Kevin Durant Headlines NBA Free Agency 

Kevin Durant is by far the most coveted free agent this side of LeBron James. Following an epic collapse by the Oklahoma City Thunder (losing 3-in-a-row to Golden State) in the Western Conference Finals, rumors have been swirling about where the best landing spot is for Durant. 
The following is a list of Durant’s likely suitors and where I think is the best landing spot for him.

Oklahoma City Thunder: Durant has been with the Thunder (formerly the Sonics) since he was drafted 2nd overall by them in 2007. Since he’s been there, they’ve been formidable and extremely completive in the [superior] western conference. If it wasn’t for injuries, I believe the Thunder would have made it to more than one NBA Finals appearance during Durant’s 9 years with the team. Out of all of his options, the Thunder has the greatest upside with a young team, a great front office, a promising head coach and a point guard that’s considered one of the 5 best players in the world. He has the backing of the fans and plays in arguably the greatest home court advantage in the league. In my mind, Durant would be crazy not to re-sign [for at least one more year] with this team.    

San Antonio Spurs: The thought of Durant alongside Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge is pretty compelling. However, I think it would significantly taint Durant’s legacy to go to an “established” team like the Spurs in order to win a championship (which is why the idea of him going to Golden State is never going to happen). The main reason LeBron was skewered by so many was that he “ran away” from the challenges in Cleveland to get help from Wade and Bosh in Miami. Durant leaving OKC for a San Antonio franchise that has been one of the best over the past 15 years wouldn’t do him any favors in the long run. 

Miami Heat: Regardless of what many say, I believe that this pairing would be the least likely to happen. First off, Miami fans don’t deserve a great basketball team; they’re arguably one of the worst fan bases in all of professional sports. Secondly, we’ve seen this story before; superstar player leaves for Miami to try and capture elusive championship. Lastly, Miami’s roster isn’t getting any younger and Durant would have to allow Miami to build a younger team around him. Rather than taking a step towards a championship, it would seem that Durant would be taking two steps back.

Boston Celtics: The Celtics have a young core, a strong front office (led by Danny Ainge), and an exceptionally talented young head coach (Brad Stevens); almost exactly what Durant already has in OKC [minus Westbrook]. As much as I’d love to see Durant in Boston (not so much because I’m a Celtic fan, more because of my fandom for Brad Stevens) but as their currently constructed, I just don’t think it makes much sense. However, if Boston is able (and willing) to make a trade with their 3rd overall pick [in this year’s draft] and acquire another star player to play alongside Durant, than I think Boston would the best option outside of OKC; the main reason? Because, he’ll be playing in the watered down eastern conference and his addition (along with another star player) would make the Celtics co-favorites with Cleveland to make the Finals. It’s understood that OKC is a co-favorite almost every year to represent the western conference, but it’s a much tougher road to get through the gauntlet that the west provides every year than it is the east.

Los Angeles Clippers: In the past, you’d mention LA and immediately think Lakers; well, those days are over the foreseeable future, thanks Jim Buss. The Clippers are an enticing option because of the squad that they’ve already constructed. A starting lineup of Paul, Reddick, Durant, Griffin, and Jordan sounds pretty damn epic; I just don’t think it’ll work. Partially because it’s the Clippers and they always find a way to screw something up, but primarily, I don’t see it working in the locker room. Durant already has an aggressive point guard in Westbrook (who clearly dominates that locker room), why would he leave OKC to play alongside another point guard with a bloated ego? Paul has been known to be a pain to deal with in the locker room (hey there Blake Griffin) and I don’t think he’ll like a superstar player coming in and taking over “his” team. Furthermore, Doc Rivers is as overrated a coach as there is in professional sports, and I don’t think he’ll be able to control all those egos; especially since he doesn’t seem to have a handle on it now. Durant wouldn’t be doing himself any favors playing in LA.    

