Donald Sterling Crippling Clippers Once Again

6/21/12 in NBA   |   AJ_88   |   166 respect

For almost four decades, the Clippers have inhabited Los Angeles, however, you wouldn't know it as they had been living underneath the giant shadow cast by the Lakers. The one aspect of the team that has remained consistent over the years is the notoriously cheap owner, Donald Sterling. He held onto Elgin Baylor as the team's GM for so long because he was monetarily affordable. The Clippers were considered lottery-bound before each season even began because their owner never allowed for the team to grow, allowing each and every talented player to walk at the conclusion of his rookie contract. 

In 2005-'06, the Clippers put together a team of veteran players and they managed to reach the second round of the playoffs, something their co-tenants were unable to accomplish that year. They took the Phoenix Suns to seven games in the Western Conference Semis and it seemed as though the Clippers were ready to shed their losing image. However, following the next season, Elton Brand left the team, Baron Davis signed and reported to camp out of shape and unmotivated. The Clippers took their much anticipated step back to mediocrity. 

In the 2009 NBA Draft lottery, the Clippers were awarded with the top pick in the draft for the first time since 1999 when they wasted that pick on Michael Olowakandi (in lieu of Paul Pierce, Dirk Nowitzki, Vince Carter, Jason Williams, Mike Bibby). This time, it was to no-brainer. Blake Griffin was the prize. The Clippers were about to shed the curse, right? Wrong. Blake's much anticipated debut would have to wait an entire year as he required knee surgery that kept him out the entire 2009-'10 campaign. 

May 5, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul (3) and forward Blake Griffin (32) react during game three of the 2012 Western Conference quarterfinals against the Memphis Grizzlies at the Staples Center. The Clippers defeated the Grizzlies 87-86. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIREBut then he arrived. His potential was on full display the following season as he made the All-star team as a rookie, posted 20+ points, 10+ boards and 3+ assists to become one of the most well-rounded big men in the league. Then the Clippers managed to add all star point guard, Chris Paul before this season, along with Caron Butler, Chauncey Billups, Nick Young, Kenyon Martin - and the Clippers proved they have something in the works. 

After a successful trip to the second round of the postseason, the Clippers chose to pick up coach Vinny Del Negro's team option, well, because it was a cheap option. They let GM Neil Olshey, the architect of this team, walk to Portland. They now have five free agents and no general manager to keep them in toe. Are we destined to see the Donald cripple the Clippers once again? Will he manage to keep Blake Griffin and Chris Paul for the long haul? Will he destroy this franchise when the promise looks so great? 

Please, Donald. Don't do it. 
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