Posts Tagged ‘Clipper Darrell’

Clippers Wise To Challenge Lakers Now

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — What do you do when the bully is wounded, down on a knee and struggling to gain his equilibrium?

You pound on him. You take every shot you can to keep him down, to gain whatever measure of satisfaction you can. It’s the law of the jungle, as they say, the way it’s done in the cutthroat world of professional sports.

That’s why the Los Angeles Clippers are wise to strike their Staples Center hallway neighbors now. The Los Angeles Lakers are in a holding pattern with Kobe Bryant fighting his way back from a devastating injury, Dwight Howard gone and guys like Nick Young and Robert Sacre joining Steve Nash and Pau Gasol.

The Clippers had the upper hand last season, when Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and the rest of Clipper Darrell‘s favorite team won the Pacific Division. They served as the most exciting team in the Southland — though the Lakers still won the headlines battle because they generated the most drama in SoCal this side of the Kardashians.

Adding front office ace/coach Doc Rivers, sharpshooter J.J. Redick, utility man extraordinaire Jared Dudley and others bolstered the Clippers’ situation over the summer. Rivers helped make sure Paul’s free-agent frenzy ended before it got started, and that led us to this point:

The Clippers covered up the Lakers’ championship banners and retired jersey numbers at Staples during a preseason game Friday night, a move initiated by Rivers. And that dials up the energy in the battle for Los Angeles to new levels:

“He can do that?” Young said after Lakers practice Sunday, the team’s first since returning from China. “For real? That’s disrespectful. We got to talk to Doc. He can’t have that. We got to do something about that.”

The Clippers revealed their Staples Center redecoration during a preseason game Friday, as they plastered giant posters of players Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Jamal CrawfordMatt Barnes, Jared Dudley and J.J. Redick over the Lakers’ 16 championship banners and 10 retired uniforms.

“That’s a lot of pull y’all are giving Doc,” Young said, somewhat facetiously. “I think he shouldn’t come in and have so much pull like that. He’s got to earn his keep.”

I’m not saying what the Clippers did is right or wrong, but it is certainly understandable when you are battling for the hearts and minds of millions of Angelenos. The Clippers don’t have decades of credibility to lean on in this fight. They have a sliver of an opening to exploit while the Lakers are in flux. They have to go for the jugular.

Bypassing the Marquess of Queensberry Rules for the UFC playbook makes perfect sense. If you can’t win a fair fight (the Clippers are down 16-0 in the titles category and decades behind in the credibility department), it’s time for the by-any-means-necessary approach.

Rivers knows what he’s doing. He understands what it takes. He’s been a part of the only franchise that can rival the Lakers in terms of all-time success. He has a keen insight on how this works.

He knows that maintaining that elite level is just as pressure-packed a situation as trying to get to that level.  So while covering up a few banners and retired jerseys might seem like a stunt to some, it’s much more calculated than that from this perspective. The Clippers are firing shots at the Lakers. They smell blood. They are on the attack.

We’ll find out if they have what it takes to follow through on all of this or if the Lakers have what it takes to fend them off. Either way, fans of both franchises, in Southern California and around the world, will be the biggest winners. Because this sort of contempt only cranks up the level of competition. Just the way it should be.

Clippers At The Crossroads Now

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — It’s about time someone closed the door, stopped focusing on all of this “Lob City” stuff and lit into the Los Angeles Clippers.

Someone had to do it.

You lose 11 of 18 games since Chauncey Billups went down for the season with that Achilles injury and it’s obvious to us that someone has to step up and say something.

Enter Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro, the man who will no doubt shoulder the largest amount of blame if things go awry down the stretch of this season, and his postgame tirade (of sorts) after last night’s humbling at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder. You could hear him through the walls, according to Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times:

The Clippers coach used words like “approach,” “compete” and “defense” in his emphatic message after the Clippers dropped a 114-91 game to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

“I’m big into how you approach games and how you compete,” Del Negro said. “We have to get the mentality of we have to play a certain way to win right now.

“And it has to be through our defense because we lack certain things. In order for us to score enough points to take pressure off of us, we have to be able to guard better.

“But our overall approach and everything to the game has to be better. That’s what is disappointing to me. We have to do a better job of being in the moment from the get-go and not waiting to get into the game.”

Del Negro got his first technical foul of the season.

The Clippers gave up more than 100 points for the second straight game in their three-games-in-three-nights trip that finishes in New Orleans on Thursday.

Del Negro probably had a receptive crowd in that locker room.

Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and the crew know that they are at a crossroads. They realize they can finish one way … or the other. And they have to know that the city they hoped to take by storm is currently being reclaimed by that “other” team that calls the Staples Center home.

You either get this fixed — and now — or risk becoming another footnote in an abbreviated season filled with teams that had the look of a contender (just ask the folks in Portland if you’re unclear on what we mean) before reality ruined the party.


