I’ve never been sure if the ‘big three’ on the LA Clippers could last for a long time, and by a long time I mean for +5 years. But after this year’s early first-round exit, it seems like this era is coming to an end. Chris Paul was acquired by the Clippers in the summer of 2012, and he cried when he received the news that he will be traded to Los Angeles from New Orleans. However, by joining forces with all-star Blake Griffin at the time and soon-to-be all-star DeAndre Jordan, it seem that the Clippers were on a march to their first ever championship title, or even reaching their first Western Conference Finals.
But over time, I’ve began to suspect that Chris Paul has been growing frustrated and impatient with the Clippers’ failures for every single season that he has been there, such as in 2015 and more recently in 2017. Thirsting to get his first championship ring, there wouldn’t be much hope in Paul re-signing with the Clippers.
In the changing basketball culture, that have been many players who experienced tough decisions between staying with their team or chasing a ring with a better team. As seen in many recent surprising moves by NBA superstars, like LeBron James joining the Miami Heat back in 2011 to form a ‘super-team’ with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, or Kevin Durant joining the Golden State Warriors (with his jersey displayed on the left), it seems like some people are going by the phrase, “If you can’t beat them, join them.”
This phrase has begun to slowly engulf the league as a whole, showing a bad reputation for the ‘softness’ of the NBA and lack of competition arising. Even hall-of-famers like Gary Payton stated that this league is the era of softness. This makes me think that Chris Paul will have no reason to stay with the LA Clippers anymore if he chooses to follow his fellow NBA star’s pathway toward getting the easy way out..
And finally I realize that if Chris Paul leaves, then Blake Griffin will leave, thus diminishing the Clippers franchise as a whole, and a near-successful Clippers era will come to an end. Why do I think Blake Griffin will leave if Chris Paul leaves? Well, I believe that he will leave too because he relies heavily on the point guard’s play-making, as his offense is based upon dunking, ally-oops, and post. Without a true or efficient point guard, he won’t continue as a successful basketball player, and the Clippers will be no longer relevant to any championship talks.