A franchise that always played little brother to the Lakers in the SAME BUILDING now is the time for the Clippers to stand up for themselves. The entire NBA shifted as the duo arrived in LA after a shocking double move where Kawhi Leonard signed a 3-year max contract with the Clippers as they simultaneously swung a trade for Paul George. The entire NBA felt the shift. I remember being out with friends in Nashville when Adrian Wojnarowski dropped one of his famous “Woj Bombs.” It was pretty entertaining watching a bunch of guys in the club looking at their phones with the news that Kawhi Leonard had made his decision. After months of speculating and trying to understand how Kawhi Leonard thinks, it turns out while we were playing checkers, and he was playing chess. Since that moment, we all waited for this moment.
Today marks the day when two of the biggest stars in the NBA will be on the court together. In a league full of star-studded duos, the Clippers are ready to pull up in a Ferrari. Anthony Davis and LeBron James. Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George might be the most potent duo in the league when healthy. The two-time NBA Champion and Finals MVP pairs up with perennial MVP candidate creating possibly the best two-way duo since Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen.
After missing a week due to a knee contusion, Kawhi Leonard’s return to the lineup means the wait is over. After over a month of basketball, we’ll see Leonard and George on the court together. Neither player will be sitting out due to injury or load management, which has been heavily debated by many notable sports sites, barbershops, and probably at work, guilty as charged. I’m pretty excited to see the Clippers at full power, after taking the Warriors to Game 6 in the first round of the 2019 playoffs, the sky’s the limit for this team.
This Clippers team is different, as they try to usher in a new era for the franchise, no longer will they be the little brother or cursed franchise, now all eyes are on them. As a basketball fan, many of you would be lying about being Clippers fans before the Lob City era. Truth be told, before Blake Griffin, I can name a total of four players associated with the team (Lamar Odom, Darius Miles, Quentin Richardson, and Corey Maggette). Lob City was the first Clippers team many fans will remember, but they were never able to reach the Western Conference Finals. Let’s not forget the blemish of having Donald Sterling as an owner. The franchise has been through so much, but one offseason has changed the perception.
Back to tonight, each star has looked great on their own, Leonard is averaging 26.8 points, 8.9 rebounds and six assists per game, while in a small sample size George has already set the league on fire and is coming off the game-winning 3-pointer against his former Thunder team. Growing pains are part of the game, especially when two stars who are capable of winning the MVP come together. Leonard, George, and the rest of the team will learn to play together, and those problems will look like a thing of the past. As a fan of basketball, tonight is a good night. For all you Clippers fans, enjoy the night, this is franchise-altering.