Tag Archives: Los Angeles Clippers

Now that the Donald Sterling Controversy has Died Down, it’s Time to Discuss the Most Overlooked Aspect of that Whole Debacle

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It seems like forever ago that TMZ released the tapes of soon-to-be former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling telling his “personal assistant” that her African-American friends were not welcome at Clippers games.  But in all reality it was just a few short weeks ago in which this all transpired.    We have all heard the standard takes:  The most popular one has been the sports radio guys acting like this is the end of the world and pretty much suggesting this asshole be executed in public.  It’s become a content of one-upsmanship to the most disturbing degree, and par for the course in this wonderland of manufactured outrage.

Then there have been those who said that we should have all seen this coming.  This a genuine take (and one that Dubs had in his podcast) that suggests that we all knew Donald Sterling was a racist before we heard this on tape.  He’s been chasing minorities out of his properties for decades, which is almost unthinkable when you consider he’d never set foot in any of those places without a gallon of hand sanitizer in his hand.  (Of course I’m kidding – he’d probably have his “assistant” carrying it…)  Sterling was known to check players out in the locker room and feel their muscles almost as if he was purchasing slaves, and if I listed every other reason why he’s racist this column wouldn’t get finished until we’re done with the great Russian War of 2017.     But throughout all of that, we seem to have been missing what is the most overlooked point of this entire situation.  A point that has been glossed over so much it’s almost hard to believe nobody is talking about, but then again that’s what Sports Blog Movement is for.  And that point is… Continue reading

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Could Donald Sterling Win A Lawsuit Against the NBA?

Dubsism

donald sterling slam dunk

On Monday, NBA commissioner Adam Silver has handed Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling a lifetime ban from the NBA, along with issuing the maximum allowable fine of $2.5 million. Silver also said that we will ask the NBA owners to essentially kick Sterling out of the league. Since then, there have been lots of articles written proclaiming victory over the evil Sterling and celebrating the end of his reign.

Now, do not mistake this as defense of Sterling; I’m on record far too many times decrying what a colossal asshole he is (here, here, and here for starters).  Nor is this a criticism of Silver’s actions. His hand was forced by a “perfect storm” of circumstances; 30+ years of inaction by the NBA, a firestorm of public outrage, a threatened walk-out by the players, and sponsors bailing out meant Silver really had no choice.  Rather…

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Good Riddance To Donald Sterling

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Donald Sterling

Today, the right decision was made. Donald Sterling, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, was banned for life by NBA commissioner Adam Silver for making racist remarks on a taped conversation with his mistress. Sterling was also fined $2.5 million for his views on blacks and minorities in general.

While Sterling will maintain ownership of the Clippers, it forces his hand in selling the team he has owned since 1981, when he bought the franchise for $12.5 million. Today, the franchise is $575 million according to Forbes magazine.

So no matter what, Sterling will leave the NBA a wealthier man, than when he arrived 33 years ago.

But for all that, I say good riddance to one of the worst owners in the history of North American sports. I wrote about Sterling and the Clippers some time ago in my Worst Teams of All Time series. I portrayed…

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The Donald Sterling Situation Has Exposed Doc Rivers As Either An Idiot Or A Hypocrite

Dubsism

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The other day, I did a podcast on this Donald Sterling situation, and one of the things I mentioned in that show is that when it hits the media, racism does a wonderful job of exposing stupidity, both for the jag-off who says the racist comment and invariably for somebody who gets their hand forced by it. Thanks to the 24-hour news cycle, we are all balls-deep in what Los Angeles Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling said.  But with all the attention being paid to that idiot, there’s some others who are getting exposed as well.

The first of what I’m guessing will be several examples to come from this whole affair is Clippers’ coach Doc Rivers. Here’s a guy with a real problem on his hands. On one hand, whether he likes it or not, he is stuck in middle of this mess, and on the other hand, he has…

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Donald Sterling Continues To Prove That He Is A Terrible Human Being, NBA Team Owner

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has often been accused of being a racist — thanks to sworn testimony and affidavits — but until recently, there wasn’t a whole lot of audio/visual proof of it. But on April 25th, TMZ released a audio recording that is allegedly Sterling going on a nine minute diatribe about black people to his girlfriend. This alleged proof of Sterling’s racist activities is going to prove a major test for NBA commissioner Adam Silver.

