LeBron with Clippers? Don't dismiss it

Mike Monroe

About halfway through the preseason, a friend who shares a pair of
Spurs season tickets asked for advice about games worth putting dibs on
when the ticket group met to slice up the season.

One recommendation was Monday’s game against the Clippers, a tout based entirely on the potential No. 1 overall draft pick Blake Griffin had shown, both in summer league and preseason games.

I believed Griffin had the potential to be a true impact rookie, perhaps even capable of helping the Clippers return to playoff contention in the brutally tough Western Conference.

Griffin wasn’t in San Antonio on Monday, and he hasn’t suited up since being diagnosed in late October with a stress fracture of the left kneecap. The latest projection has him getting on the court in mid-January, but Clippers fans have learned not to raise expectations about such things.

Call me crazy, but I believe that if Griffin has no more setbacks to his timetable and returns without ill effect from his injury, he could have an impact that goes beyond just making the Clippers competitive in the West.

He might put them in the hunt for LeBron James next summer.

I still believe James, the reigning NBA MVP, will re-up with the Cavaliers after he becomes a free agent in July. But if he opts to take his game elsewhere, he will be weighing the championship potential of his new team and the intangibles of his new hometown.

Why not L.A.?

It has all the intangibles an NBA player could want.

The Clippers share Staples Center with the Lakers as a home base and have built a new practice facility with all the bells, whistles and workout equipment a player needs.

There are enough A-List celebrities in Tinseltown for both teams, though it isn’t likely Jack Nicholson ever will share Clippers courtside seats with Billy Crystal.

What could the Clippers possibly offer from a competitive standpoint?

More than the Knicks or Nets.


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