Commissioner or Architect? Is David Stern the Clippers’ Daddy Warbucks?

February 4th, 2012 by Bryce Sherman Leave a reply »
The Lakers and the Clippers will be facing off for the third and final time in April, assuming they don't meet in the playoffs.  The two teams are currently tied for the season series at one game a piece.  The fact that this is a challenge and that the Lakers even care about winning is a significant paradigm shift in the Los Angeles sports landscape. 

Before this season, the Clippers were an irrelevant afterthought in the NBA.  At one point declared by Fox Sports as the worst franchise in sports history, the Clippers have been notoriously awful, winning only two playoff series in the franchise’s 41 years and never making it past the second round.  They’ve made terrible, borderline incompetent moves with their staff and players, and have been the running joke in the NBA for decades.

So what has changed to make this series important?  How, after decades of irrelevance, did the Clippers suddenly become an elite team in the NBA? 

Their owner, Donald Sterling, is a notoriously frugal alleged racist bogged down by controversy and has a proven history of failing to make strong moves to improve the team, so w ...

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