According to the TMZ article, Sterling went off on his girlfriend because she posted a picture to Instagram where she is hanging out with an African-American in LA. The article has him complaining about how she was associating with him, and was putting that picture out where everyone can see it (she has since taken the photo down). Sterling is even quoted as telling her to not take black people to his games, including Magic Johnson — a NBA Hall of Famer and HIV/AIDS patient.

This isn’t the first time that Sterling has been accused of racism, as he has faced several lawsuits regarding comments regarding tenants at some of the housing complexes he owns. But this is the first time there is alleged proof of the racist comments and actions. And that means that the NBA actually has to deal with this allegation (*cough..cough* investigate it *cough…cough*) instead of ignoring it like the other ones. Continue Reading->

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SBM Exclusive: The Worst Teams Of All Time

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Here’s another feature from Sports Blog Movement. One of the things we love to do in sports is celebrate success, but in order to truly appreciate greatness, we must look at the other side of the coin.  This series, aptly enough called the Worst Teams of All Time, is dedicated to some of the worst teams in the history of sports.  Some were just truly bad, and some became bad at the wrong time.  Either way, all of them exemplify the opposite of greatness. Some had laughable regular seasons, and some had strong ones, only to die in the post-season. In any event, sit back and enjoy a good laugh or a good cry and celebrate the teams that were woeful so you can better appreciate the teams that weren’t.

Part 41: The Michigan Wolverines in the 1985 NCAA Tournament

Part 40:  The 1992 Seattle Seahawks

Part 39: The 1976 Montreal Expos

Part 38: The 2013 Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Part 37: The 1982-83 Houston Rockets

Part 36: The 1992-93 Ottawa Senators

Part 35: The 2002 Saudi Arabian World Cup Soccer Team

Part 34:  The 1989 Dallas Cowboys

Part 33: The 1998 Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Part 32: The 1982 Pittsburgh Pirates

Part 31: The 1986-87 Los Angeles Clippers

Part 30: The 1977-78 Minnesota North Stars

Part 29: The 1998 U.S. World Cup Soccer Team

Part 28: The 1996 New York Jets

Part 27:  The 2007 Toronto Argonauts

Part 26: The 1982 Minnesota Twins

Part 25: The 2007-08 Miami Heat

Part 24: The 1984-85 Toronto Maple Leafs

Part 23: The 1994 Greek World Cup Soccer Team

Part 22: The 2004 San Francisco 49ers

Part 21: The 1985 Calgary Stampeders

Part 2o: The 1987 Cleveland Indians

Part 19: The 2000-01 Chicago Bulls

Part 18: The 2000-01 New York Islanders   

Part 17: The 2001 XFL Birmingham Thunderbolts

Part 16: The 1990 United Arab Emirates World Cup Soccer Team

Part 15: The 1980 New Orleans Saints

Part 14: The 2003 Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Part 13: The 1998 Florida Marlins

Part 12: The 2009-2010 New Jersey Nets

Part 11: The 1989-90 Quebec Nordiques

Part 1o: The 1986 Canada World Cup Soccer Team

Part 9: The 1976 Tampa Bat Buccaneers

Part 8: The 2003 Detroit Tigers

Part 7: The 1992-93 Dallas Mavericks

Part 6: The 1980-81 Winnipeg Jets

Part 5: The 1982 El Salvador World Cup Soccer Team

Part 4: The 2008 Detroit Lions

Part 3: The 1993 New York Mets

Part 2: The 1982-83 Cleveland Cavaliers

Part 1: The 1974-75 Washington Capitals

Stay tuned, there’s more to come…

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Sports Blog Movement NBA Preview: Pacific Division

SBM NBA crystal ball - Copy

With the NBA season right around the corner, we here at Sports Blog Movement are doing exactly what you would expect a bunch of sports bloggers to do; pretend like we know what the fuck we are talking about when it comes to what this campaign may bring us.  With that, here’s my rundown on the Pacific Division, complete with five good questions that may make or break each team’s year.

