Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A New Season Is Upon Us

After taking a hiatus from commenting on the ineptitude of our local sports teams' management, most notably the Dodgers, the Gaffer is back to comment and report on the new season. I have to at this time, however, start with a basketball story.

The Clippers are the laughing stock of the team and have been for the majority of my lifetime. This team is an absolute joke and Elgin Baylor, ex-Laker great, has been nothing short of inept when it comes to running the basketball operations of this club. They share the same arena as one of the most celebrated squads in NBA history, the Lakers, and still seem to find a way of drafting guys no one else wanted and signing guys that are barely holding on. Brevin Knight was the big off season acquisition, and from the looks of it, it was either the Clips or the D-league.

This season has been shot since jump, and the common reasoning that is making the rounds is that Elton Brand's blown achillies tendon, which he ruptured playing a workout pick up game with Chris Kaman in the summer, was to blame for the team's misfortunes. That, coupled with Shaun Livingston nearly having his leg fall off in a late season game last year resulting in a blown knee, seemed to have plagued the team from the beginning.

The truth of the matter is that despite that magical run two seasons ago, when the Clips were a set of foul shots away from beating the Phoenix Suns in game 7 of their playoff serious, the Clips really haven't done much since the days of Michael Cage, Ron Harper, and Danny Manning, and believe me brother, that was a long time ago. Back then you had to drive to South LA and park your car in come guy's lawn only to watch it get towed after he swindled you for his "discounted" parking plan on his property and called tow truck driver. Yes, those were the days.

I remember it like it was yesterday, when the city was gripped with Clipper fever as the team had finally qualified for the playoffs and despite getting their heads kicked in my Karl Malone and his small short wearing side kick John Stockton in a five game opening round series, Mike Cage's shinning curled head and Danny Manning's goofy face made it all worth it. Those were great times.

Now, we are stuck with a bunch of guys that have limited talent and don't seem to want to play for Mike Dunleavy. A shame, really, because the guys is a decent coach and has had shades of brilliance on the bench. Earlier this season, he and owner Donald Sterling got into a tiff about the team being so bad, and Dunleavy, like a real G, responded that he could only do so much given the talent level he had to work with. A shot at GM Baylor, yes, and quite frankly, you get what you pay for when you have gues like Dan Dickau and Smush Parker on your team.

In the end, you are what you say you are, as Dennis Green put it, and the Clippers seem to be just happy to be hear. Visiting their official website, the first couple of scrolling marquees on their home page are of Clipper Spirit girls, the less talented off shoot of the Laker Girls. When your season has come down to putting attractive women on the site instead of your key players, you know you're having a bad season.

When it comes to the Clippers, it all seems inferior. From their roster to the uniforms, coaching staff, and cheerleaders. Hell even their radio broadcast can't hold a microphone to Spiro Diddis and Mychal Thompson.

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