The Los Angeles Clippers gained the nickname Lob City when they acquired Chris Paul in a blockbuster trade deal with the then-New Orleans Hornets during the 2011-2012 NBA season. The “Big Three” of CP3, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan made most people believe that the Clippers were ready to contend for the NBA title. During those times, the Clippers were indeed a huge threat in the Western Conference, but they never had the opportunity to play in NBA Finals.
Lob City’s greatest accomplishment was reaching the Western Conference semifinals. In their six consecutive playoff appearances from 2012 to 2017, the Clippers failed to remain healthy as Blake Griffin and Chris Paul frequently suffered season-ending injuries. Aside from health issues, there is another major reason why Lob City failed to win an NBA championship, according to former Clippers shooting guard J.J. Redick.
In a recent appearance on Pardon My Take podcast, as reported by Yahoo Sports, J.J. Redick said that their “Donald Trump-level pettiness” prevented the Clippers from accomplishing their goal.
“I don’t think there was one moment. Doc used to always talk about how when one group was together for a long period of time, instead of getting closer together you end up pointing fingers at each other. It was weird because separately everybody was really cool with each other, off the court everybody sort of got along. And then, there was just so much pettiness, it was just pettiness. It’s weird to think what we had the potential to accomplish and what ultimately derailed that was pettiness. Like, Donald Trump-level pettiness.”
J.J. Redick didn’t exclude himself in his recent criticism of the Clippers, and he made it clear that Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan don’t necessarily hate each other. As of now, the Lob City era is over. Paul is playing with James Harden in the Houston Rockets. Blake Griffin is trying to dominate the Eastern Conference with Andre Drummond and the Detroit Pistons. And DeAndre Jordan finally joined the Dallas Mavericks in free agency. Redick signed another one-year deal with the Philadelphia 76ers.
With their “Big Three” gone, it remains questionable if the Clippers can even manage to earn a playoff spot in the deep Western Conference. In the ESPN Summer Forecast, panelists predicted the Clippers to finish as the No. 11 seed in the Western Conference with a 35-47 win-loss record. Though they are expected to struggle next season, the Clippers are reportedly planning to chase big names in the 2019 NBA free agency.