Overall, I believe that OKC should be Durant’s first and only choice. It makes sense not just financially but professionally as well. However, if he were to choose to test the free agent market, he would certainly look good in Celtic green.
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Cleveland’s Easy Road to The Finals Puts More Pressure on LeBron to Deliver

Following the Golden State Warriors championship season last year, there were many skeptics (aka Trolls) who denounced the legitimacy of their NBA title. Their [the skeptics] argument stemmed from the fact that the Warriors continued to face teams plagued by injury; while they [the Warriors] stayed healthy. The skeptics ranged from Doc Rivers to Charles Barkley to every retired NBA player from the 80’s & 90’s. It’s an absurd argument to make but one that’s continued to make the rounds throughout this NBA season.
Lebron James and “his” Cleveland Cavaliers have had the easiest road to the NBA Finals in league history. Their first round matchup was against an up-and-coming but clearly inexperienced Pistons team that was still learning how to close out games. Their second round opponent was the Atlanta Hawks (or the Cincinnati Bengals of the NBA) who are formidable in the regular season but completely choke come the postseason. Finally, they reach the third round and get to face the overhyped and underwhelming Toronto Raptors.
The Cavs waxed the Raptors in the first two games of the series so badly that many believed (myself included) that the series would be over in 4 games. However, the Raptors played up for their home crowd and took games 3 &4 handily. All of sudden the narrative shifted and everyone started wondering if the Raptors had a real chance of stealing game 5 in Cleveland. Game 5 came and went, and the Raptors left all their talent in Toronto as the Cavs decimated them by 35 points. Game 6 is tonight and I fully believe that the Cavs will leave Toronto with a win.
Now, I brought all of that up to point out this; if these Cavs win the NBA Championship this year, shouldn’t their title be tainted? After all, they’ve played against inferior teams in one of the weakest Eastern Conferences the league has ever seen. If the Warriors title from last year is allowed to be put into question, why can’t the same be done to the Cavs? Furthermore, if Lebron makes it to the Finals and loses [again], what does that say about him as an all-time great?
As far as I see it, Lebron HAS to win a championship this year. He’s spent part of his season playing GM and making a coaching change and the other part trashing the Warriors and the accolades that have come their way; which they’ve deserved, regardless of what he says. He’s played in the extremely watered-down East which has helped him reach the Finals for 6 straight years (6 including this year).

The competition this year has been dreadful and his team has taken full advantage of that. With that being said, if he doesn’t come out of this season as a champion, I don’t think his legacy/reputation will ever recover.
If you dominate your conference like the Cavs have, all while throwing shade at the defending champs and contending that you’re still the best player in the game, you sure as hell better show up and deliver in the Finals. If you don’t, you’re no longer the “King” and you don’t deserve to be in the conversation as an all-time great (now I’m talking Magic, Jordan, Bird, Wilt etc.).
Don’t get me wrong, Lebron is one of the two best players in the game; but, he can’t go 2-5 in the Finals and be considered as an all-timer. It just doesn’t add up. For instance, if Tom Brady didn’t win the Super Bowl two years ago and had a 3-3 record rather than 4-2; no one would be saying that he deserves to be in the same conversation as Joe Montana. You can’t continue to come up short in championship games and be considered one of the best ever.
LeBron and the Cavs have had a smooth ride up to this point. If they don’t deliver a title back to Cleveland, not only will it be devastating for the city but for James’ legacy as well.

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The Mount Rushmore of My Generation

What makes sports such an enjoyable medium are the [sometimes] healthy debates that arise from them. Every couple of years or so, the “Who’s on the Mount Rushmore of [insert sport]” comes up and intense debating begins.  Given how in last week’s post I wrote about how my generation was losing its athletes to retirement left and right, that this would be a good time to create a Mount Rushmore for my generation’s (I’m 28) top athletes in major sports.

Two quick points of order:

  • Michael Phelps would be on this list but swimming isn’t a major sport.
  • Jordan doesn’t qualify because he retired when I was in grade school.

