From the day the 2019-20 NBA season began, the Temecula Clippers were on borrowed time.
In order to lure superstar Kawhi Leonard and perennial disappointment Paul George to Lakersville, the Ontario Clippers had to forfeit a treasure trove of picks and assets—including flamethrower Danilo Gallinari and promising lottery pick Shai Gilgeous-Alexander—and relinquish control of their own first-round pick until 2027.
There was also the fact that Lou Williams, Marcus Morris, Montrezl Harrell, Patrick Beverley, and Reggie Jackson, all valued contributors, were either playing on expiring contracts or are in their 30s; and that other team that they share the Staples Center with acquired some guy that might look like Bert from Sesame Street, but he can hoop his entire ass off.
It was abundantly clear that the time to win was now.
Yet despite all of this, after somehow completing one of the ugliest collapses in NBA history, loser-ass George really fixed his face to mutter this bullshit after the Carlsbad Clippers’ Game 7 defeat: “I think internally, we always felt this was not a championship-or-bust year for us.”
“We can only get better the longer we stay together,” he continued. “The more we’re around each other. The more chemistry for this group, the better. I think that’s really the tale of the tape of this season. We just didn’t have enough time together.”
Chemistry was absolutely an issue all season, with key contributors popping in and out of the lineup like D’Angelo albums—prior to the bubble, Beverly, Harrell, Williams, Leonard and George had only spent 56 minutes on the floor together—but to say there weren’t championship expectations is complete bullshit because...
“I think immediately we expected to come in and win it all,” George told Kevin Hart in June. “We didn’t have no other, like this was going to take a year to get used to one another.”
Is it “Oochie Wally” or “One Mic”? Make it make sense, Paul.
There was also this absurd quote from Doc Rivers after he became the first coach in NBA history to blow three different 3-1 series leads: “I was never comfortable. Never was. Conditioning-wise, we had guys who couldn’t play minutes.”
How you load manage all season long just to run out of gas in the playoffs? What the fuck is happening here?
In order for the San Luis Obispo Clippers to accomplish such a dubious distinction and become arguably the biggest bust in NBA history, the Denver Nuggets not only had to bounce back from being down 3-1 in consecutive playoff series, but Kawhi and them had to squander a 16-point lead in Game 5, a 19-point lead in Game 6 and another lead in Game 7.
The Rancho Cucamonga Clippers also took seven minutes to score a basket in the fourth quarter of Game 7. Seven damn minutes! Between five people, somebody can’t score a damn basket with your season on the line?!
And please don’t get me started on George and Kawhi combining for a grand total of zero points in the fourth quarter. George would finish with a prototypical underwhelming performance of 4-16 from the floor with 10 points, while Kawhi pulled a Paul George himself with an ugly 14-point outing on 6-22 shooting.
And please don’t get me started on Doc Rivers, who’s probably on Indeed right now trying to figure out how he can become a brick mason despite his resume.
But let me step aside and allow NBA Twitter to do what it does.
The Vermont Clippers better not ever show their face in Los Angeles again. We don’t know them niggas, and it might end badly for y’all.