Five years. Five entertaining but, always in the end, sobering years.
It's been exhilarating, it's been engaging but too often Lob City becomes Sob City.
Their latest postseason went asunder Friday amid frenzied
They've progressed via hard work but remain a work in progress through the five-year Paul plan. His broken hand and Griffin's rebellious quadriceps backstopped the latest playoff ouster, but there's one obvious question — what's next?
"It's too early to know that. We just lost, like, half an hour ago, so I don't know," he said. "I like our team. Our bench was fantastic this year."
Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan needed four years together to win their first championship. Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant needed four years. They're all shoo-in Hall of Famers (or will be soon enough), which Paul and Griffin can't claim. The Clippers' duo has never been past the second round of the playoffs.
If Rivers wants to break things up, a phone call to the 405 area code might be worthwhile.
Maybe Oklahoma City is legitimately worried about losing
Or call Phil Jackson in New York and see whether
Hey, it's been a solid five-year run, the Clippers moving from a 32-50 team without Paul to their most successful string of postseason appearances. If only they didn't end with so much melancholy each time.
There was a San Antonio sweep in the 2012 Western Conference semifinals as a still-agile
A 2-0 first-round lead in 2013 quickly became a six-game loss as
The following year was the beginning of the end for
Last year was too painful for Clippers fans. Let's skip the whole Houston thing.
This season held some promise until Griffin went down with a quadriceps injury in December and then punched out the team's assistant equipment manager.
The Clippers managed to take fourth place in the West and a 2-0 series lead against Portland but lost Game 3 up here and weren't looking all that great in Game 4 when Paul and Griffin were lost.
"That team had more heart than any team I've ever seen ... it says a lot about chemistry and toughness," said Rivers, who won the 2008 championship as the
Austin Rivers symbolized the Clippers' last stand Friday, taking a shot above and below his eye after smacking into
How he looked wasn't something you'd want described at the breakfast table — wouldn't go well with blueberry crepes — but he and Crawford combined for 53 points, almost keeping the off-season from closing in on the Clippers.