When Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul was asked if he chose to stay with the franchise to change the culture of basketball in L.A., Paul said, “I always wanted to do something different”.
It has only been a couple of years that the mention of professional basketball and the Clippers could be mentioned in the same sentence. The Lakers have 16 NBA championships banners overlooking the hardwood. The Clipper are coming off their first division title. Paul is a magician of sorts with the basketball in his hands, but pulling a rabbit out of it is a bit too much to ask.
The Lakers have a 12-year head start on the Clippers in L.A.. The Lakers were well on their way to their fourth championship before the then-San Diego Clippers packed up their surf boards and moved north. Since then, it’s been a 29-year old non-rivalry between two teams consistently going in different directions.
The Lakers seemed to have an open checkbook policy that attracted the best free-agents, while the Clippers seemed to be content to watch theirs walk.
But those days are behind them. The Clippers are no longer the junior varsity basketball team of Los Angeles. They have a marquee roster, a championship coach and back-to-back playoff appearances. If Paul and company produce a title for the organization, it’ll only guarantee them a space in the rafters.
Free agency, luxury tax and parity across the league makes for a rally for the newly-inspired organization. The Clippers are in contention with their cross-hall rivals both on the court and in the front office. They are changing the culture of their franchise. That would be something different.
ChristopherBrown is an NBA writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @whatrockschris. Like him on Facebook.