The historical significance of the Warriors-Clippers series

The Clippers-Warriors series has finally ended in a slugfest we knew would go the full fifteen rounds.

Paul CurryWe watched all seven games, glued to our television sets knowing that, in light of the Donald Sterling comments, this series meant far more than just one team advancing to the next round.

It meant history.

The Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors faced off in a first round playoff series for the ages, one that shouldn’t have been (because both those teams were so good) but one that was meant to be (because of the eventual and unforeseen ramifications of what actually went down).

The Clippers prevailed in seven games.  Had they played fifteen games, the Clippers might have won eight out of fifteen or perhaps the Warriors would have won.  Who’s to say?  The series was so evenly matched and loaded with meaning that’s it difficult to capture what it may have meant to the sport and our culture.

Clearly the statements of one man magnified the significance of an already important series.  His words and corresponding banishment from the league may very well have been a tipping point between the past and future of professional basketball.  The series encapsulated those comments and as a result meant something for every member of every race who has ever been discriminated against.

Doc Rivers and Mark JacksonThe series featured white players, black players, mixed players, international players.  It featured two old school coaches at the helm, who both played for the Knicks and ironically, the Clippers after being traded for one another, one of whom has won a championship and another who craves one, one who was criticized for jumping ship, another whose job was allegedly on the line if he lost.

It featured physicality and flopping, athleticism and anger, performance and protest.  It showcased four of the top twenty-five players in the league and some of its most marketable and recognizable athletes.  It featured insane offensive numbers combined with intensely hard-fought defense.  It featured dunks and jumpers, blocked shots and hard fouls.  It even featured one final scuffle in the arena hallway after both teams walked off the court for the last time.

Sterling Out Equality InIt featured a league under new leadership explaining what it was willing to tolerate and what it would not.

This was the kind of series you had to watch, the series you wanted neither team to lose, the best of the entire first round by far.  We knew it would be good, we just didn’t know it would be THAT good, that significant, that game-changing.

This is the future of your NBA and it is in good hands.

After the Clippers victory, many breathed a huge sigh of relief that the series was finally over.  It will read as just another series in the record books but it was so much more than that.

48 thoughts on “The historical significance of the Warriors-Clippers series

  1. The series was far out-shadowed by the by Donald Sterling and his antics . But that’s just the NBA for you, as it simply cannot find a way to deal with the stupidity of the owners or the players and their boorish behavior . Kudos to David Stern , in showing his incessant stupidity in not dealing with the prior bad acts of either Sterling or Rich DeVos . And for that the fan can truly see and witness what a real @ss former commissioner and his successor are said to be .

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  3. 5 game 7’s in the NBA over the weekend, none more fun to watch than this one. Clips showed grit and fought tooth and nail to win. It seems Doc has gotten Jordan to embrace the Bill Russell defense and rebounding mantra…and it’s taking the Clips to new heights.

    I think it might have turned out different had GS had Bogut available, but congrats to the Clips. Griffin has turned into more than just a one trick pony.

    Can’t bring myself to root for them though….I always did in the past, hell, I’ve been to lots more CLippers games than Lakers games because I used to get free tickets through work. Saw both Doc and Mark Jackson play many times at the old LA Sports Arena. Even half-heartedly rooted for them because it read “Los Angeles” across their chest.

    But since they got fat on the Lakers veto table scraps, CP3 got chippy w/Pau over a head pat, Griffin played dirty vs the Lakers and they covered Lakers championship banners with oversized selfies, the “rivalry” is almost real.

    I mostly blame their bandwagon fanbase. Talking loud, raking on the Lakers, kicking them while they’re down (don’t get to used to that because it won’t last). Half of these “fans” never even heard of the Clippers until CP3 & Blake showed up. Ask them about Danny Manning, Loy Vaught or Ken Norman and they respond with a blank stare.

    They’ve proclaimed the city as theirs a bit prematurely. They swept the season series and won the western conference…Whoopdie doo. Win a ring and then I’ll be impressed. Until then, you’re the Sacramento Queens circa 2000-2003.

