Local fans were shocked by the news that Blake Grifﬁn has been traded to the Detroit Pistons. It was also the realization that this team could never win a championship with him. Many of his problems were self-inﬂicted, and to make matters worse, he was very injury prone.
So, despite his talent and his efforts, the ship was never going to sail. So, the Clippers made the decision to move ahead without him. This trade will make some of the best rookies in the NBA available to the Clippers. Jerry West will take the best of them for this team. He has proven to be the best in the world at selecting players who develop into superstars.
He did that for many years with the Lakers, and what he did seems natural and easy. The local fans expected a championship caliber team every year, and he usually gave them one. Many of us assume that it was just the way things would always be, since that was what we want. West is extremely talented at what he does, but he has always been lacking in social skills.
When Phil Jackson rode into town, the Lakers won some championships. He clearly took credit for everything good that was happening to the team, romanced the bosses daughter, and isolated West from the team. At that time, the locals did not realize that Jackson was full of Zen. Then, the Golden State Warriors hired West to help them develop a championship team.
What he did there, exceeded all of their expectations. The Warriors was simply an afterthought in the NBA, and they were not considered to be one of the elite teams. Then, following West’s advice, they have become one of the most respected franchises in the NBA.
By clearing cap space, plus bringing in some outstanding rookies, the Clippers are likely to make a run at King James, himself. So, do not be surprised if next year’s Clippers team has its own King. Los Angeles is suddenly a city without an NBA star. Somehow, that just seems wrong!
The rest of the country is mostly focused on the Super Bowl, which will be played in a domed stadium in Minnesota. I am not expecting much of a contest, since the New England Patriots, are by far, the best team in the NFL. The Philadelphia Eagles have their pride and passion, but the Patriots have Belichick and Brady, and that is all that they need.
Local fans have real reasons to be optimistic that the Rams will soon be playing in a Super Bowl, possibly in their Inglewood Stadium. The Chargers did earn some respect last year, but they will need to do some serious rebuilding, if they hope to have any championships in their future. I am predicting that the Patriots will when the Super Bowl by a rout. I do not like Coach Belichick, but I fear him!