The Injury Plague in LA

 

With the recent news of Blake Griffin’s MCL sprain, people are starting to realize that Blake Griffin is a pretty injury prone player. This is a major hit to a team that was already struggling in a stacked western conference. But even before Blake Griffin’s injury this year, we can go back to Patrick Beverley’s right knee injury that he had to have surgery on. Even before Patrick Beverley’s injury we can go back to Danillo Gallinari’s glute injury that has kept him out all season so far. That’s 3 starters that have been severely injured this season only, so is there something in LA thats causing players to get injured?

Obviously its a not a real question, I don’t think a city can have that much power on a team to make all of its star players injured in the teams time of need, but with the history of the Clippers injuries, it seems like a strange coincidence. The city of LA has another team, the LA Lakers, which has no where near the amount of bad luck that the Clippers organization has had in there whole existence. Sure, Kobe had an ACL problem, but it didn’t derail his career from that point on.

The Clippers have been an exciting team ever since they acquired the trio of Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, and DeAndre Jordan, giving them the nickname “Lob City”. While they did manage to create some very interesting highlights (R.I.P to Brandon Knight) they were never able to win many playoff series. People blame it on Chris Paul’s inability to appear in clutch situations or Blake Griffin’s inability to do anything but dunk and rebound, but in reality, none of their big 3 have participated in a full postseason without being injured. It is pretty hard to win games without your star point guard, defensive anchor, or team leader…

We can just start off with last year’s playoffs, Stephen Curry got injured at the beginning of the playoffs, and if the Clippers were to advance to the next round, they would’ve played a Steph Curry-less Warriors team. Except, since the Clippers are the Clippers, they lost CP3 and Blake Griffin to injuries. So they lost in 6 games to Damian Lillard and the Trailblazers and that loss ends the “Lob City” era.

The year before that (The 2015 NBA Playoffs) the Clippers were the favorite by many to give the warriors a run for their money and go to the finals against LeBron James. Except Chris Paul in game 7 against the Spurs, strained his hamstring. He fought through it, stayed in the game and the Clippers ended up winning and moving on to the next round against the Rockets, only to lose Chris Paul games 1 and 2 and they ended up losing that series in 7.

The 2015 season, Blake Griffin had multiple quadricep injuries that kept him sidelined for weeks. Shortly after being cleared to play from that injury, he gets in a fight with a team equipment manager, punches him in the face, and breaks his hand. He’s out for even longer, giving them a worse seeding in the playoffs and being forced to play the spurs in the first round.

In 2011, the mostly irrelevant Clippers organization decided to sign a well-aged Chauncy Billups to a contract. He managed to play 42 games in the 2 seasons he was there. Two years before that it was Blake Griffin, again, breaking his foot and missing his rookie season.

If you thought the Clippers had bad luck from those, just wait until you read the rest of the injuries they had. In the mid-2000’s the had an up and coming point guard by the name of Shaun Livingston run a fastbreak. Watching the game you wouldn’t have thought anything by it, but at the end, he lands awkwardly on the ground and snaps his leg into 2 pieces. Ok, not literally 2 pieces but it was disgusting to watch. He had to go to rehab and was never the same player after that. Elton Brand, the Clippers pride and joy after winning rookie of the year in 2000, ruptures his ACL after playing only 8 games that season.

If thats not enough bad luck for the Clippers franchise, they had more chances to win a championship but failed to due to injury. In the early 70’s, Bob McAdoo was a force to be reckoned with in the paint. The man averaged 35 points and 14 rebounds in his MVP season. He was a player that was bound to win more MVP’s and bring some championships to the Clippers organization (which at the time was the Buffalo Braves, but the rings would’ve counted in the Clippers names if they won). Sadly, the next season he suffered a foot injury, and he never fully recovered. The Clippers got what value they could out of him and shipped him for some other players that would never be as good as what Bob McAdoo would’ve been. He ended up going to 4 different teams, putting up decent stats, but nothing like his years in Buffalo.

The Clippers now are relying on names like Austin Rivers and Milos Teodosic to lead their team to victory, and social media is surrounded by trade talks of DeAndre Jordan moving to a team that has a chance to win. So if you see a Clippers fan on the streets, give them a hug. They could use it for all the bad luck and the past and well, how their future is going to turn out.

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