    Every tenant of Staples has a banner.
    Lakers, Sparks, Kings, Avengers…Hell even the Galaxy (like anyone gives a shit about soccer, but still).

    The Clippers have a stub that says Rent Paid.

    I was rooting for the Warriors (Jerry West’s presence helped).

    Now the mantra becomes, Go Thunder. (Derek Fisher’s presence helps)

    Cuck the Flippers

  4. Did you catch Game Seven, Al?

    That was must see TV.

    And now, for their troubles, the Clippers get Oklahoma State, which is bound to be another barn burner.

  5. Bleed…

    I do like that Jordan has developed into a threat. Makes a huge difference.

    He’s nasty around the rim. 3 blocks, 13 points and 13 rebounds ain’t nothing to sneeze at. Opponents can’t just waltz into “the painted area” and expect to the lay the ball up easy against LA anymore.

    You’re also right about Bogut. Huge blow going into that series.

    I get that you’re anti-Clippers but you do gotta love some Doc Rivers. Did you happen to catch his interview last night? Class act, deeper thinker than the rest.

    It’s okay, man. I have a feeling OKC is gonna give them all they want. What another great series, man!

  6. Yeah, Jordan’s block of Curry’s layup late in the 4th pretty much sealed the deal. Any hope GS had was killed with that swat.

    Still has no post moves or jump shot, but he can jump out of the gym and with all the other offensive weapons the Clips have, he fits their needs perfectly. If the defense collapses on Grif, CP3 or Crawford, the alley oop to DJ bails them out.

    They play exciting basketball…It’s tough not to enjoy watching them, especially since I always rooted for them up until two years ago.

    Hey, their “fans” want a rivalry, I’ll indulge them…Doesn’t mean I won’t watch and enjoy the pure basketball entertainment side of it.

    Besides, even if they beat OKC, that just increases the chances of KD leaving to play for the Lakers. Win-win for me. Plus, they won’t get past the Spurs or Heat anyway.

  7. That’s okay though, Bleed.

    I don’t think they necessarily need him for that.

    Blake’s really worked on his post-game and mid-range jumpers so they don’t even need to run plays for Deandre. His random alley-oops are intimidating and inspiring enough. Plus he’s bulked up. How many pounds has that fucker put on?

    I guarantee he’ll frustrate Perk in this series.

    KD to the Lakers, huh?

    You drinkin’ already this Cinco de Mayo?

  8. Chris

    I streamed and watched it all at a latter date , great game and a terrific series .

    Mayweather’s fans are goons and something has to be done about the amounts of alcohol being consumed prior to a bout . Not that his opponent’s , Marcus Maidana , fans are without blame , either . Where was the security once the melee started ?

    tophatal ………………..

  9. Chris,

    It was must watch NBA. That half court shot by Curry that almost counted saved my TV.
    Sterling’s wife has intense guilt feelings by showing up with Doc’s permission. Kinda like the kid that goes to the parents after the daughter dumps his ass.

    Quote of the week by DS. “I should of paid her off.”

  10. Bets…

    At this point, I don’t think any of us should be surprised at what comes out of Sterling’s mouth.

    So let’s talk the second round of these here playoffs.

    Tonight would have been a nice payday with the two dogs winning outright. Parlay anyone?

    If there’s an upset in this round, who do you see it being?

    I saw that Portland was getting +335 against the Spurs and I didn’t catch the Wiz number against Indy but that would have been a fun play since nobody’s rooting for Indy anyway.

  11. Chris

    There’s said to be a rivalry between the two teams and it that has certainly helped up the ante in the series .

    Is it me , but are the Pacers one of the worst number one seeds in the recent history of the NBA Playoffs ? This team at present simply cannot do anything right and it has come down to the complacency of the players and their overall play this postseason .

