The expletive was loud enough to be heard from press row behind the Clippers’ basket, a shriek coated in futility and resonating with pain. The Clipper Curse was appropriately accompanied by a Clippers’ curse. “(Bleep!)’’ shouted Blake Griffin. Bleep, indeed. When Griffin hit the floor after a collision with teammate Austin Rivers on Monday night, the Clippers’ season collapsed with him. Their best player, Griffin is out for two months with a sprained knee. Their floor leader Patrick Beverley is out for the season after knee surgery. Four of their five projected starters are sidelined. They recently lost nine straight games. And they really, really, really, really miss Chris Paul. It’s only 19 games into an 82-game schedule, but their Staples Center sellout streak is busted, their playoff hopes are decimated and the nightly excitement of their Big Three has been reduced to One and Done. It’s time for the Clippers to face a reality that they’ve been blissfully able to avoid for six years, a reality they should have faced last summer when Paul packed his bags. It’s time for them to do something they should have done before ever foolishly agreeing to give the injury-prone Griffin five years and $173 million. It’s time for them to crater their club with TNT. Trade ‘N’ Tank. Oh, please, don’t say you haven’t already thought of this. Any NBA fan in Los Angeles knows first-hand that while this might run counter to the competitive spirit, in today’s league it embodies that spirit. At their lowest point, if teams want to become very good, they have to first be willing to be very bad. It’s the only way to accumulate the draft picks that will create the young stars. It’s not funny business, it’s good business. In today’s NBA, the worst thing one can be is mediocre, yet at this point, the best thing the Clippers can be is mediocre. That means it’s time to begin rebuilding, and the Clippers need look no farther than down the hall to see how that works.
Blake Griffin injury leaves Clippers with one option — trade and tank
Los Angeles Times | Nov 29