In this series of articles we look at an NBA team and give you, the African basketball fan, reasons to support them in the soon-to-tip-off NBA season. So, Africa pick your team.
Team to pick: Los Angeles Clippers
Nicknames: Lob City, The Clips
Uniform color: Red, blue, black, silver and white
Arena/Stadium: Staples Center
Competing in: Western Conference
City, State: Los Angeles, California
Team history: Two Division titles (2013, 2014)
Players to watch: Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Danilo Gallinari, Patrick Beverley
Coach: Doc Rivers
Last season performance: Regular season – Fourth in Western Conference with a 51-31 record. Lost to Utah Jazz in the first round of the playoffs.
Why pick them: They seem to have become a better team despite losing their team leader and captain, Chris Paul, to Houston Rockets. They still have DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin; Austin Rivers improved tremendously last season; Patrick Beverley is a combative point guard, and they have added Danilo Gallinari. The addition of Serbian star Milos Teodosic also gives them good passing and ball movement. They may still be ‘Lob City’, but a new variant will likely be introduced into their game.
African players on roster: None.
Premier League team they resemble the most: Everton – Like the Liverpool team that shares a city with them, the Clippers share a city with a fantastic, historied Lakers team. The major similarity between the Clippers and Everton is that they are overshadowed by more illustrious rivals in the same city. The Lakers have won it all, but the Clippers haven’t come close. Everton see Liverpool as their Merseyside rivals and tally their 18 league titles, seven FA Cups and five UEFA Champions League titles compared to the Toffees’ nine league titles and five FA cup wins. Everton’s last major honors came in 1995. That is more titles than the Clippers have won as they’ve never gone beyond the Conference semifinals. Both the Clippers and Everton have had their share of great players, but the road to a major honor is still strewn with many obstacles.
By Akinbode Oguntuyi
@booday10 on Twitter
The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Kwesé Sports.