My Mount Rushmore picks are:

Tom Brady

Tim Duncan

Derek Jeter

Tiger Woods

Brady is the most decorated (active) football player in the NFL. His 4 Super Bowl’s and 2 Super Bowl MVP’s are unmatched by any quarterback of my era. While Peyton Manning owns almost every passing record and won 2 Super Bowl’s in his own right, he never eclipsed Brady when it came to clutch performances. Since Brady became the starting quarterback for the New England Patriots in 2001 (15 seasons), the team has missed the playoffs twice (2002 & 2008); and in one of those years, Brady only played in 1 regular season game. He has an absurd postseason record of 22-9 (most wins all time) and has thrown for 56 postseason TD’s; which is a record that might never be broken. At the end of the day, if I had to pick one quarterback to win me a game, there’s no way I’d choose anyone other than Brady.

Duncan [Mr. Fundamental] is one of a handful of greats who have played every game of their career in one uniform. He just finished his 19th (and possibly last) season with the San Antonio Spurs, where he helped lead his team to a regular season [team] record of 65-13. Given the fact that San Antonio is in a small market within NBA circles, Duncan has been one of the most overlooked superstars ever, in any sport. It’s a damn shame too, given all that he’s accomplished. In 19 seasons, Duncan is a 5-time NBA Champion, a 3-time NBA Finals MVP and a 2-time NBA MVP. Now, I know that there will be plenty of believe that Kobe Bryant should be on this list over Duncan; and while I understand the argument for Bryant, I believe that Duncan has not only been more consistent but has found ways to make his team/teammates better. For my money, Duncan is easily one of the 10 best players ever and the best power forward to ever play the game.

Woods was the best golfer on the planet for over a decade and arguably surpassed Jack Nicklaus as the best of all time. I’ve never seen another athlete dominate his/her sport more than Woods dominated golf. Woods didn’t just dominate; he became his own brand, and made the sport relevant. Golf has never seen as a major player in the public medium in the same manner as baseball, basketball and football; that is, until Tiger. What he’s accomplished on the golf course is incredible; 79 PGA Tour wins (2nd all time), 40 European Tour wins (3rd all time), 14 Majors and was awarded PGA Player of the Year 11 times. Now with him [way] past his prime, commentators are constantly searching for the “next” Tiger. It’s a futile search because what he did, will never happen again.

Jeter [The Captain] spent his entire 20 year career with the New York Yankees where he won 5 World Series Championships, a World Series MVP (2000), and recorded 200 postseason hits (most all time). From 1996-2012, the Yankees never missed the postseason. In his career, Jeter played in only 1 game in which the Yankees were mathematically eliminated from postseason contention. He set the Yankees all-time record in hits with 3,465 (6th most all time), doubles (544), games played (2,747), stolen bases (358), times on base (4,716), plate appearances (12,602) and at bats (11,195). There’s no doubt that there have been better all-around players than Jeter; but in my lifetime, there has never a more iconic, marketable or likeable star in the game than Jeter. He’s one of the few athletes that were not just a spectacular player on the field, but a respectable ambassador off of it.

Honorable Mentions:

Kobe Bryant

Lebron James

Peyton Manning

 

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Spurs Lose Series: Duncan’s Future Up in the Air

Last night the Oklahoma City Thunder dispatched the heavily favored San Antonio Spurs 113-99 to win the second round series 4-2.  Given OKC’s blowout loss in Game 1, if anyone told you that they saw the Spurs dropping 4 of the next 5 games (including 2 at home), they’re full of you know what.  The second best team in the league got rocked in the only upset so far in these playoffs.

However, given all that, that’s not the main story; at least, not the one I took from this series.

The real story of this series was the blatant decline of Tim Duncan.  Duncan came into the series looking relatively spry for 40 and had completed one of his best defensive regular seasons in some time.  No one expected see father time catch up with Duncan so drastically; but alas, here we are.

It was tough watching Duncan struggle to get up and down the floor; the poor guy couldn’t even make a layup anymore.  In many ways, watching Duncan’s brutal performance was eerily similar to Peyton Manning’s harsh decline during the Broncos Super Bowl run last February.  As a “millennial”, it’s been tough watching two of the greatest ever decline so rapidly and within a few months of each other.

During the postgame, Duncan didn’t specify on his future plans; however, many believe that he’s leaning towards retirement.  If he does retire, he’ll join Manning, Kobe Bryant and Derek Jeter, as not just champions but icons in their given sport; who have retired within the last two years.

