The Los Angeles Clippers had been the ugly sister to the better known team in town, the Los Angeles Lakers, for as long as any basketball fan can remember. While they have had All-Star caliber players on their rosters, the team historically had been unable to make a deep run in the playoffs due to injuries.
With Chris Paul’s arrival in Los Angeles in 2011, paired with Blake Griffin and an emerging DeAndre Jordan, formed a trio that will be nicknamed “Lob City” because of their gravity-defying alley-oop connections.
However, the team never made it past the second round of the playoffs, being ousted early in the each of the past six years in L.A. due to injuries to both Paul and Griffin. They had came close to reaching the Western Conference Finals in 2014-15, but was eliminated by the Houston Rockets in a seven game series despite holding a 3-1 advantage early.
Which is why Chris Paul should leave the Clippers in search for a ring.
Whether the infamous Los Angeles Clippers curse is really a thing, or if it was just pure bad luck that the Clippers even with a stacked and experienced team was unable to break through into the Western Conference Finals picture we may never know. It is obvious that Chris Paul should take his talents elsewhere if he ever wants to add the elusive championship title to his All-Star career.
Realistically, Blake Griffin had only appeared in 323 of the possible 471 games in his career, missing a good chunk of the 2015-16 season due to injury. At his best, Blake Griffin and his improved perimeter game is undoubtedly one of the game’s best scorers and finisher, a constant offensive threat on the court. It is unfortunate to see that each of his many injuries have undeniably sapped him of his incredible athleticism, seeing each of his return less explosive than the last.
For Paul to continue to play alongside an injury-prone star despite Griffin’s potential is for him to go all in in trusting that Griffin (and the rest of the Clippers team) can stay healthy to contribute for a deep playoffs run in the next 3-5 years should Paul decide to stay in Los Angeles with the Clippers.
It is also important to remember that Doc Rivers as the head coach for the Clippers has had the penchant of bringing in players who were washed up versions of their former selves (think Paul Pierce). If the Clippers were to stand a chance in the stacked Western Conference, it will be paramount for Doc to surround Chris Paul with the right kind of talent, which will be highly unlikely due to the incredulous amount of salary that will be paid to the starting lineup for the Clippers alone.
Chris Paul will turn 32 in 2 days time, and historically players do not get better after their 30th birthday, and a decline due to the wear and tear of the grueling 82 games season in addition to the postseason games can be unforgiving. Time is not on his side, and he will be smart to consider his options outside of L.A..