Look, guys, I know. I know it's college football season. I know this because my boys over at Rivals.com have shown us that fellating Tim Tebow doesn't require any hands, as they've still been able to type their preseason coverage (How long is my leash on "fellating"? can I say that here? Well, now I suppose I've done the thing where I pour the cereal, and don't check to see if there's any milk...oh, well. With the exception of me, we're all adults here.), And Terrelle Pryor (or, T-Pain, as I've taken to calling him), is apparently the fastest human on earth, which seems to be getting just about as much coverage as the White House. At least until Mr. Obama runs a 4.25 on OSU's track.(Ahem....Meanwhile, Texas is still quietly sitting unnoticed, waiting to strike and win it all this year. HeH.)
But, really...this NBA offseason has been just too perfect to leave alone, hasn't it? I mean, there was the Brandon Jennings Draft Night....mess....which left me STILL trying to figure out how one person can be that late to their own draft party, the subsequent tweets from draft night, which included a confused/scared Kevin Love sounding suicidal, and/or like a scorned lover upon realizing the draft strategy of his team (especially at the, "I just don't know what to think. I mean, I trust them, but this doesn't make any sense...I'm going to bed..." point).
And then there was summer league, or, as I called it, "The Steph Curry un-Experience", where we got to watch him shoot ohhhhh....just a hair above 30%, and got to watch his Golden State teammates glare at him each time down the court. And where we also learned that James Johnson can breakdance, Austin Daye weighs about 110 pounds, and yes, Blake Griffin is who we thought he was. Or at least who we thought he might have been. Not sure, the dude doesn't talk much. And to make this offseason EVEN greater, Gilbert Arenas touched down in the District this past weekend to light up the legendary Barry Farms streetball court to the tune of 35 points, prompting Dre Igoudala to tweet, "Gilbert Arenas is back like he forgot his black card!" (and look, I don't care if Gilly the kid never gets out of the first round of the playoffs. Dude has some serious game. If the knee is 100 this year, he'll be a problem.)
This isn't even mentioning the Stephon Marbury/Ustream craze. And I'll say this. Starchild has lost it. First of all, I'd rather watch Louis Williams Ustream about how many bad shots he's going to jack up (and probably make) in the City of Brotherly Indifference this season, than watch Steph Marbury Ustream about anything. Seriously. This dude is eating Vaseline?? Coney Island, get your boy. Other than shouting out Miley Cyrus and Lance Stephenson in the same sentence, Starbury's Ustream was mostly sad. At least with Louis Williams' legit questions were raised, and answered (i.e., "How did you fit all those people in that tiny room, bro??" and, "Where's Bow Wow?")
But, through it all, one thing has been ignored.
The Clippers. The LOS ANGELES Clippers....may be good again, soon. Come on, they're young, exciting (Nothing screams "EXCITEMENT!" like a frontcourt of Chris Kaman's "This is just a paycheck" facial expression, and Blake 'The Mute for all intents and purposes' Griffin....right?), and at least have SOME potential. I know we've been through this before. I do know. I remember 2001-2002, when my man Scoop Jackson threw them on the cover of SLAM magazine with the tag, "The Clippers might not make it to the top right away, but they WILL make it...Together." Touching, and inaccurate. Almost as bad as Scoop throwing Skip Alston on the cover and declaring him the best point guard in the world in '98. But, that team was fun to watch. Keyon Dooling, Lamar Odom, Elton Brand, D-Miles, Q Rich....and Eric Piatkowski. With the first five, it was like the Fab 5 in the NBA. 5 young players, dunking and running all over the place. And then, they beat the Kobe/Shaq Lakers that one time. Yeah, it was just one time, but hey....it was enough to get the NBA world excited. Plus they were trendy! they did cool secret hand signals to each other with their hands! and they had huge chains!! gigantic, even! We were so excited!!!.....So excited that we all ignored the fact that Dooling turned the ball over about 4 times a game too many, Odom only showed up to play when he felt like it, Brand was the only consistent force and therefore hated his life, Darius Miles could not hit a jumper to save his, or any number of lives, and Q....well.....he was dating Brandy. That team missed the playoffs by 5 games that season, and they were split up in the offseason.