Being 28, it’s hard to reconcile with the fact that all of the sports legends of my youth are retiring.  The only one remaining at this point is Tom Brady.

Given his performance during these playoffs and specifically in the second round, I hope Duncan decides to retire.  I’d hate to see him end his spectacular career in the same manner as Bryant; because that was downright dreadful to watch.  Regardless of what Duncan chooses to do, there’s no doubt that he’s a first ballot hall of famer and arguably the best power forward ever.  We’ll see what happens in the coming weeks.

 

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The Sports Media Continues to Disrespect Golden State’s Accomplishments

The NBA season is about a third of the way through their season and the Golden State Warriors have only lost one game.  That’s right; the Warriors are 27-1 through their first 28 games of the season.  They’re on pace to shatter the 95-96 Bulls record of 72 regular season wins  and yet, they’re still not getting the love or respect that they deserve.

I believe that it’s become a new fad [of sorts] in sports media to find a way to disrespect the Warriors’ championship and their undeniable success this season.  They’re getting chastised from the likes of media members such as Colin Cowherd to former players like Charles Barkley and current NBA coaches, Greg Popovich & Doc Rivers.  Rather than give the Warriors their due, hot heads like Barkley continue to say that the 95-96 Bulls would mow through this [finesse] Warriors team because they played a more physical type of basketball in the 90’s.  There’s no denying that Barkley is right, the state of play in the NBA 20 years ago was much different than it is today.  However, he’s not taking into account that, the 95-96 Bulls team might not be as successful in this current NBA climate.

While the 95-96 Bulls had some great jump shooters, none of them shot the way Curry & Thompson do on a nightly basis.  Defensively the Bulls certainly could prevent some of the Warriors’ scoring but there’s no guarantee they’d be able to shut the likes of Curry & Thompson down for an entire game; especially not Curry, he’s just too damn good.  The NBA is witnessing something that’s never been done before and instead of embracing it, many are choosing to try and break them down at every turn.

I’m tired of hearing all of these retired players coming out and finding new ways to besmirch what the Warriors have accomplished.  What this team has done has been nothing short of sensational.  They’re playing alongside [arguably] the best player in the game and as a roster; they have without a doubt the deepest bench.

Unfortunately I believe that the only way this team is ever going to get the respect that they’ve earned is to repeat; and I for one am rooting like hell for it, and believe that they’ll do it.  Hopefully at seasons end when the Warriors are hosting the Larry O’Brien Trophy for the second straight year, all of these haters will disappear and the once maligned Golden State Warriors will be given the credit that they so richly deserve.

Los Angeles Clippers Are Far from Title Contenders

Heading into this season, the Los Angeles Clippers were pegged as a legitimate title contender and so far, haven’t lived up to the hype.  If it wasn’t for the dumpster fire that’s been the Houston Rockets, the Clippers would be representing the title for most disappointing team in the league.

The Clippers have been the bridesmaid of Los Angeles [and the Western Conference] for years, and last season it seemed like they were in position to finally turn the perspective of this franchise around.  Following Chris Paul’s epic Game 7 heroics against the Spurs, many believed they would steam roll the Houston Rockets and face-off against the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals.  Instead, they blew they’re commanding 3-1 lead over the Rockets and once again were bounced out of the playoffs.

By now, everyone knows that offseason drama between the Clippers and the Dallas Mavericks over signing Deandre Jordan; the Clippers ended up resigning him (although I believe the Mavericks made out as the victors).  What many may not be aware of was the comments Doc Rivers made about the Golden State Warriors [to Grantland] and their championship run from the previous season.  Rivers said, “You need luck in the West.  Look at Golden State.  They didn’t have to play us or the Spurs.”  In other words, following an epic collapse, Rivers tried to deflect him team’s failures and throw shade on an accomplishment made by a [bitter] rival.

This all leads back to the opening statement about how the Clippers are the most disappointing team in the league given the preseason hype.  The following are my 3 reasons (and explanations) why the Clippers are not title contenders and won’t be for the near future.