1) Golden State Warriors

I know that with the impending demise of the Lakers, the Clippers have become the sexy pick to reign over this division. I just don’t buy it. There’s a host of reasons why, but I will get into those when I get to the section on the Clippers. Right now, I’d rather point out the five questions that with the right answers point to the Warriors winning the Pacific.

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The Battle Of Los Angeles

Back in 1999, one of my favourite bands, Rage Against The Machine release an album entitled “The Battle Of Los Angeles.” The album, which debuted at No. 1 on the billboard charts that summer, was a statement on how different the City Of Angels was perceived by outsiders compared to the citizens living in Los Angeles. As guitarist Tom Morello noted.

“Most people see Los Angeles as Hollywood or Oscar night. They see the glitz and glamour of the city. Meanwhile there is a different story going on in Los Angeles. If you look deeper there are stories of despair, heartbreak and shattered dreams. But also stories of hope. That’s the Los Angeles we want people to see.”

To most NBA fans, the two Los Angeles teams represent both parts of the city very well. The Lakers are the glitz and glamour of LA. Back in the 1980s it was Showtime, led by Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul Jabbar and James Worthy. In the 2000s, it was the Lake Show led by Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant. The Lakers were incredibly successful winning 17 NBA titles, the most recent in 2010.

On the other side there is the Clippers. While sharing the same home arena, (The Staples Centre) with the Lakers since 1999, (ironic isn’t it) the Clippers have been for the most part the laughingstock of the NBA. With the exception of 2006, in which the Clippers made it to the second round of the playoffs, the Clippers have always been the poorer cousin to the Lakers. The Clippers represented despair, heartbreak and shattered dreams. The franchise has been noted more for first round flops than superstars. “Luminaries” such as Danny Ferry, Bo Kimble, Terry Dehere, Michael Olowokandi, and Darius Miles dotted the Clippers history. To top it off owner Donald Sterling was named the worst owner in professional sports in Sports Illustrated a few years back.

However, there is now hope for Clipper fans. Young talent has started to emerge. Power forward Blake Griffin is one of the brightest stars in the NBA. Point guard Chris Paul is considered in the top 3 at his position. Paul and Griffin have formed a dynamic one-two punch which is akin to John Stockton and Karl Malone in Utah back in the 1990s. Coach Vinny Del Negro is a young but very bright coach who will work his players hard, but is also a good teacher.

Meanwhile the Lakers are slipping. Yes they still have Kobe but the supporting cast is either aging or lacking. Pau Gasol has looked like he’s lost a step, Derek Fisher can’t play forever, and the artist formerly known as Ron Artest (now known as Metta World Peace) is a loose cannon who could spontaneously  combust at any moment.

These two teams have met twice the season with each team winning once. After the second meeting in which the Lakers won, Bryant told Yahoo Sports:

“We’ve got five championships… Rivals come from the playoffs.”

While Kobe may be right, there is a distinct possibility that these two LA teams could very well meet in the playoffs this year. And if they did meet, it could very well be the start of the next great rivalry. And the NBA would be overjoyed with that!

You can follow me on Twitter @jstar1973 and also follow the Sports Blog Movement on Twitter @SprtsBlgMovemnt

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The Assist Artist

Meet the point god, Chris Paul. Paul is arguably–emphasis on arguably–the best point guard in the NBA. There is nothing that slips Paul’s eye. It seems like he has them in the back of his head, coming out of his ears, and on the palms of his hands because he knows where he’s throwing that ball and where its going. He just makes it look that easy.

In only 11 games so far in the season, Paul is only averaging two turnovers per game. Why is that such an anomaly to me? Because of how much Paul dominates the ball. 2 turnovers are his a career low for, but the astounding thing about Paul is that he’s never gotten more than 3 per game according to basketball reference. The ball security of Chris Paul is on another level; compared to many other point guards he is the most secure ball handler in the NBA. In 7 games this season he’s recorded two or less turnovers. When facing the Miami Heat Paul didn’t record his first turnover until overtime.

