Sports

Steve Ballmer’s Clippers malfunctioned like an old XBox

The Pelicans unplugged the Clippers’ controller.

The Pelicans unplugged the Clippers’ controller.
Image: Getty Images

Man, Steve Ballmer needed to be feeling actually good when he first obtained Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. I imply like “Steve Ballmer hyping up a pep rally” good or “Christmas morning presents as a child” good. He felt “Just bought a brand new XBox and am barely able to drive home below the speed limit” good.

And, boy, is a brand new XBox enjoyable. You play it for a 12 months perhaps. Halo and Gears of War are nice, however earlier than you’re even in a position to get used to A, B, X, Y over sq., circle, triangle and X throughout a season of NCAA College Football, you get the purple ring of loss of life, and there’s nothing you or Microsoft can do to revive you as soon as shiny, utopia-promising toy.

Unlike my dearly discarded XBox, the Clippers nonetheless have an opportunity to make good on the title that Leonard and George promised, however it’s not taking place this 12 months. Ty Lue did all the pieces he might to attempt to get this workforce to the postseason, and but a glitch within the system nonetheless occurred, with a optimistic COVID check forcing George to sit down out what ended up being the workforce’s remaining recreation of the season, a 105-101 loss to the Pelicans on Friday night time.

(If you’re asking, sure, I’m going to proceed milking this satisfactory analogy for your complete $375 that that piece of junk price me. I’m nonetheless enjoying my Playstation 3 despite the fact that it feels like a jet engine as a result of the Uncharted video games are enjoyable to revisit and since it nonetheless features.)

I doubt any LA followers dabbled in Clippers fandom the best way I dabbled in shoddy Microsoft tech after a profitable stint with a storied franchise like Playstation or the Lakers, and how are you going to blame anybody who was silly sufficient to attempt to flip-flop again to outdated dependable? The Clippers as a franchise really feel like a dull piece of expertise. If present counts as “storied history” they’ve it in spades.

I’ve completed an article on LA’s different NBA workforce a pair completely different instances, and it could possibly be that I’m not nearly as good of a author as I believe I’m, however nobody appeared to ever learn them. That mentioned, the explanation why I believe nobody reads these items is as a result of the Clippers don’t evoke emotion come what may.

It’s laborious discovering an angle when writing in regards to the Clippers as a result of they’re the Clippers. Donald Sterling obtained booted from possession, and each man on that workforce nonetheless performed basketball like they hated life. Adding a pair hometown skills didn’t endear the workforce to LA followers. If something it turned the 2 stars into traitors for not going to the Lakers, and made the franchise barely extra annoying.

Yeah, LeBron James and Anthony Davis had an all-time embarrassing season this 12 months, however they received a title. The Lakers sucking unsurprisingly garnered extra press than Lue overachieving with out his finest gamers.

You can name the Clippers’ play-in loss towards the Pelicans on Friday night time a choke job if you need. They have been up three with 5 minutes left. But the true missed alternative — moreover having a Finals MVP and an All-NBA wing of their primes for 3 years with solely an look within the Western Conference Finals to point out for it — was Tuesday night time towards Minnesota when George performed and the workforce nonetheless squandered a 10-point fourth quarter lead and a playoff berth to workforce whose finest participant was in foul hassle your complete recreation.

We’re well beyond the purpose of anticipating this workforce to contend for a title. They can add all of the All Stars, coaches, arenas, and followers Microsoft should buy, and the top consequence would be the similar. Publicity comes their manner as a result of they’re in LA, and so they have legitimately nice gamers. Basketball writers are obligated to speak in regards to the Clippers the identical manner they’re required to speak about Brooklyn.

Nice job, fellas. Way to seek out the 2 groups in main markets that evoke a collective “Meh.” It’s like shopping for a Ferrari SUV. You can brag about being in LA or New York or a $300,000 automotive all you need, however that doesn’t make it cool. At least Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving give attention-grabbing or outlandish quotes.

I’m completed feigning enthusiasm for Clippers storylines. The solely cause I wrote this was as a result of I had an XBox analogy that works on two ranges, I’ve a beef with Microsoft, and it’s enjoyable to see billionaires’ costly toys go up in flames.

Wait, does “exhausted by a team’s excessive blandness” qualify as an emotion? It does?! Well, shit, I assume congratulations are to ensure that the Clippers — as a result of the playoffs definitely aren’t.

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