  • Doc Rivers is overrated

Doc Rivers is a good basketball coach, but I wouldn’t consider him one of the best in the league.  Outside of his title with the Boston Celtics in 2008, his teams have come up short more times than not.  For the past 2 years the Clippers have been favorites to win the title and both times they’ve lost in the second round; to teams that they should’ve beaten.  Rivers hasn’t had the success that one would think given the praise and admiration he’s given throughout the league.

  • Chis Paul may be a floor general but he’s not a leader + he’s never gotten past the second round of the playoffs

Chris Paul is one of the best point guards in the game along with being one of the dirtiest players.  Paul has no problem taking cheap shots at another man’s groin in order to win a game.  He’s also been known to call out teammates if they don’t play up to ‘his’ level.  Given all that, he’s revered as one of the best “leaders” in the league but he’s yet to bring his team past the second round of the playoffs.  Hell, even Carmelo Anthony has done that.

  • The Golden State Warriors will continue to beat them [they’re 0-2 against the Warriors so far this season]

It wasn’t a smart move by Rivers to make those comments about the legitimacy of the Warriors title, especially since his team fell flat on their face in the second round.  The Warriors took those comments personally and have beaten the Clippers soundly in both of their games this season.  If the Clippers were to face the Warriors in the playoffs, I don’t see how the Clippers will have any chance.  If they’re lucky, maybe the Warriors will take a game off so they don’t completely blow this team out of the water.

The Los Angeles Clippers look like a mess from top to bottom.  If they continue to slide, it will be interesting to see how fast this locker room will turn on each other.  One thing is for sure, this team is nowhere near a title contender, and it’s time to start questioning if this coach is the right man for the job.

Curry + Warriors Are NBA’s Best

As it stands today, Steph Curry is the best player in the NBA.  I know that we’re only five games into the season and I’m not trying to be prisoner of the moment, but when a player has scored 179 points in five games and the only other player in NBA history to match that total is Michael Jordan; that player deserves some praise.

Curry’s averaging 35.8 points per game, 5.0 rebounds and 5.8 assists.  That’s insane.  Just for a comparison, Lebron James’ season stats are; 22.2 points, 7.2 rebounds and 5.6 assists.  James being widely considered as the best player in the game is the reason for the comparison; but it’s time for the NBA community to wake up and realize that James is no longer the ‘king’ of the league.

Not only has Curry been playing at the highest level of anyone in the league, but he’s lead his team to a 5-0 start.  That’s right, he’s lead the defending champion Golden State Warriors to a 5-0 record.  You know the same Warriors team that everyone has dismissed as champions because their opponents lost some key players to injuries.  That because their players stayed healthy for the majority of the season [especially through the playoffs], their championship isn’t as legitimate as others in the past.  Well, regardless of what everyone else thinks, this team is annihilating their completion and looks to be in prime position to repeat as champs.

What’s interesting to note is that this Warriors team seems reminiscent of another team in a different league; that team would be the New England Patriots.  Like the Patriots, they have a superstar player in Steph Curry, who had to deal with the media not giving him a fair shake during the offseason.  The Warriors have also had to deal with the media and the league’s unenthusiastic view of their championship.  I understand that comparing the two teams is a bit of a stretch given that the Patriots have been caught cheating on more than one occasion, however the way they (the Warriors) punish their opposition as their way of legitimizing their standing in the league is eerily similar.

Steph Curry is currently the best player who’s playing on the best team in the league.  There’s no guarantee that he and his team will repeat as champions, but one thing is for sure, they’re going to be a hell of a lot of fun to watch.

The Pressure’s on in OKC

The pressure is on in Oklahoma City this year and it falls squarely on the shoulders of Kevin Durant.  The former MVP is entering his ninth season in the league and is on a team that many believe should represent the Western Conference in the NBA Finals.

It’s time; hell, it’s been time.  This is the year that Durant needs to step up and lead his team to the promise land.  He’s believed by many to be the second-best player in the world on one of the best teams in the league.  Outside of bringing his team to the finals in 2012, the Thunder have had a lackluster run in the playoffs over the course of his career.  Now, it’s not all Durant’s fault; but the expectation is that a superstar of his caliber should be able to rise above the mediocrity on the team, and lead them to a championship.

