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HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Those critics who claimed the Los Angeles Clippers were all style and no substance last season will have to find something else to nit-pick about the reigning Pacific Division champions.
Because “Lob City” is finished. No more. History.
One of the central figures in the movement, Clippers All-Star dunk machine Blake Griffin, has declared it D.O.A. under coach Doc Rivers. The new coach is all about substance in his effort to take the Clips from an exciting, playoff-regular group to an actual championship contender. With a new, defensive-minded focus and significant shift in how they’ll play on offense, there is simply no room for the flash that was Lob City, as Griffin detailed to ESPN’s Shelly Smith:
“Lob City doesn’t exist anymore. Lob City is done. We’re moving on and we’re going to find our identity during training camp and that will be our new city. No more Lob City.”
The fun police can blame Rivers. He won’t mind. As long as his team is grinding on both ends and playing up to its potential, he’ll be pleased. Fans who had grown accustomed to the “Lob City” mentality, though, will need time to adjust. I know I will after enjoying Griffin and DeAndre Jordan‘s slam-dunk finishes off tosses from Chris Paul and Jamal Crawford the past couple of seasons.
But it’s a necessary change, Griffin said, for the greater good:
“Our offense is going to have a totally different look this year,” said Griffin, who added that he’d done a lot of work in the offseason on his face-up game from 10 to 15 feet. “Our offense is going to have a lot of movement and floor spacing. I’m looking forward to it.”
Of course, not everyone will feel the same way about the end of Lob City.
Griffin, the 2010 NBA Slam Dunk champion, said he gets that.
“People will still wear T-shirts,” Griffin said. “I can’t really go to people’s houses and take their T-shirts and cut them up. But we [will] have a new identity as a team and that’s going to be what we work out during training camp.
“We’ll take about two or three weeks and really come up with something good.”
This news will be greeted with smiles by guys like Brandon Knight, Kendrick Perkins, Timofey Mozgov and countless others who have found themselves on the wrong end a highlight from an encounter with the Clippers.
R.I.P. “Lob City” … it was fun while it lasted!