Yet another Clippers-Lakers role reversal

Doc Rivers
Clippers Coach Doc Rivers has played an influential role in helping the team establish itself as one of the NBA’s bests.
(Nam Y. Huh / Associated Press)

It really is a bizarro world among L.A.'s NBA teams when you consider that nearly four years ago, Clippers fans marched outside Staples Center proclaiming unrequited love for free agent LeBron James as the Lakers shrugged on their way to another title.

Now it’s the free-falling Lakers who are pining for James while the Clippers roll their eyes amid their latest free-agent acquisition.

Former All-Star forward Danny Granger became a Clipper on Friday, only a few days after GlenBig BabyDavis opted to do the same despite ample opportunities to play elsewhere.

Orchestrating it all has been Clippers Coach Doc Rivers, whose recruiting efforts have helped make the onetime league laughingstock a place to be for top players.


“I don’t know if we’re going to make it the destination,” Rivers said, “but we want it to be one of them. That’s our goal.”

They’re off to a great start under Rivers.

Four play

Stephen Curry and Kyle Korver will be disappointed to hear this, but no, the NBA is not considering the addition of a four-point line.


You might have thought otherwise reading a recent story about league executives being open to the idea, with Tom Haberstroh reporting that Rod Thorn, the NBA’s president of basketball operations, said a four-point line had “come up” during internal discussions.

League spokesman Tim Frank told Bleacher Report, in essence, that the story was ESPN being ESPN.

“No one at the NBA, nor the competition committee, has had any serious conversations about increasing the size of the floor or adding a four-point line,” Frank said. “Rod Thorn and Kiki Vandeweghe were entertaining a line of questioning about out-of-the-box ideas and chose to make a story that doesn’t exist.”

Not that it didn’t make for some entertaining conversation around the league, with players and coaches discussing how far away from the basket a four-point line should exist and who would be allowed to take such a shot. Count the Clippers’ Jamal Crawford among those with an open invitation.

“I would give Crawford the green light,” Rivers said, “if they instituted a seven-point shot.”

L’enfant terrible

Leave it to the franchise that brought us the ghastly Pierre the Pelican mascot to top itself with an even more frightening creation: King Cake Baby.

The oversized infant who waddled onto the court this week inside the Smoothie King Center, complete with an ill-fitting bib and diaper, is supposed to represent the Mardi Gras tradition of eating king cake with a miniature plastic baby hidden inside. Whoever gets the slice with the baby is said to receive good luck.


Maybe, but we suspect even Julia Child would have shuddered at the sight of King Cake Baby. The thing looks like something out of a “Twilight Zone” episode with its creepy expression and piercing eyes that always seem to be looking directly at you.

Like the original Pierre the Pelican, King Cake Baby desperately needs a makeover. Unfortunately, there’s not much that can be done for those who have had the misfortune of having its image seared into their minds.