Jamal Crawford gets brutally honest on Lob City team
The LA Clippers are in the best era their franchise has ever seen to date. Superstars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are Clippers leading the pursuit of the team’s first NBA Championship. None of this would be possible, however, without the shift the organization made with Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Jamal Crawford, and the rest of the Lob City team from 2021-2017.
The trade for Paul was the biggest superstar acquisition the franchise had over the last few decades, and having it coincide with the drafting of Griffin made it that much sweeter. The Clippers also had a chance to draft Paul George or Gordon Hayward in the draft a year after Griffin, but we’ll leave that for another time.
The Lob City Clippers were insanely good in the regular season. The franchise won at least 51 games five seasons in a row and amassed a 273-137 regular season record over those five years a 66.6 winning percentage.
Jamal Crawford played a vital part in each of the Clippers playoff runs, winning two Sixth Man of the Year awards over that five year stretch. Crawford recently hosted a Q&A on Twitter Spaces, a voices only discussion forum, where he gave fans the opportunity to ask him questions about any and everything.
One of the questions Jamal Crawford was asked about was his time with the Lob City Clippers and how he looks back the experience.
“The experience I had with Lob City is something very, very special,” Crawford said on the Spaces. “It was the best team I’ve ever been on. I truly believe each year we had a chance to win a championship and at least get to the Finals. That’s the thing that I miss most. Just the family atmosphere and just being home. That was the second time in my career that I played for a same same coach in back-to-back years. In 20 years, it was always a different coach, so that, and then having the same players, the same core, and just being a family.”
The Clippers consistently trotted out one of the best five-man lineups of the decade statistically in Chris Paul, JJ Redick, Matt Barnes/Luc Mbah a Moute, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan. Add Jamal Crawford to the mix and it’s no surprise this team performed night-in and night-out.
Unfortunately, whether it was injury or purely bad luck, the Clippers were always unable to carry that success over to the postseason. Clippers fans know them all too well.
Blowing a 2-0 series lead to the Memphis Grizzlies in 2013. Coughing up a seven-point lead with 47 seconds left in a pivotal Game 5 of a 2-2 series with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2014. Blowing a 3-1 lead to the Houston Rockets in 2015. Blowing a 2-0 lead to the Portland Trail Blazers after Chris Paul and Blake Griffin both suffer season-ending injuries in 2016. Losing Game 7 at home to the Utah Jazz after losing Blake Griffin to a season-ending injury in 2017.
“The biggest regret is not getting to the Finals,” Crawford added. “We should’ve at least gotten there twice, I believe, and we didn’t get it done. There’s no excuse, that was the biggest regret. But I still only have fond memories for sure.”
One fan mentioned that the Clippers’ defeating the defending NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the 2015 postseason felt like a turning point in the franchise, to which Crawford agreed.
“Yeah, I did too because the Spurs just won the championship the year before, so that gave us all the confidence in the world that we could do it. When we didn’t do it, that was disheartening.”
The Lob City Clippers ultimately ended up as the turning point of the franchise, but their failure to even reach a Conference Finals made them a massive letdown.