We asked a handful of the NBA’s top rookies some trivia questions about the league and here’s how they did.
USA TODAY Sports
Despite the most successful run in franchise history, this decade’s Los Angeles Clippers have been frustrating underachievers.
Now the team finds itself facing something of a transition season. All the cornerstone pieces from six consecutive playoff appearances are gone. Chris Paul, Jamal Crawford and JJ Redick left last offseason. Blake Griffin was traded in January. DeAndre Jordan left this summer.
Those departures left behind a host of questions, namely: How could a team laden with so much talent always fall apart in the playoffs? A number of horribly timed injuries — particularly playoff injuries to Paul and Griffin — certainly played a role.
Redick, however, identifies another culprit: Pettiness. And not just normal pettiness, mind you. What he calls “Donald Trump-level pettiness.”
“Doc (Rivers) used to always talk about how when one group was together for a long period of time, instead of getting closer together you end up pointing fingers at each other,” Redick said on a recent episode of the Pardon My Take podcast. “It was weird because separately everybody was really cool with each other, off the court everybody sort of got along. 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. Like, Donald Trump-level pettiness.”
Los Angeles made the playoffs six consecutive years from 2011-12 to 2016-17. After going 40-26 in the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season, the Clippers won at least 51 games in each of the next five.
However, they never advanced past the second round. Redick said the team got bogged down in “passive-aggressive bulls—” and didn’t exclude himself.
“I would rather a guy actually blow up at a teammate, whether it ends in a fight or just a verbal shouting match.” Redick said on Pardon My Take. “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 root issues.
“I’m throwing myself in this, in some ways I’m probably as guilty as other guys. We were just really passive-aggressive with each other.”