The Los Angeles Clippers had a disappointing 2019-20 NBA season. The duo of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George led Clippers were ousted by the Nuggets in seven games of the Western Conference semi-finals.
Many players from the team were vocal about how the team lacked chemistry. About how they just didn’t play enough with each other which resulted in their exit.
The Clippers are led by the two stars Leonard and George. In order to convince a star to join them, teams accept certain perks for the players.
The Athletic recently revealed some absurd perks that the Clippers’ stars had. Athletic’s Johan Vuha writes, “according to multiple league sources, the perks the Clippers gave Leonard and George began to compromise the standard of the culture they had built over the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons — the very culture that the Clippers used, in part, to attract Leonard and George to Los Angeles.”
“Some of those perks included:
Leonard and George were the only players to have their own personal security guards and trainers. Kawhi and George had power over the team’s practice and travel schedule, leading teammates to believe Leonard canceled multiple practices. Leonard was allowed to live in San Diego and commute from there, which often made him late for team flights.
Leonard and George typically didn’t speak to the media until at least 45 minutes after games concluded, under the guise of post-game treatment or workouts. This usually resulted in their teammates speaking with the media first, and for longer, essentially becoming the public voices of the team.
Teammates also believed that Leonard and George were able to pick and choose when they played. Not only did they sit out games entirely, but also at times they accepted or declined playing time in the moment.”
Considering how absurd these perks sound, there is no doubt why there is no chemistry in the team. If your star players aren’t your leaders, then who is.
The Clippers learned one thing from their playoff run: they lacked a playmaker in the team. Coming to the off-season, there were multiple rumors about Rajon Rondo being the primary target for them.
Rondo who won the championship with the Lakers would have been the perfect fit for the team. He is one of the most intelligent players in the NBA and a vocal leader, both the areas where the team lacked.
They couldn’t convince the 4-time All-Star who ended up joining the Atlanta Hawks. In another shock move, their center Montrezl Harrell joined their cross-city rivals Los Angeles Lakers. The Clippers ended up signing 24-year Luke Kennard from the Detroit Pistons.
They signed Serge Ibaka to replace Harrell. Ibaka in many ways is an upgrade on Harrell. Ibaka may not give you 20 points a night but surely knows how to shoot from the perimeter. The 7’0 center is a capable defender and can stretch the floor, making more room for the offense.
They also acquired Nicolas Batum from the free agency. Batum who had signed a mammoth contract with the Hornets massively underperformed. The Clippers have made some decent moves this off-season but still haven’t addressed their point guard situation. Only time will tell if this is Clippers’ year or not.
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