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Clippers, the Dream Team of Anaheim?

The Clippers are coming!

The Clippers are coming!

Let me rephrase that.

The sky is falling!

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The sky is falling!

(Or is that just another Charles Outlaw free throw?)

The Anaheim Clippers.

Your Anaheim Clippers.

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How does that make you feel?

Like getting up and cheering?

Like getting up and punching somebody?

Like hearing your daughter was about to marry a multi-millionaire?

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Named Albert Belle?

Do we really want this?

I know, we’ve been badgering Donald Sterling since the first shovel of dirt was turned in the Pond construction project, but part of the fun of that was knowing it would never happen.

The Clippers would go to the NBA finals (and play in them, even) before coming to Anaheim.

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The Clippers would sign a lottery pick, and actually keep him, before coming to Anaheim.

Wishing on a star was easy when the Clippers had a better chance of moving to the moon.

But who was the wise man who once said, “Be careful what you wish for”?

(I’m pretty sure it wasn’t Benoit Benjamin.)

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Now, it could actually happen.

Maybe today, maybe tomorrow.

The Clippers could be here, 41 games a season, beginning this November.

Is Clipper basketball, on a full-time basis, a good thing for Orange County?

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Was Ram football, on a full-time basis, a good thing for Orange County?

When the Rams contemplated leaving, the question was posed: Is bad football better than no football at all?

With the Clippers contemplating arriving, the question is reworked: Is bad basketball better than no basketball?

Anaheim politicos nod vigorously, but then theirs is the city liable for $1.5 million a year--payable to the Ogden Corp., beginning next year--if the Pond remains without a full-time NBA tenant.

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(“Full-time NBA tenant”? With the Clippers, the straight lines never cease.)

The Anaheim city council wants the Clippers so badly, it has agreed to attach the city’s good name to the Clippers.

“The Anaheim Clippers.”

That’s the name they are talking about. It is to be written into the contract: “And from this day forward, the city of Anaheim shall be known, worldwide, for its allegiance to a sports franchise whose nickname is shorthand for ‘attempting to walk with both shoelaces tied together.’ ”

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I can understand the appeal of the “Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.” There was a novelty factor at the time; before the Ducks, no major professional sports team had deemed Anaheim worthy of sharing the bill. And, that “of” they slipped in there does sound impressive. Dignified. Regal, almost.

“Anaheim Angels"--I can see that too. The Angels have had their moments. Twice, they nearly won the pennant. They had Nolan Ryan, Rod Carew, Don Baylor, Bob Boone. Forget a few Octobers--and a few Junes, Julys, Augusts and Septembers--and, by and large, they’ve done the city proud.

But “Anaheim Clippers”?

It’s better than “Anaheim ValuJets,” but after that, the list starts to get lean.

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Before anyone acts rashly, let’s think this thing all the way through.

The Clippers in Anaheim means annual stopovers by Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, Charles Barkley, Penny Hardaway, Grant Hill and Reggie Miller.

The Clippers in Anaheim means annual stopovers by the Minnesota Timberwolves, Toronto Raptors, Vancouver Grizzlies and Dallas Mavericks.

The Clippers in Anaheim means NBA action, if not at its best, 41 times a season.

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The Clippers in Anaheim means “And now entering the game, Eric Piatkowski” 41 times a season.

The Clippers in Anaheim means watching something else besides the Ducks at the Pond in November.

The Clippers in Anaheim means watching the Piranhas at the Pond in May.

The Clippers in Anaheim means a heightened interest while watching the opening minutes of the NBA draft.

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The Clippers in Anaheim means a heightened interest while waiting for Elgin Baylor to trade that first pick for a free agent-to-be who will open his news conference with, “The Clips? Hell, no, I’m going to Barcelona.”

The Clippers in Anaheim means a lot more losses in Anaheim. The Clippers have averaged 55 of them a season during the last 15 seasons.

The Clippers in Anaheim means never having to say you’re sorry you’re an Angel fan anymore.

Which means the Clippers in Anaheim would be good for something, which means they wouldn’t be good for nothing anymore.

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