Watch here as the Clips force a turnover. Paul takes the ball and does magic with it leading to an alley oop by Deandre Jordan.

Of course the turnover helped here, but watch Paul’s ball security. Even in transition he is moving at a slower pace. The ball is not being forced up the floor and that’s how he likes to play. Taking his time is key to not turning the ball over. Next, pay attention to how Chris knew where Deandre was going to be at even through the trap. You can never play with your head or arms down with Chris Paul and that was a mistake that the Rockets made. Even if Paul puts his head down for a split second you must know that he is still watching.

That second was all Paul needed to give Deandre the perfect pass placement for that spectacular alley oop. Going slow is what Chris Paul does best. He’s turned the Clippers into Pick City and not Lob City in my opinion. Chris Paul has never led a team with a pace of over 95; there is a reason for that. He doesn’t turn it up because he doesn’t turn it over. That’s the main key to his game. Even the Los Angeles Clippers move at a slow pace this season. They have a more half-court style–because of Chris Paul–even though they have many full-court runners. Right now they are 20th in pace in the NBA at 90.8.

Paul’s dribble is one that you can’t time; it goes so slow but yet he can speed it up and control it at any time. That’s how he keeps the game at his slow-paced tempo more often than not. He can handle the speed of a fast pace game but that usually results in a higher turnover rate. Paul’s turnover rate has never gone above 14 in his career, in facts the highest he’s ever had was 13.9. The turnover rate, for those who don’t know, is an advanced statistic that determines how many turnovers you would have per 100 possessions. That means that the rest of the possessions are either assists or scores by Paul.

When you think about Paul, you think of the best point guard in the half court in the NBA. There is nothing he can’t do or see; this is why when he isolates it’s so dangerous. He can find the smallest crease in the defense. If someone is cutting or there is enough space for him to get through it, he will do it. His fundamentals.

His favorite area is the middle of the floor just above the key. He likes to isolate right there so he can have the perfect view of the whole floor; this is where the Clippers go to–and what the Hornets used to do–in the clutch. Normally iso ball is not a good thing, but Paul is so effective at giving a pass without turning it over that you can use isolations with a player like him.

We’ll break down a few scenes from the playoffs last season. First let’s go to this Andrew Bynum Isolation.

As you can see, the Hornets ran a PnR and got a switch with Bynum having to guard Paul. He makes it tough on bigs because they have to respect his dribble. Paul will put a player on skates if he’s not careful(as you can see from the video). After getting the switch it turned into an isolation for that reason specifically. You can’t double Paul here because he’ll always find the open man; there was no movement off the ball but you never know when there will be a cutter slashing to the basket.

Also, notice how there were guys ready to spot up on the left in case someone came from the weak side to help. Paul will know who’s man that was instantly and find the shooter for a 3. There was also players on both sides of the floor for Paul. Spacing here was key not only because Paul needed room to work, but because that helps Paul see the whole floor. When someone comes for help he can easily kick the ball.

Here is another video vs the Lakers in the playoffs last season via NBA Playbook.

In this video Kobe Bryant switches on to Chris Paul off of the PnR. Chris can’t really get by Kobe right here because he played excellent defense on Paul. Kobe’s length really bothered Paul here and his lateral quickness was a plus too. Kobe did his job right here. If you watch closely, the Lakers lost the game as soon as Paul received the pick. The proper spacing by the Hornets killed them and Paul knew it the whole way.

Ron Artest was ready to collapse on Paul if he drove the ball and that’s normally the right decision. He did a good job of doing that but timed it just one second off. He waited until Paul was about to go into his shooting motion and he came over to try to give a contest. That contest was a good one because Paul was already starting his jumper. The IQ of Jarrett Jack played a great impact though because he slides over to come to give Paul a better outlet to kick the ball. That’s an excellent play on his part because he knows Paul will see him. He catches, shoots, and the rest is history.

Chris Paul is the best point guard in the half court game. This is because of his skill of handling the ball and ultimate court vision. I wouldn’t be surprised if he started to perform at an MVP level when he gets back into shape. He has a lot of toys to play with in LA.

-Michael D. Sykes, II

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