    Your thoughts on the series between the Heat and Nets ? It’ll be the twenty-fifth postseason meeting between LeBron James and Paul Pierce of the Nets over the course of their respective postseason careers .

    tophatal …………

  12. The Pacers are definitely mediocre at best.

    And to think this is a team we thought would knock off Miami. Well, some of us did. I didn’t.

    I don’t exactly know where to assess blame but it might be Vogel. It’s also definitely Hibbert. No points, no rebounds? The guy is 7’4″. How the hell does that happen?

    I do think Brooklyn will give Miami a fight. Besides, we all know Paul Pierce gives LeBron fits.

  13. Chris

    Manute Bol and Shawn Bradley were close to if not 7’ so what’s your point ? It’s all about ” basketball smarts ” and playing as a s team . The Pacers have not done that all at all his postseason .

    So the Bucs might be intent on trading Mike Glennon for a second draft pick ? Good to know that there’s said to be sound thinking in the front office after the debacle in the UK with the Glazers hiring of David Moyes to ruin Man United in a single season . Can Jason Licht and Lovie Smith be that far behind ?

  14. OKC has exhibited the death defying habit of not playing like a team at the worst time of the year. Fortunately both Durant and Westbrook are phenomenal talents but basketball is a team sport… at least it used to be before LeBoner got away with back to back rings by sheer will.

    My other thoughts are well stated by BleedPRPL& Gold… Thank you. Oh and let’s not overlook that ‘however’ good of a coach Doc Rivers might be he is now and will always be a Celtic lover by his own admission so no quarter shall be given this heathen whilst in Los Angeles… even if he is in the wrong dressing room.

    Sure hope that some team steps up to change the tone of the playoffs and it doesn’t look like its going to be the Pacers like the east coast media expected.

    Just can’t have LeBoner doing the 3 peat dance…

  15. Chris,

    No way Durant bolts for the Lakers. Did you catch his MVP acceptance speech? It was all about his teammates and not himself. He said he loves Russell Westbrook.
    IMO, the Portland kids have very little chance versus the savy veteran Spurs. I’m not involved in any Rd.2 series, but might make a few spot plays on individual games.

    Question for you. I’m in the middle of a large wager between 2 associates. I’m ok’ing the $$. Do you think that Tiger will surpass Jack’s major wins?

  16. NBA and golf were the only sports that didn’t hold my interest until Blake Griffin appeared in commercials about 2 years back. I’ve been a Clippers fan ever since. All this Sterling crap is horrible.

    You’ll be proud to know I’ve been watching the NBA playoffs.
    Dee Dee

  17. Hibbert had a far more successful college career than either of those guys, Al. The guy went to Georgetown and reached the Final Four.

    And re: Glennon, I’m not buying into any of the trade rumors that are swirling about the Bucs trading him to move up.

    Those rumors just happen to be going around in every other city in the nation.

  18. Tree…

    I think you and I both know the best chance for a team to challenge LeBron will be whichever team comes out of the Western Conference.

    Bron-haters better just hope that team is not too beat up by then.

  19. A lot can change in two years, Bets.

    I do believe that’s when KD’s contract comes up.

    Let’s just say, hypothetically, that LeBron woos him to play together. Why wouldn’t he at least consider that?

    Hmmm, and Tiger passing Jack? If you asked me a few years ago, I would have said that was a certainty. These days, I’m not so sure.

    Are you getting/giving any sort of odds or is this a straight up wager?

  20. Dee Dee…

    I’m impressed.

    That first round was easy to get hooked on.

    This second round Clippers-OKC series should be pretty nasty as well.

    Then the Conference Finals should be pretty damn entertaining.

    Keep watching and let me know what ya’ think.

  21. Bets…

    I’m glad you sent me that link. I was at work and couldn’t hear the whole speech but I heard it was a moving one.

    That’s an understatement.

    If Kevin Durant did not immediately become everyone’s favorite NBA player after that acceptance speech, well then, I don’t quite know what to say.

    Class act all the way.

