LA Clippers Sign Josh Smith; Still Not A Championship Contender

The Los Angeles Clippers continued their run of good fortune yesterday (at least according to the Los Angeles media) by acquiring former Houston Rocket, Josh Smith. Smith reportedly turned down a one year, $2.5 million dollar deal to return to Houston in favor of the Clippers who offered him the veteran minimum.

As far as I’m concerned, the signing of Smith doesn’t make the Clippers any more of a threat in the Western Conference. Call me cynical, but until the Clippers prove that they won’t choke when the playoff lights are on, I’m not going to buy into any offseason acquisition, as if it bolsters them as solid contenders for a NBA Championship.

For those that may have forgotten, the Clippers “lead” by Chris Paul, blew a 3-1 series lead against an inferior Rockets team last season. They completed one of the most epic collapses in sports history; and with the way this team has been covered throughout the offseason, you’d think their collapse happened years ago.

I hate to break it to all those die-hard Clippers fans, but just because you re-signed Jordan and acquired Pierce & Smith, that doesn’t instantly make you a championship contender. Jordan has been lauded after this offseason by the Mavericks and the Clippers as if he was Shaq or someone who’s averaged more than 8 pts & 9 rebounds in their career. Pierce is an aging veteran who has very little left in the tank; and Smith came off the bench last year for Houston and didn’t end up doing much of anything for them up until he played the Clippers in the second round of the playoffs. I’m sorry, but this isn’t a championship roster.

The Los Angeles Clippers have a lot to prove this year especially given the way they wet the bed during last years playoffs. Signing veterans who have very little left to give, isn’t the way to avenge last years horrific playoff performance. Doc Rivers needs to give up his GM duties to someone who is more qualified and knows what they’re doing. He’s going to turn this team into the NBA equivalent of the New York Yankees if isn’t careful.

The San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder and Golden State Warriors are all looking to create {or in the Warriors case, maintain] a younger roster, while the Clippers roster continues to get closer to an AARP membership. Since all three of the above mentioned teams have made it to the NBA Finals in the past few years, maybe it’s time the Clippers start adopting the philosophies of their successful contemporaries and stop making the same mistakes that have continued to cost this team and fanbase a championship.

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