So here we are again. The Clips didn't do TOO much this offseason. They did scoop up Sebastian "I probably should have gone to college" Telfair (Other acceptable middle names: "Coney Island made me think I was better than I actually am", and "He Got Inconsistent Game"). But, here's what I'm saying, vs. what I'm not saying regarding Bassy. What I'm NOT saying is that he's finished. He's only 24, and point guards sometimes bloom late (see: Billups), so he could really help a team. But what I AM saying is that if your current team drafts almost every available point guard in the world on draft night, you're probably either being replaced, or your GM thinks that he's playing NBA 2k9. Neither situation is good. Instead of running up steps in Brooklyn this summer, Bassy should have probably been working on his jumpshot. That said, he's going to get some shine. I don't like ANY team that's got Baron Davis at the point. B Diddy is a past his prime shoot first (and second. And third.), turnover fourth point, that hasn't ever REALLY helped a team. I mean, there's been some teams that he hasn't really hurt, but he's more a neutral type than a game winner. So, I'd love to see Bassy shine in LA, like he might have been able to do in Minny if they trusted him. This is a young team, with some legit potential. Their starting 5 could easily be:
C- Chris Kaman, looking more and more like a young Gary Busey every second.
PF- Blake Griffin
SF- Al Thornton
SG- Eric Gordon
PG- Bassy Telfair, when Baron Davis gets hurt or otherwise stops caring.
With the exception of Davis, Kaman's the oldest guy there, at 27. That's not bad. Once they pull it all together, it can be effective. I know that they play in the West, although I'm not sure that their style of play would fit anywhere in the east, so they might be worse for the wear out there. But, the west is becoming very top heavy these days. Kobe and the Lakers are still Kobe and the Lakers, but aside from that, you've got the Nuggets who all hate each other, but just do it a little less openly now that Chauncey is in the building (and does anyone else think of "Menace II Society" every time they hear Chauncey Billups' name? Boy, do I ever.), Chris Paul and the Bugs from New Orleans are anywhere between on the rise, or stagnant as ever. The youth movement that's taking place in the NBA points to L.A., and likely Oklahoma City (but can Kevin Durant get a better nickname than "Durantula"?? who's idea was that? the best nicknames never stick. I loved....LOVED it when Kobe changed his number to 24, and the TNT guys started calling him "Jack Bauer". How on earth did that not stick?? Instead he's the "Black Mamba"? There's no justice being done with nicknames anymore. ). I commend the Clippers for not taking a chance on Allen Iverson. I love A.I. or, I did. I think he needs a ring worse than maybe any player in any sport ever. I would imagine that if he doesn't win one by the time he retires, Bill Russell might just throw him one of his, as a pity ring. Maybe Robert Horry. Either way, the bottom line is, AI isn't exactly "that guy" anymore, and I think we can all respect that. And look, Donald Sterling has made some horrible moves. HORRIBLE. So, I get if we're all skeptical. Sterling is like the Al Davis of the NBA. That crazy old dude who actually DOES draft like he's playing a video game? yeah, that's him. If you're a tall dude that can jump high, but can't hit a shot outside of 10 feet? welcome to the city of Angels. It's nicer here than the D-League, but you'll figure that out soon.
But, it's important to give respect where respect is due. On top of their core 5, they've also added Rasual Butler, the ever-important "I live to do nothing but come off of the bench and hit big shots after playing ridiculously hard defense" dude (Or, James Posey.), and DeAndre Jordan is another young big man who if he ever gets out of his own head, can be effective (Though, he's seemed to spend all summer playing kissy face with Blake and Taylor Griffin on Twitter. What's my twitter count, by the way? have I name dropped twitter 4 times yet?).....The main group of Thornton/Gordon/Griffin is a formidable trio that could raise some eyebrows, and at the very least, be fun as hell to watch until they get it all together. I doubt the Clips will make the playoffs this year. And I doubt that Kobe Bryant will be waking up in cold sweats thinking of ways to stop the unstoppable Mardy Collins...Matter of fact, they're probably going to get beaten soundly by a number of teams on their way to the bottom. But give this group one more year (and ummm....one more lottery pick? and I know it's early, and it's a stretch, but....John Wall. What if they get John Wall? bandwagoners, get the seats early.), and we'll look back on this and say, "wow, that one guy that wrote that idiotic thing about the Clippers in August, nowhere near NBA season, was actually right..."
(But for the love of something, ANYTHING....Keep Griffin, E Geezy, and Al Thornton off of the cover of SLAM. Or, if you do put them on there, please don't have them awkwardly wearing each other's jerseys....backwards. OK?)
(Oh, and OSU....I typed this in 4.18 seconds. Your move, Mr. Pryor.)