  22. Here’s an interesting story which probably partially true.
    By Lou Ramon Aguila | May 7, 2014 12:38 AM EST

    The Indiana Pacers found themselves schooled by the up-and-coming Washington Wizards in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal playoff series on Monday. The Pacers, which had been super dominant early in the season, suddenly look like a team on a free-fall. Now, a latest rumour circulating in the Internet could be the key to finding out the Pacers’ implosion. And it apparently involves two superstars caught in an infidelity controversy.

    Baller Alert reported on Monday that a follower told them about an alleged cheating going on between All-Star wingman Paul George and center Roy Hibbert. The report claimed that George was caught sleeping with Hibbert’s wife or fiancée.

    The source on Baller Mail claimed the infidelity within the Pacers locker room have really affected the psyche of Hibbert, who has been playing the worst stretch of his basketball career this postseason.

    Moreover, the same issue also ignited the reported scuffle between Lance Stephenson and Evan Turner in the middle of the Pacers’ first round series with the Atlanta Hawks.

    “Do you remember when Lance Stephenson and Evan Turner got into that fight? It was all over Roy Hibbert and Paul George. Lance has been getting all the blame for the Pacers off nights and during that day at practice Lance says ‘y’all need to look at Roy’s ass, he’s been off ever since he found out PG was f****** his b****’,” the source stated in his Baller Mail on Baller Alert.

    “That’s when Evan got mad at him for exposing that in front of everybody and that sparked the fight. Roy just walked away without saying anything but ever since then it’s been a bigger downfall in his performance on the court.”

    “I don’t know for sure, but that might also be the connection to PG’s house getting broken into because all of a sudden now he doesn’t want investigators involved. Supposedly PG and Hibbert’s wife have been carrying on through instagram for a while before they ended up having sex. She felt guilty and told Hibbert and that’s how he found out originally. It’s bad because PG and Hibbert were really friends.”

    Validity of the Report

    The report indicated that the woman involved was not really Hibbert’s wife or fiancée, but was merely a jump off of the NBA star. However, the Pacers center was reportedly not happy with George’s actions, which might have probably caused the team’s collapse as of late.

    This is not the first time George is rumoured to be involved in this kind of issue. Several months ago, the Pacers star was also reported to have impregnated a Miami stripper while dating Doc Rivers’ daughter and falling prey to a catfish scandal.

    Whether or not this latest news is true, the Pacers have to get their acts together or else early vacation is upon them.

  23. KD’s not only a stud on the court, he seems like a genuinely good dude.

    Him deflecting credit to his teammates and Westbrook in particular in light of the criticism of him, on a day set aside to celebrate his individual accomplishments, shows what kind of guy he seems to be.

    I’ll agree that chances him coming to LA are slim to none, but hey, who thought we’d get Wilt, Kareem, Shaq, Pau or any of the other stars that ended up in P&G over the years.

    Kinda gives us Lakers fans not too far from reality hopes that we could end up with a KD, LeBron, K-Love or Kyrie in the next couple of years.

    Stranger things have happened and even recent history tells us it can happen -save veto’s and Divas.

  24. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for ya’, Bleed.

    I’m interested in seeing how the Lakers begin to rebuild.

    I’m even more interested in seeing how accepting or resistant the Mamba is to any roster changes.

    What’s the bead on the head coaching situation?

  25. As much of a scumbag that Sterling is… the only bright side you can even try to dig out of this, is that with all the headlines, people actually crawled out to watch the series more – and this series deserved to be watched.

  26. It’s a P&G world. Even when we suck we’re interesting.

    Personally I want Byron Scott and bring in D-Fish as an assistant. It would be a homecoming for both and both already have Kobe’s respect Both would also help in recruiting free agents. Fish w/KD and B w/ Kyrie.

    Scott is a proven commodity and Fish is a natural leader. If he doesn’t want to coach, LA would be wise to bring him into the front office fold.

