We’re finally starting to hear bits and pieces of the story of how the mid-2010s Los Angeles Clippers fell apart, and the explanation J.J. Redick gave Monday is the most compelling yet.
On the latest episode of the Pardon My Take Podcast, Redick explained the off-court problems that led to the demise of the best Clippers teams ever.
Here’s Redick’s quote from the podcast:
“I don’t think there was one moment. Doc used to always talk about how, when one group was kind of together for al long period of time, instead of getting closer together, you end up pointing fingers at each other. It was weird because separately, everybody was really cool with each other. Off the court, everyone sort of got a long. And then, there was just so much pettiness. It was just pettiness. It’s weird to think what we had the potential to accomplish, and what ultimately derailed that was pettiness.”
DeAndre Jordan and Austin Rivers were the final pieces from those great Los Angeles squads to leave, and each moved on this summer. That means no one is left from those teams except Luc-Mbah a Moute, who was re-signed for $4.4 million this year. Times have changed.
Asked specifically how that pettiness manifested to cause problems between the likes of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and Redick himself, the Sixers guard had this to say:
“I think the biggest problem was passive-aggressiveness. … I think getting stuff out in the open is healthier than sort of holding it in and just whispering things in corners and never really addressing the root issues. … It wasn’t like, ‘Oh, I hate this guy,’ it was just passive-aggressive BS.”
When the best you can say is that you didn’t hate your teammates, that’s as good an explanation as is needed. Paul is well-known for his fiendish competitiveness and how it can get under teammates’ skin. Griffin is notoriously surly on the court, despite being laid-back off it.
The personalities just never meshed.
Now, Redick is in Philadelphia and has the benefit of hindsight to better understand why those Clippers never even made it past the second round. It seems the nagging ails of getting mad about trivial stuff broke apart one of this decade’s most interesting NBA teams.