Blake Griffin admits true reason Chris Paul-led Clippers teams failed
After being the laughing stock of the entire NBA for decades, the Los Angeles Clippers have managed to successfully bridge together two eras of success. Before Kawhi Leonard and Paul George made the jump back in 2019, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan turned LAC into a perennial playoff contender.
But despite piling on regular season wins and constantly garnering homecourt advantage, the Clippers were never able to get over the hump. Not only did they never win a championship, they never even made it past the second round of the playoffs.
Blake Griffin, once the face of the Clippers franchise, sat down with former teammate JJ Redick on The Old Man and the Three podcast on their former club. The two stars spoke candidly about what caused their team to underachieve despite having the talent to win it all. Griffin recalled the 2014-15 season as their best chance to etch their name on the history books, which instead became the biggest blemish on their tenure.
“2015 was just a complete mental breakdown. I don’t think pettiness is why we lost in the playoffs, especially not that year. Or the year before, we lost to Oklahoma City. Pettiness didn’t lose those seasons for us.”
Clippers fans will never forget the 2015 Western Conference Semi-Finals, when the team not only blew a 3-1 series, but they also squandered a massive lead in Game 6 at home, getting outscored 15-40 in the final quarter. This escalated the speculation surround the team’s chemistry and whether or not everyone got along. But Griffin was adamant that it was nothing beyond the lack of mental fortitude.
“I’ve said this to people when they always ask me about the Clippers. I am in the camp where it wasn’t quite as bad as people make it out to be. Maybe towards the end, maybe like when some other things happened. That’s not the reason we didn’t win a championship. Our two chances to win a championship were those two years (2014 and 2015). After that, the Warriors and LeBron, they were just going back and forth.”
The Lob City era is long gone, but will not be forgotten in Clippers history. They may not have ever come close to their potential as a contending team, but they represented LAC’s first true successful era that fans can only hope served as the foundation for many to come.