Chris Paul’s a free agent this summer. And while he’s probably going to stay right where he is, you never know until the contract is signed. As slim a chance as it may be that he leaves, you’d think even the remote possibility would have to worry the Clippers and their fans. You’ve got the game’s premier point guard – one of the best ever at commanding an offense, the guy more responsible than any one player for turning your franchise’s fortunes around – and in a few months’ time, he’ll be free to leave if he wants? Nerve-racking stuff… or it would be, if Blake Griffin weren’t CLEARLY CAPABLE OF REPLACING PAUL HIMSELF*:
I can see it now: Paul, against all odds, leaves. The Clippers are devastated. But then Griffin, torturing himself with clips of Paul alley-oops over the last two seasons as he mourns the loss of Lob City, stumbles across the clip above. He has an epiphany:
GRIFFIN: I realized something today. I always thought Chris was what made us Lob City. But it finally hit me when I re-watched those alley-oops to DeAndre from the Sixers game in March: Lob City was in us all along.
[FADE TO BLACK]
Seriously, though, pretty good for a big guy running the break, no? We know Jordan can finish on these types of plays as well as anyone, but this is a good reminder that for all the criticism over his supposed lack of a jumper (which, a convincing case can be made, is overly harsh) and struggles at the line (and he’s been much better in that area than he was last season), he’s more than highlight reel dunks, and his ability to be on either end of plays like the one above is just one more reason why the Clippers are one of the NBA’s most fun teams.
And for the record, Paul was typically terrific last night (19 points on 8-for-10 shooting, nine assists and five steals), and it would be devastating blow were the Clippers to lose him – which, again, they probably won’t. Just so we’re clear.
*Not actually capable of doing this.