Over five seasons from 2012 to 2017, the Los Angeles Clippers were a dominant regular-season team.
Winning 56, 57, 56, 53 and 51 games in consecutive campaigns during that span, the Clippers finished fourth, third, third, fourth and fourth in the Western Conference standings.
But, they were only able to win a total of three playoff series and never advanced past the second round.
Even though the Golden State Warriors’ emergence clearly limited the potential of the Clippers, there’s no denying that Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and the “Lob City” era was a major disappointment in the grand scheme of things.
Why couldn’t they get the job done in the postseason?
Former Clipper (and teammate of the aforementioned players) Matt Barnes shared his theory on the “Lunchtime with Roggin and Rodney” show on AM 570 LA Sports, as noted by Kurt Helin of NBC Sports.
“We really had one of the most talented teams that never won a championship in L.A. and I think it was our own fault," Barnes said. "We were in our own way. Just too many egos, young acting. We thought we were going to be the Warriors right up until they won the championship. We knocked them out of the playoffs the year before they came back and won, so we had a very talented team. We just couldn’t get on the same page. It was crazy. We were all cool off the court and I was like ‘how are we cool off the court and can’t get it together on the court?’ That was our… our mental toughness was what kept us from winning championships for the Clippers.”
Calling the Clippers one of the most talented teams to never win a championship might be a bit of a stretch, but Barnes alluded to the mental aspect of the game being the main issue.
“Egos. Egos. And now looking back on it from my perspective, because I was fortunate enough to go to the Warriors with a whole handful of superstars and there was no egos. Everyone left their ego… the only thing that mattered in Golden State was to win and winning the championship. If we had that mentality with the Clippers we would have won a championship," he hypothesized.
Now with all three players gone, a new era has begun in LA. Although Barnes is a loose cannon, it was certainly eye-opening to hear him call out his former teammates in such a way.
But, it adds to the theory that many people had: talent is not what the Clippers were lacking on those disappointing teams.News Now - Sport News