CP3:The End Of An Era
By: Salem N.K Arthur:Content Creator @AAWOL
By all accounts, CP3 should have been a Laker. He should have teamed up with the Black Mamba and assuming that Superman’s acquisition would still have been effected, they should have gone on to not only reign the city of Los Angeles, but most probably the whole association. What better Big 3 could have been able to usurp the dominance of Miami back then? But David Stern had to be David Stern and Dan Gilbert had to make his case for NBA’s worst owner. Mitch Kupchak and Lakers fans on every planet would never forgive Stern and CP3 would end up becoming a Clipper, leading the team to it’s best run in franchise history.
On July 14, 2017 CP3 was introduced to H-town and you could tell that the city was happy to have him. I mean, who wouldn’t? The man has the most assists in the association (8,251) since he graced it with his wizardry in 2005 and the closest player, Deron Williams, has 1,432 more to go to catch up. In 6 years with the Clippers, he leads the franchise with over 4,000 assists and further stamped his “point god” status with a masterful 20 points, 20 assists game with 0 turnovers and in just 29 minutes. Albeit against a Pelicans team without Anthony Davis, the historic performance was nothing short of amazing as he effectively carved and exposed every player on the Pelicans roster that night. Oh and he has the second highest career assist percentage trailing only the legend, John Stockton. If you haven’t realized, these relate only to his assist stats and it is no secret that the 6ft guard possesses one of the most complete twoway games especially at his position, in the history of the league. The man is a going to be a Hall of Famer. Period. He’s that good. But there’s been one slight problem. As good as he’s been, he’s never been to a conference finals. Hence, Houston and a partnership with The Beard.
Personally, I think the only reason why the Clippers never made it to a conference finals game is simple, Doc Rivers. But let’s not get into that, the trio was easily one of the best in the league and 6 years is more than enough time to make something happen so why not blow it up? Right? J.J took a plane ride east; deciding to trust the process with a $23M check and J-Crossover was traded and somehow ended up with an already loaded Wolves squad up north (this is the team to watch next season if you ask me). Three of the Clippers 5 center-pieces were gone and lob city was effectively over. Blake Griffin and his Hollywood dreams stayed right in L.A and he and D.J found a new best-friend in Danilo Gallinari to rule the city with for at least one more season. Next year’s free-agency promises to be nothing short of a blockbuster and Earvin would certainly be looking to bring the magic back to the purple and gold. He might have already unlocked his first piece in a certain Lonzo Ball. I mean a guy with that kinda name just gotta hoop.
So what does CP3’s departure mean for the Clippers? With the introduction of the Serbian magician, Milos Teodosic, touted as the best point guard in the world outside of the NBA, the lob city moniker’s probably sticking. Expect, to see DJ continuously dominate everybody including Brandon Knight and his momma in the air catching lobs from Milos or the man that drives all opposing players insane, Pat Beverly. They should definitely be able to maintain their reputation as one of the league’s most exciting to watch or might even become more entertaining. But is this team going to be able to keep it’s status as one of the NBA’s better teams? Would they be able to record a 50+ win season for the 6th year in the row? Even more importantly, would they be able to compete in a Western Conference overpopulated with All Stars? My answer is sadly, no. The franchise has seen it’s best team ever dazzle without bringing home a championship and unfortunately might not be seeing the Bill Russell trophy anytime soon. What hurts more is that they’ll face CP3 in a Houston jersey, yup that 3-1 ghost shows it’s face again here as they managed to lose a playoff series that was already over to these very Rockets in 2015. The CP3 era in L.A caused the rise of a franchise and thrust them into NBA relevancy but that may be all he accomplished and even worse, they might not be able to top that without him anytime soon.