Steve Ballmer’s Clippers malfunctioned like an old XBox


The Pelicans unplugged the Clippers’ controller.

The Pelicans unplugged the Clippers’ controller.
Graphic: Getty Photographs

Person, Steve Ballmer had to be experience truly great when he initially obtained Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. I imply like “Steve Ballmer hyping up a pep rally” great or “Christmas morning provides as a child” superior. He felt “Just acquired a brand new XBox and am scarcely equipped to travel dwelling beneath the speed limit” excellent.

And, boy, is a new XBox enjoyable. You perform it for a 12 months maybe. Halo and Gears of War are excellent, but prior to you’re even ready to get applied to A, B, X, Y above sq., circle, triangle and X in the course of a period of NCAA Higher education Soccer, you get the purple ring of demise, and there’s nothing at all you or Microsoft can do to revive your when shiny, utopia-promising toy.

In contrast to my dearly discarded XBox, the Clippers nonetheless have a probability to make very good on the title that Leonard and George promised, but it is not going on this year. Ty Lue did almost everything he could to test to get this crew to the postseason, and however a glitch in the procedure nevertheless transpired, with a constructive COVID test forcing George to sit out what finished up remaining the team’s ultimate sport of the period, a 105-101 loss to the Pelicans on Friday night time.

(If you’re inquiring, sure, I’m likely to carry on milking this satisfactory analogy for the full $375 that that piece of junk price tag me. I’m nonetheless enjoying my Playstation 3 even however it sounds like a jet motor simply because the Uncharted games are enjoyment to revisit and since it still functions.)

I question any LA lovers dabbled in Clippers fandom the way I dabbled in shoddy Microsoft tech following a prosperous stint with a storied franchise like Playstation or the Lakers, and how can you blame anyone who was silly sufficient to try to flip-flop back again to aged trustworthy? The Clippers as a franchise really feel like a lifeless piece of engineering. If existing counts as “storied history” they have it in spades.

I have accomplished an article on LA’s other NBA staff a few distinctive occasions, and it could be that I’m not as fantastic of a writer as I assume I am, but no a person appeared to at any time browse them. That mentioned, the motive why I imagine no a single reads those people items is simply because the Clippers really do not evoke emotion one way or the other.

It is difficult discovering an angle when crafting about the Clippers due to the fact they are the Clippers. Donald Sterling acquired booted from possession, and each and every guy on that workforce however performed basketball like they hated daily life. Adding a few hometown talents didn’t endear the staff to LA enthusiasts. If anything at all it turned the two stars into traitors for not heading to the Lakers, and built the franchise a little far more bothersome.

Yeah, LeBron James and Anthony Davis experienced an all-time embarrassing time this year, but they won a title. The Lakers sucking unsurprisingly garnered a lot more push than Lue overachieving devoid of his finest gamers.

You can simply call the Clippers’ enjoy-in loss versus the Pelicans on Friday evening a choke position if you want. They were being up a few with five minutes remaining. But the authentic missed possibility — besides possessing a Finals MVP and an All-NBA wing in their primes for three decades with only an appearance in the Western Meeting Finals to present for it — was Tuesday evening versus Minnesota when George played and the team continue to squandered a 10-stage fourth quarter lead and a playoff berth to staff whose finest play
er was in foul difficulty the full recreation.

We’re way earlier the point of anticipating this team to contend for a title. They can add all the All Stars, coaches, arenas, and supporters Microsoft can get, and the conclude final result will be the exact same. Publicity comes their way due to the fact they’re in LA, and they have legitimately excellent gamers. Basketball writers are obligated to communicate about the Clippers the very same way they’re required to communicate about Brooklyn.

Wonderful job, fellas. Way to locate the two teams in key markets that evoke a collective “Meh.” It is like getting a Ferrari SUV. You can brag about being in LA or New York or a $300,000 vehicle all you want, but that does not make it cool. At minimum Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving give intriguing or outlandish quotes.

I’m carried out feigning enthusiasm for Clippers storylines. The only rationale I wrote this was due to the fact I experienced an XBox analogy that will work on two ranges, I have a beef with Microsoft, and it’s enjoyable to see billionaires’ highly-priced toys go up in flames.

Hold out, does “exhausted by a team’s excessive blandness” qualify as an emotion? It does?! Well, shit, I guess congratulations are in order for the Clippers — for the reason that the playoffs certainly aren’t.


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