It’s quite odd to find actual friends in any sports team nowadays due to the harsh competition for minutes, shots and the spotlight, and the fierce and competitive characters some of the biggest players in the world have right now, and the NBA is no exception to that rule.
Instead, it’s very common to see teammates that don’t get along and mess with the team’s chemistry with their constant complaints, jealousy and toxic behavior. So whenever a team’s roster is filled with guys that actually care about each other, things tend to work out pretty well.
A team that could actually be in this situation pretty soon is Doc River’s squad, as the Los Angeles Clippers could wind up creating a “brotherhood” at the Staples Center if some things work their way during this upcoming offseason.
Things haven’t always been on the Clippers' side, constantly fighting against the “Laker Culture”, as the city has clearly favored the purple and gold franchise through time thanks to the winning culture of that team, while the Clippers have always been one of the worst sides in the Association.
Nevertheless, the arrival of Blake Griffin via the draft, the rise of DeAndre Jordan as one of the best defenders in the league, the arrivals of Doc Rivers and Chris Paul and the support they’ve gotten from Jamal Crawford and J.J. Reddick has put this team in a contending position over the last 4 or 5 seasons, but they’ve failed to take the next step towards the ring.
Crucial injuries from both Paul and Griffin over the last few seasons have massively hurt the Clippers chance to get some jewelry at the end of the season, and the team’s future, or at least the roster as it is right now, is in huge jeopardy depending on whether they transcend or not during this year’s playoffs.
Both Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are set to opt out of the last year of their contract to pursue a new lucrative deal, while other guys like Crawford and Reddick could also be on their way out of the Staples Center during the next few months.
Of course, it’s very unlikely that Paul leaves the Clippers, as the 32-year-old knows that they’re his best shot at a championship and to earn a huge paycheck. Griffin’s case, on the other hand, is quite different as both the Celtics and the Thunder (from his native home of Oklahoma) could offer a better short term future for the 28-year-old.
So, if Griffin winds up signing for the Celtics, the Thunder or even the Los Angeles Lakers, the Clippers could have a lot of money available to try and sign two of Paul’s best buddies, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony.
It’s not a secret that the three of them and LeBron James are pretty close friends, as they even train and travel together during the holidays (remember the banana boat picture from a couple of seasons ago), so the possibility of the 3 veterans playing together would definitely be quite interesting, considering they know each other pretty well and have quite good communication and chemistry between them.
On top of that, perhaps the addition of two All-Star players and future Hall of Famers to play alongside Paul and DeAndre Jordan would boost the Clippers new image and winning identity, bringing more young fans to the bleachers and developing a new fanbase.
Besides, it would be a very attractive destination for other free agents willing to take a minor pay cut in order to contribute and try to end Golden State’s dominance in the West and Lebron’s kingdom in the East, developing yet another super team to try and make a championship run.
Nevertheless, we can’t forget the fact that these guys’ primes are far behind them, as Wade had a pretty inconsistent season due to fatigue with the Chicago Bulls, while Carmelo has been Phil Jackson’s scapegoat through this entire season and even if his numbers haven’t taken a major dip, it’s pretty clear that the small forward isn’t the same scoring machine he used to be over the course of his career.
Chris Paul is just about to turn 32, while Wade’s 35 and Melo’s 32 as well, so pairing all those guys together for the long run would definitely make no sense, although they could have a nice “last run” to try and win the ring.
It’s also worth noticing that while Wade could come for free, the Clippers would have to give up something to bring Melo to the Staples Center, so putting the team’s future in jeopardy for a rental on a player on his way out of the league would be a very risky move as well.
In the end, we’ll just have to wait and see. Even if these moves are done, it’ll be quite interesting to see how things eventually turn out for Doc Rivers and the Clippers, but you just can’t deny the fact that it’ll be very nice to see that one of a kind brotherhood in the NBA.