For a long time, the Lakers were known as LA’s team. They had Kobe and were winning Chips left and right, but in recent years, the City of Angels other team has made a shocking turn around. Acquiring superstar point god like Chris Paul and drafting the phenomenal PF that is Blake Griffin has helped turn this team into a contender in the West; but the Clippers franchise is much more than just these two greats. So sit back, relax, and allow me to enlighten you.
PG: A modern day master of the pick and pop, a ball-handling beast, a passing virtuoso, oh yeah Chris Paul is most definitely all of these things. The guy is simply one of the best in the game today, and that is no easy feat when you’re playing at the deepest position in the league. Now 30, Chris Paul’s career has indeed been illustrious, and is far from over. Paul has been good from day one, as he averaged a mean 16 points and eight assists only a year out of Wake Forest. An NBA Rookie of the Year, eight time All Star in only ten years, and four time All NBA first teamer, the only thing eluding CP3 is a ring. Averaging a career double-double (18 points and ten assists), Paul is on a fast track to the HOF if he can stay consistent for a few more years and hopefully capture that Larry O trophy.
SG: He’s known by many names, some call him J-Crossover, others call him Jamal, regardless of what you call the guy, I call him nice. Jamal Crawford is possibly the best journeyman the leagues ever seen, he’s been on six teams and has never truly failed to produce on any of them. Never truly being the man on any of his teams, Crawford has literally made a living off the bench as he is one of only four players in history to win the Sixth Man of the Year award twice. Crawford, 35 now, continues to surprise the league with his filthy dribble moves and trademark high-arc pull-up jump shots and as long as he is in a good system, I don’t see why he wont remain successful. Crawford has averaged 15 points, three assists, and a steal throughout his career predominantly as a reserve.
SF: Now this one is definitely a more under the radar guy as he was never an All Star or NBA first teamer, but Corey Maggette sure could play. The guy reminds me of James Harden, calm down all of you who just went nuts, not in his overall prowess as Harden is a much more complete player, but because of Maggette’s elite ability to draw contact and finish shots in the lane. Maggette was a phenomenal scorer and consistent rebounder (17 PPG 5 boards) in his eight year tenure with the Clips, and I can definitely say that his contributions were much appreciated by a fan base with a dilapidated team. Now retired, I can only hope that this helps remind Clippers fans remember what Corey Maggette did for their franchise.
PF: Most casual NBA fans would look at this position and say “Ha, no question for this spot,” and to you I say rethink that assessment. While Blake Griffin has been astonishing since his arrival in 2009, the decision was not easy to make considering the teams crazy depth at the position. Luckily, for all of you modern day Clippers fans, Blake has won the race and owns the starting spot on my list. One of the most athletic players to ever lace em up, Griffin is a monster matchup on the court with the athletic tools to literally do it all. Griffin soared into the league winning both the Slam Dunk contest and 2011’s ROTY award in a relatively strong class. Griffin has been an All Star every year he’s played, and has been voted to four All NBA teams while consistently averaging 21 points, nine boards, and a very nice four dimes. At only 26, it’s scary to think Blake still has a long time to improve on an already outstanding career alongside some great talent in LA. If all goes well and Big Blake can stay dominant in the competitive Western Conference, I don’t see why he cant bring home not only a chip, but an MVP award to Clipper-town.
C: Thankfully, this decision was not very hard to make. While he is not a household name, Kaman has been a consistent player for years and even found a bit of stardom on the Clippers. Alongside Elton Brand, Kaman changed the culture within the franchise and throughout LA; in the 2005-06 season, Kaman led the Clippers to their first playoff birth since the 97′ season. Kaman continued to improve in LA, and in 2010 he was named an All Star after averaging 18 points and over 9 rebounds. In his eight year career with the Clippers, Kaman averaged a respectable 12 points, eight boards, and a block. And though these stats are not overwhelming, his effect on the entire teams morale and culture is something worth mentioning.
Sixth Man: With the recent events and news about Lamar Odom, I thought it might be nice to leave this spot exclusively to him. Regardless of what is being said about Odom today, I can genuinely say he was a hell of a player. One of the first true point-power forwards, Odom had brought a new skill set to the PF position. He could handle the rock, post up, and even shoot the three; it was always cool to see a 6’10” guy crossing up other big men or pulling up from the top of the three point arc. Odom was a two time Sixth Man of the Year, two time champ, and an Olympic Gold medalist, all while averaging 14 points and over eight boards with the Clippers. Thankfully, Odom’s health is on an upswing and I only wish him the best.