The 2013-2014 Los Angles Clippers
(Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

The 2013-2014 Los Angles Clippers with new head coach Doc Rivers were the start of something new and exciting for the team. The Clippers for a long time were a laughing stock in the NBA. As a franchise, they had only two winning seasons in the past twenty years. While often being overshadowed by the success of the Los Angles Lakers. But the acquisition of superstar point guard Chris Paul and the arrival of Blake Griffin changed everything for the franchise. They immediately became a winning franchise with championship aspirations.

Although, it took a while for Blake Griffin to become a player that would be able to contribute to a championship-winning team. During the 2013-2014 season, he became that player. The pair of Paul and Griffin was a fierce duo to face with both making the All-NBA teams 1st and 2nd team respectively. Along with athletic center Deandre Jordan, they were nicknamed Lob City for their style of play.

Throughout the season the team made spectacular highlights reenergizing the Clippers fanbase that had become accustomed to losing. Chris Paul won the All-Star Game MVP award and brought the team from the shadows of the Western Conference. The 2013-2014 Los Angles Clipper were well-rounded and on a mission. Chris had led the league in assists at 10.7 and Deandre led the league in rebounds at 13.6. Blake Griffin was considered one of the best power forwards in the NBA finishing third in MVP voting that season. This Clippers team had the number one offense in the NBA and finished with a record of 57-25. Third in the Western Conference behind the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs.

Donald Sterling causing Playoff distractions

The 2013-2014 Los Angles Clippers entered the post-season looking to make a deep run towards an NBA title with new head coach Doc Rivers. Their first-round series with the Golden State Warriors however was completely overshadowed. By the scandal of their former owner Donald Sterling. When a leaked recording of his racial tirade targeting former NBA player Magic Johnson and others leading to chaos consuming the Clippers organization.

The players throughout the rest of their post-season run protested ownership by turning all team gear inside out to hide the team’s logo. The Clippers were able to defeat the Golden State Warriors in 7 games. However, the cloud of not knowing about the future of their ownership hanging over their head had completely damaged their morale.

In the following round versus the Oklahoma City Thunder the off-court distractions and on-court meltdowns proved to be too much for Lob City. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin both had stellar series averaging over 20 points per game and Chris dished out 11.8 assists per game but in a pivotal game five in the final seconds the Clippers kissed their title dreams goodbye.

In the final 17 seconds with the Clippers leading by two Chris Paul, who is known for being an elite floor general controlling everything on the court coughed the ball up twice. That sequence proved to be the final nail in the coffin for the Clippers. After a devastating loss in the final seconds of a crucial game and the distracting media circus around the team, they were defeated by the Thunder in six games.

Clipper’s Shot at Redemption

The Following 2014-2015 NBA season, the Clippers had a new owner, Steve Ballmer, and they repeated their regular-season success finishing one win lower at 56-28 from the prior season. In the first round, they had a matchup with the reigning champions San Antonio Spurs. Which they defeated in a dramatic finish during a win or go home game seven. In the Semi-Conference finals, they once again had a postseason meltdown allowing the Houston Rockets to win the series after the Clippers held a 3-1 series lead.

After that, the Clippers did not win another first-round series. As the roster began to lose depth mixed with untimely injuries to their star players. The team always found success in the regular season but year after year they had post-season meltdowns until Lob City was disbanded in the 2016-2017 NBA season.