The subject of Chris Paul sums up almost everything about the Lakers and Clippers for the last six years.
The Lakers fell off a cliff because of David Stern’s bullshit. With CP3, there is definitely no Steve Nash poison pill contract. But it’s possible they would have won another title and not felt the desperation to go after the “Superman” impersonator.
On the other hand, CP3 turned the Clippers into mini Show Time at the beginning (remember Lob City?). As a Laker fan, I wanted to see the Clippers do well those first two years, with the amazing 27-point comeback against Memphis, a clutch time team on the floor made up of former Lakers (Odom, Barnes, and Turiaf) and a bench packed with former Bruins and Trojans (Barnes, Nick Young, Ryan Hollins, Darren Collison).
And then along came Doc Rivers, bringing his Celtics stink with him… the whining at every call, the post-game excuses (including the “asterisk” comment about the Warriors’ championship, while ignoring the fact that Parker and Ginobli were hurting when they beat the Spurs, and after putting an asterisk on the Lakers title in 2010), and of course, those former Celtics players who followed their coach to Los Angeles (Glen Davis, Jeff Green, and worst of all, Paul Pierce).
Was CP3 that obnoxious to play with when he was with the Hornets? Did he complain about every call during his first two years with the Clippers? Or did the worst parts of his on-court personality come out under the tutelage of Doc Rivers?
Watching the Clippers collapse in the playoffs doesn’t give me pleasure so much as a reassurance that there is some form of basketball karma. Only when the team is cleansed of its bad juju (step one was Stern, step two is Chris Paul, and step three is cleaning out any Celtic residue remaining at Staples Center) will the Clippers stop getting booed at Dodger Stadium.