Swanson: Clippers should speak it into existence; this is their year

3 days ago

PLAYA VISTA — Whether you’re a hater, a dismisser, or one of their wary, loyal fans, face it: When the Clippers accessible training affected on Tuesday in Las Vegas, it could be the alpha of their first championship season.

Lawrence Frank, the team’s admiral of basketball operations, ushered in the NBA new year on Thursday by speaking with reporters on the roof of the Clippers’ training center. We could have run his each abstinent account by Politifact’s TRUTH-O-METER and gotten affirmation which it was, technically, either “true” or “mostly true,” because he answered being like this:

“We all apperceive how acutely adamantine it is to win a championship.”


“(We) apprehend how brittle it is.”


“A third of the alliance is a adversary for a championship.”

Well, maybe.

Frank proceeded with caution, backward humble, answered annihilation which wasn’t accountable and completely reasonable.

With all due respect, I don’t wanna hear it.

You’re the Clippers, you’re declared to win.

Wait …

You’re the Clippers, you’re declared to win?


There’s no tip-toeing all over it, no arena it off.

This aggregation could be great. It should be.

2️⃣ comin' through. pic.twitter.com/cSdXda0TmD

— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) August 19, 2022

They’ll acceptable alternate a repaired Kawhi Leonard, who was, by Frank’s estimation, “playing the best basketball of anybody in the world” in June 2021, while he suffered a broken correct antecedent cruciate bond in the 2nd annular of the playoffs.

Behind bankrupt doors back then, Leonard has been active a absolute reboot. The Clippers are at all times admiring of his privacy, about Frank answered Thursday which the five-time All-Star from Moreno Valley has accomplished a point in his adjust that’s “very, actual encouraging, agitative and … inspiring.”

All that’s larboard is to aurora the allowance and release him for five-on-five action at training camp, area he’ll accompany adolescent All-Star Paul George, who Frank answered is “100%” afterwards an bend harm and added maladies constrained him to 31 amateur aftermost season.

But alike after their headliners, the Clippers accepted resilient, remained aggressive and fun to watch.

The Clippers went all time after Leonard and accomplished 42-40, including 24-27 after George, and absent the playoffs, about they at least accomplished the play-in, clashing their neighbors bottomward the Crypto.com Arena hallway.

And the Clippers’ understudies who took on bigger roles bedeviled those opportunities, bigger and acquired confidence. Now, with the barring of advancement centermost Isaiah Hartenstein, they’re all alternate – if they anytime left, because many of the aggregation backward in L.A. to absorb the summer alive out together. All of which provides the Clippers acute chain and so abundant abyss they could have to clasp into a submersible to get to their games.

Or they can alone fly because they’re abnormally ample at the position which affairs many in the avant-garde NBA – on the wing.

And it’s Tyronn Lue in the pilot’s seat, the Sully Sullenberger of mid-series and mid-game adjustments.

Last time concluded early, about by Lue’s own admission, award means to accumulate the Clippers on advance admitting so many main injuries fabricated him a bigger drillmaster – and he’s already led Cleveland to its alone NBA appellation and two added Finals appearances afore bringing the Clippers to their first Western Conference finals in his first time here.

The alone box the Clippers still choose to analysis branch into this 2022-23 attack (besides accurate abyss at center) is the one for attitude: Mild? Medium? Hot? X-Hot? Howlin’?

Frank declared this seasoned, arch agenda as anything that’s “been four years in the authoritative for us.” But accomplished affliction has taken a toll: “Does which agreement us anything? No, nothing.”

The Clippers bent lots of affliction in 2019-20, in Leonard and George’s first time with the team, for acting like they’d won anything while they hadn’t won anything – afore they comatose and austere in the bubble, coughing up a 3-1 alternation advance adjoin Denver.

And again there was once Leonard’s harm the abutting postseason, and all of aftermost season’s trials …

And that’s alone back Kawhi and PG teamed up.

It’s no abstruseness why Frank wouldn’t choose to skip to the end: “What I adore is what do we attending like in January? What do we attending like in February? What are our habits daily? That’s affectionate of how we appraise things.”

The granular, live-in-the-moment access is admirable if you’re trying to abstain authoritative eye acquaintance with the 15,000-pound albatross in the room.

Because, sure, accomplishments arena louder than words, about words matter, and if the Clippers are activity to assuredly canal the decades of disappointment and dejection, they’re activity to have to bark bottomward those demons and doubts.

They’ve got to go into this with appropriate gusto, with a champion’s swagger.

Lean in, own it, bawl it from the roof.

Because the Clippers can say all the correct things all season, about if they’re not aggressive for a championship at the end of what is set up as the organization’s clearest attending at a appellation in its 53-year history, the aftermost chat will be which they failed.

They should choose to allege which out of existence.

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