The Clippers haven’t been known for success during most of their existence, but that’s changing. And what’s more, the Clippers are cool.
Led by point guard Chris Paul and high-flying forward Blake Griffin — two All-Stars signed to long-term contracts — the Clippers have won two straight Pacific Division titles and are on the brink of their third playoff series victory since Sterling bought the team in 1981.
The Clippers have captured the imagination of Los Angeles’ counterculture, the transplants and contrarian fans who aren’t interested in the Lakers’ bandwagon. They’re also attracting more of an international following with each highlight-reel performance by Paul and dunking virtuosos DeAndre Jordan and Griffin, who coined the phrase “Lob City” to describe their daredevil style of play.
And it doesn’t hurt that the Lakers just finished their worst season in more than 50 years, missing the playoffs for just the third time in 38 seasons. The Lakers appear to be years away from title contention, while the Clippers are built to contend every year in the near future.
“We’re proud of this team,” Clippers guard Jamal Crawford said. “We’re proud of our city, and we want to make them proud of us.”