In the span of a week the Los Angeles Clippers have gone from a Knicks nuisance to a Knicks hero and then villian. Along the way they have expanded their presence in the Los Angeles area and gained a step on their Staple Center co-tenant Lakers, while perhaps inspiring the cross river and soon to be cross borough Nets to think bigger.
On the one hand, I was relieve the Clippers cast the winning bid on the services of former Knicks guard Chauncey Billups via the amnesty waiver process. Yep that Billups the former Knicks guard who expressed frustration with the latest twist in his career after being amnestied for the Knicks to secure Tyson Chandler. The Clippers’ acquisition of Billups spared the Knicks from Billups’ ire, which was on full display in a yahoo sports interview. I for one am glad Chauncey won’t be directing the rival Heat, Nets or Magic (hat tip to the league also for insisting that Billups not usurp the new amnesty process).
On the other hand, the Lakers little brother were reportedly all over the place in proposed trades for Chris Paul. How dare they? Don’t the Clipper’s know that “Chris Paul will be a Knick?”
Apparently not. Today the Clippers went all in and landed Paul in a trade that cost them upcoming shooting guard Eric Gordon and the unprotected 2012 draft pick the Clips acquired from the Timberwolves. As part of the transaction, Paul reportedly has agreed to not opt out at the end of the 2011-12 season and will remain with the Clippers until the end of the 2012-13 season. With Paul on board for two season the Clippers will have the opportunity to build around a Blake Griffin/Chris Paul star combination. A tandem that is picking up steam with the acquisition of Caron Butler, the resigning of DeAndre Jordan and the acquisition of Chauncey Billups veteran leadership.
Damn them little brother Clippers, they may even inspire those pesky Nets to ramp up their efforts to land Dwight Howard to the Brooklyn bound franchise Despite Orlando’s insistence to the contrary. Damn I hate sibling rivalries. But at least the Knicks can now focus on addressing their areas of need and building up the team they actually have.