin Love, riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight
Miami Heat: Lose Riley, and I'm on board
New York Knicks: Spike Lee, Danilo, Starbury, want more?
Oklahoma City: Sorry Kevin Durant, really it's sad.
Phoenix Suns: Steve Kerr is on borrowed time already
Sacramento Kings: I thought the Maloofs moved them to Vegas?
Toronto Raptors: Canadian
Washington Wizards: Agent Zero, will get ZERO rings.
(I still haven't left the NBA, sorry.)
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