The Lob City version of the LA Clippers may be the best team in NBA history to never win an NBA Championship. Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, JJ Redick, Jamal Crawford, and Doc Rivers entered each season during their four/five year run as a legitimate championship contender only to surprisingly flame out a few months later in the postseason.
Redick was a significant part of the Lob City Clippers, setting franchise records for three-point shooting that are still untouched years later. Redick's record of 200 three-pointers in both the the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons was topped only by 201 made triples in the 2016-17 season.
Back in August of 2018, the sharpshooter from Duke joined the Pardon My Take Podcast, where he discussed where the Lob City Clippers went wrong.
“Oh man, I don’t think there was one moment,” Redick admitted. “Doc used to always talk about how when one group was kind of together for along period of time, instead of getting closer together, you end up pointing fingers at each other. It was weird because, separately, everybody was really cool with each other. Off the court, everybody sort of got along and then there was just so much pettiness. It was so much pettiness. It’s weird to think what we had the potential to accomplish and what ultimately derailed that was pettiness. Like Donald Trump-level pettiness.”
JJ Redick on Lob City Clippers' demise – "Off the court, everybody got along & then there was just so much pettiness. So much pettiness. It’s weird to think what we had the potential to accomplish & what ultimately derailed that was pettiness. Like Donald Trump-level pettiness." pic.twitter.com/0byZmsCw8S
— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) April 10, 2020
There were reports of some internal conflicts throughout the core's tenure. Whether it was Doc Rivers not necessarily being in favor of a ball-dominant point guard, Chris Paul's rumored feud with Blake Griffin about who the primary playmaker on the team was, and even Rivers eventually trading for his son, Austin Rivers.
None of those rumors have been publicly confirmed by players or coaches, and Paul even admitted he really appreciated Griffin's game once he left Los Angeles. Still, the tension within the team was very much real.
“The weird part about our team…” Redick hesitated. “I know Matt Barnes has gone on a few shows recently and talked about mental toughness and I do believe that was part of it, but I think the biggest problem was passive aggressiveness. Like I would rather a guy actually blow up at a teammate and whether it ends in fight or just a verbal shouting match, I think getting stuff out in the open is healthier than holding it and sort of whispering things in corners and never really addressing root issues.
“I’m throwing myself in this in some ways. I’m probably as guilty as other guys, but we were just really passive aggressive with each other. I know certain guys now that we've separated, no one’s there anymore, we’ve all left. Doc is the last man standing. I don't know that we hate each other, I don't know that, but I think it wasn't that while we were playing together. It wasn’t like, ‘oh I hate this guy,' it was just like passive aggressive bullshit.”
More JJ Redick on Lob City Clippers- "I would rather a guy actually blow up at a teammate… I think getting stuff out in the open is healthier than holding it & sort of whispering things in corners & never really addressing root issues… It was just passive aggressive bullshit” pic.twitter.com/nAcAo4mKXV
— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) April 10, 2020
This isn't the first time former members of the Lob City Clippers looked back at their time in Los Angeles. Paul and Redick did a podcast together last year where Paul admitted he missed everyone from the team.
“As much as people always write our story of when we were in L.A,” Paul said. “I miss you guys. Like fam, like Jamal just text me the other night. When you read a text from him, you can hear him say it. I miss you guys, honestly I do.”
“DJ and I texted a bunch after he was traded,” Redick added to that. “We played them after that, we spent some time together before the game, and basically that was the sentiment. We miss each other… “Probably the first nine-to-12 months, I wasn't in a place where I could look back fondly at my 4 years in LA in our time together. I don't know if it was bitterness or anger. Some of it was probably guilt as well that we didn't get it done.”
In 2014, the Clippers overcame the Warriors in an epic seven-game series before suffering a late-game collapse at the end of a pivotal Game 5 against the Thunder that ultimately swung the series OKC's way.
In 2015, the Clippers defeated the defending NBA Champion Spurs in another epic seven-game series. They held a commanding 3-1 lead over the Rockets in the second round, including a 19-point second-half lead in a potential series-clinching Game 6 at home. They lost that game as Houston made a comeback with James Harden on the bench. The Clippers couldn't recover in Game 7.
“The year we lost to the Rockets in seven games and we were up 3-1 and they came back and beat us. That year, I felt like we had a chance,” Redick reminisced. “If I’m being truthful, after that, we did not have a chance. We didn’t have the mental toughness.”
In 2016, the Clippers entered the playoffs healthy after working through Griffin's quad injury. After going up 2-0, both Griffin and Paul suffered season-ending injuries within minutes of one another in Game 4. LA dropped three straight games despite valiant efforts from Crawford and Rivers.
In 2017, the Clippers held a 2-1 lead over the Jazz in the first round. The Game 3 victory saw them lose Griffin to a season-ending toe injury.
And that was that.
Since their departure, JJ Redick moved on to play for the Philadelphia 76ers and New Orleans Pelicans. Chris Paul was traded to the Houston Rockets and then the Oklahoma City Thunder. Blake Griffin was moved to the Detroit Pistons. DeAndre Jordan moved on to play for the Dallas Mavericks, New York Knicks, and Brooklyn Nets. Jamal Crawford was traded to the Atlanta Hawks and waived. He's played sparingly since his time with the Clippers.
It's easy to forget just how great the Clippers were from 2013 to 2017. They won an average of 54 games per season and won 66.6 percent of their games over those five years (273-137).
NOTE: The podcast was actually from an episode back on 8/22/2019 It was previously incorrectly stated in this article that the podcast was recent and the comments that were made were recent. That is not the case.