Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is a super competitive guy, so don’t expect his team to intentionally endure multiple losing seasons with the hopes of stockpiling high lottery picks.
At a recent season ticket holders and fans event, Ballmer made it clear the Clippers won’t be tanking anytime soon, and he blasted the Philadelphia 76ers’ intense rebuild as well.
“That ain’t us. Nuh-uh, no way,” Ballmer said, per Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times. “People can do it their way. We’re going to be good our way. We’re not going to show up and suck for a year, two years. I think we got higher expectations on us than the long, hard five, six years of absolute crap like the 76ers put in. How could we look you guys in the eye if we did that to you?”
One could argue that the 76ers’ rebuild, nicknamed “The Process,” was a huge success. Sure, it took a long time to produce a playoff-caliber team, but the results of years of tanking included top young talent like Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, Dario Saric and Markelle Fultz, all of whom give the Sixers a solid foundation to build a championship squad in the near future.
If the Clippers don’t tank, they won’t have as much draft capital as most other teams. They owe their 2019 first-round selection to the Boston Celtics if it’s outside the lottery. If it doesn’t convey in 2019, the pick again is lottery protected for 2020. If it hasn’t conveyed at that point, the Clippers instead will send a 2022 second-rounder to Boston.
So, there’s actually a reason for the Clippers to tank, at least this year. The Clips don’t have any chance of winning a championship, their first-rounder is only good if it’s in the lottery, and making the playoffs also will be a tall task.
Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images