    I’d like to hold on to Swaggy, Meeks and hopefully Pau. Add our draft pick, Kevin Love and another top tier FA in 2015/2016 and the Lakers are right back in the mix.

    If Kobe wants to hang around, he’ll have to shelf that ego and take a pay cut as well as a diminished role. The payoff would be rings and legacy…the two things Kobe covets more than concierges.

  27. Chris

    Hopefully you caught the link I posted on your facebook page with regard to Durant’s MVP speech ? Brought some credibility and class back to the NBA in the aftermath of the Sterling fallout that is likely to go for much longer than most would like .

    Your thoughts on the the first round of the NFL Draft and the Bucs’ pick ? Inspired or not given their issues on on their pass and receiving play last season ?

    What do you also make of Roger Goodell’s veiled threats to the city of New York concerning the Buffalo Bills ? He’s talking as if the NFL is in the driver’s seat with regard to a new venue . He’s repeatedly antagonized Andrew Cuomo on the issue, without providing anything positive at all . Shouldn’t Goodell be more concerned with the vetting process and getting a new owner for the Bills ?

  28. KP…

    His wife is definitely gonna screw things up here.

    If she gains control of the team, which sounds like it’d be a perfectly legal acquisition, I wonder how the league will handle things.

  29. I agree with you on the B Scott hire, Bleed.

    What he did in both New Jersey and New Orleans was nothing short of brilliant. Those teams totally overachieved.

    I don’t count the Cleveland years. Nobody could have done anything there.

    I guess at this point it all depends on whether Kobe gets along with the guy.

  30. Al…

    Of course I caught the KD speech. Of course he screwed up Mother’s Day for everyone else. How the hell are we supposed to compete with that?

    Re: the Bucs, I think the Mike Evans pick was a no-brainer. He was the best guy left on the board and they are in dire need of some offense.

    We’ll see what they do in the later rounds.

    And I haven’t been following the Goodell-Bills situation. Sounds almost Selig-Raysish to me.

  31. Paul George nails and impregnates a stripper, while engaged to Doc Rivers’ daughter . This being the same , George , who wanted to pay off the stripper , $1 million to abort the child . Am I missing something here ?

  32. Manziel and Cleveland might be a perfect fit, Al. Ticket sales have already increased. Here’s hoping they enjoy their honeymoon. COuld go sour if the victories don’t follow. But it’s Cleveland. They’re used to it.

    So after Evans, the Bucs pick up a tight end in the second round and a running back in the third round. Looks like Lovie’s getting offensive. And that’s a good thing.

    The transition away from Sterling is going to be long and drawn out. The guy’s not gonna go down without a fight. Neither will his wife who thinks she has a right to the team.

    I hadn’t heard that about George, Al. Why do athletes tie the knot if they want to continue to sew their royal oats?

  33. Chris

    Licht and Lovie Smith are on the right page and if things fall into place concerning the draft, then I believe the Bucs can be definite contenders in the NFC South this season .

    After the Brandon Weeden era failed so miserably, the fans in Cleveland need an uplift . Manziel could be the guy , but the offense has to be a great deal better than what was on show last season .

    George was merely showing his softer side , much like his game this postseason and lack of leadership concerning the Pacers . The team has been one of the biggest disappointments in recent postseason history in terms of their overall play , especially when they are said to be a number one seed ?

  34. Wow lots of comments on this thread. Glad to see that people outside the bay really enjoy watching the dubs clips series. I was pretty sad after the series, and it took me a few days to watch another game.

    I feel like Mark Jackson probably outcoached Rivers. Or maybe it was just Jermaine Oneil telling him to start a small line up with him coming off the bench. Whatever the case, I love the fight the dubs put up without the guy who knocks guys on their ass (Bogut).
    I hope these two teams meet in the playoffs next year!

  35. Yeah, Chap.

    I’m not quite sure I still totally understand the firing. I heard there was some internal squabbles.

    Was there any truth to the rumor that Jackson would shut Jerry West out of practice because he felt he undermined his authority? Did you hear that out there?

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