Clipper Darrell: The Real Story

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Much was made about the forced divorce between my main man Darrell Bailey (the artist formerly known as Clipper Darrell) and the NBA team that asked him to stop using the moniker.

But what was the real story behind the breakup?

Our friends from the Bleacher Report provide a behind-the-scenes look:

Clippers Need To Do Right By Darrell

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Of all the organizations in professional sports, the Los Angeles Clippers should know better than to test fate, to mess with karma and to upset the balance of the basketball world.

They know better than anyone what life is like on the wrong side of good fortune. That’s why their decision to apparently ban the one and only Clipper Darrell from using the first name of his moniker stinks.

Clipper Darrell (sorry folks, but we can call him whatever we want around here) revealed on his blog today that he was “DEVASTATED!!!”  when he was told by Clippers’ management to stop using the nickname:

It is with great sadness that I must report to all those in NBA NATION that I have been told by Clipper management they no longer want me to be Clipper Darrell, a name that was given to me by the media because of my unwavering support and team spirit. I am devastated!!!!

I have been a season ticket holder for over a decade and a FAN for over 15 years and have dedicated a major part of my life to support the Clipper organization and it’s players no matter what the season’s outcome. Over the years (400 home games) I have gone to great lengths to show my appreciation and loyalty in my attire, the car I drive and in my very own home.

I’ve taken seriously the mantra of being “Clipper Darrell” in performing community service, mentoring young children and my participation in outreach programs. I’ve appreciated the struggles of the team to overcome obstacles as I’ve done in my life. I felt vindicated for all the years we as Clipper fans have gone through trials and tribulations and NOW we have a team that can win it all.

Yesterday was the hardest day of my life, I felt powerless as a fan, as I was stripped of my identity however, no one can take away my heart and the love I have for my team!

I don’t care what their reasoning might be, “Clippers’ management” is just flat wrong on this one. Clipper Darrell has been the one constant for the organization throughout the doldrums of the past decade and a half.

As much as it for is for Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and the rest of the current Clippers, this should be his time. This is the season, the team and potentially the era he’s been living for. To have his identity snatched away like this … it’s just wrong!

The Clippers need to do right by Clipper Darrell and allow him enjoy this season and this team in peace.


About Last Night: Clippers Sliding

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — So much for all that preseason energy we had for the Los Angeles Clippers.

Their losing streak is now eight games, courtesy of a putrid 33 percent shooting effort against an injury-ravaged Indiana Pacers team that wiped the Conseco Fieldhouse floor with Clipper Darrell‘s boys.

This is now what we had in mind for these Clippers when we spoke with Baron Davis on Episode 22 of the Hang Time Podcast. This is not the way things were supposed to play out when Blake Griffin and Eric Gordon joined Davis and Chris Kaman in training camp to form one of the more intriguing four-man units in the league, or so we thought.

They’d had some tough losses these past three weeks, but at least they were battling.

All that seemed to change last night (we opted for the Clippers-Pacers over Suns-Magic after we found out Steve Nash wasn’t going to play but both games were train wrecks for the visiting teams):

Lisa Dillman of the Los Angeles Times was there in person and it looked even worse than it did on the hideout 50-inch screen:

The Clippers’ rookies, as well as Craig Smith and Eric Gordon — another Indiana homecoming ruined — had the glazed look of survivors who had stumbled away from a car crash, wondering where to go next.

“Something has got to change,” said Griffin, who had 12 points and eight rebounds. “After a while, you can’t just say — we do have to keep working — but you can’t just keep working and keep losing. It comes down to who wants it more, a little bit of heart. We just need to find that.”

He wants to be an agent of change. The most obvious form of assistance, of course, would be getting center Chris Kaman back in the lineup. Griffin can do many things, but he’s not a medical miracle worker.

Any other suggestions?

“We’ll work on it tomorrow,” Griffin said. “I’ve got some ideas.”

There’s always tomorrow!

At least we got a few highlights out of the deal, including a Josh “McBob” McRoberts alley-oop and a couple of Gordon and Griffin above-the-rim specials:

LeBron The Clipper King?


Posted by Sekou Smith

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Make all the fun you want of the Los Angeles Clippers.

But don’t ever question the fervor, drive or the determination of their fans.

Did you see the March for Lebron [James] that went on outside Staples center before Game 5 of the Western Conference finals? No problem, we’ve got you covered (above).

My main man Clipper Darrell was there, leading the charge.

Since no executive from the Clippers can say his name without fear of a fine, it was beyond decent of the fans to give life to the campaign with all the basketball world watching.

I feel bad predicting this now, but all the marches int the world won’t secure the services of the NBA’s most coveted free agent perhaps ever, but certainly in recent memory.

A little fan love never hurts, though.

And who knows? There’s nothing that says LeBron will not wear a Clippers uniform one day.

Crazier things have happened, right?