With that being said, it’s important to keep in mind that he’s playing with one of the top five players in the game; Russell Westbrook.  While many speculate that they can’t win a ring together because of how ball centric Westbrook is, it’s not like Durant is lacking for talented teammates.

I’ve someone that called out Lebron for leaving Cleveland and running to Miami so he could play with All-Stars because he couldn’t win a ring on his own.  Well, he won two in Miami and almost singlehandedly brought the Cavs to a championship last season; Durant has played with the likes of Westbrook and James Harden, and still doesn’t have a ring to show for it.  To be fair, Durant does play in the much more competitive Western Conference, but again, the time for excuses are over; it’s time to get it done.

Believe it or not, I’m a huge Durant fan and supporter.  There was a time early on in his career that I believed he could end up being a better player than Lebron [clearly I was wrong], when their careers were all said and done.  Being such a strong supporter of Durant, it’s getting harder for me to defend him being the second-best in the game with no ring and a lackluster playoff resume.

I believe that this is his last year as a member of the Thunder and it’ll mean more to Durant’s legacy if he wins a championship in Oklahoma City, then if he leaves and wins one with another team.  If he wants to be considered one of the best [ever], then it’s time for him to show up when it counts.

Chicago Bulls Fans Deserve Better

There’s a little less than a month until the beginning of the 2015-2016 NBA season, and for once Lebron James isn’t dominating the headlines.  Instead, it’s Derrick Rose who has grabbed the preseason headlines; first for making dumb comments and secondly for [surprise, surprise] getting injured again.

Fortunately for Rose and Bulls fans, his injury (orbital fracture) isn’t season ending and he’s expected to return before the beginning of the season.  While that’s good news, it doesn’t change the fact that once again Rose is sidelines with another injury.  It’s become almost routine now for the Bulls to watch their superstar point guard spend a majority of the season on the bench.  Over the past four years, Rose has played in 100 out of a possible 312 games; in other words, he’s played in 32% of his team games.  That’s frightening given that the Bulls signed Rose to a five-year $96 million dollar deal, and all he’s done in return, is model expensive suits on the sideline.

While Rose’s injury is the main headliner for the week, what should be talked about are the dumb/ignorant comments Rose made to reporters regarding his future.  In his first preseason interview Rose gave everyone a glimpse into seeing where his priorities are, stating;

“My mindset was I was working out every day and spending as much time as possible with my son, making sure my family is financially stable. As far as you see all the money they’re passing out in this league — just telling the truth — and knowing my day will be coming up soon. It’s not for me. It’s for (son) P.J. and his future. So that’s what I’m thinking about right now.” (FoxSports.com)

I’ve always rooted for Rose but after those comments, I’ve lost almost all my respect for him.  He sounded like another entitled athlete who clearly has no self-awareness.  The man is in the final two years of a $96 million dollar contract and is in the middle of a $180 million dollar shoe contract with Adidas; and yet his main focus this offseason is to make more money, for his son?  There are no fans in Chicago that want to hear that you’re thinking about free agency two years from now, especially since the majority of your time on this team has been on the bench.  They want to hear that you’re offseason focus was trying to find a way to stay healthy this season and work towards winning a NBA Championship.

A few years ago, Rose was an athlete that many rooted for.  He seemed like a nice, humble kid who was trying to bring a championship to his hometown city of Chicago.  Now, he seems like another self-centered athlete who isn’t interested in playing the game to win, but rather playing the game to make money.  There’s nothing wrong with wanting to make money, especially given that most professional athletes only get one good contract.  But with that said, if you’re a star in any sport and you win, you won’t have to worry about making money, multi-year contracts and endorsement deals will come to you.

Given all the financial success that Rose has had so far in his career but the lack of success in the postseason; shouldn’t his priorities be focused on winning rather than a future payday?  As far as I’m concerned Rose has shown his true colors and if he’s that interested to test the free agent market, let him; the Chicago Bulls fans deserve much better anyway.

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.