What’s great about sports, or any form of competition, is that you have to back up your words with action. It is the ultimate bullsh** detector. That’s particularly true about your peers. You can’t live on narrative too long. That seems to be the most significant difference between Kawhi and George so far. Leonard has the accolades, George talks.
The Clippers chemistry and character was one of their biggest assets last free agency, in addition to being in LA. They seemed like the perfect team if you are a superstar picking your next destination. But to get accepted to a group like that, there can’t be no bullsh**. A story by Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports revealed that could be a problem the Clippers have to deal with.
Game 2 against the Nuggets and Paul George had two turnovers in less than a minute. The second one was a risky pass to Harrell – obviously George’s mistake. Doc called a time out, and Harrell called Pandemic P out for lack of focus. George didn’t accept responsibility and argued Harrell could’ve caught the pass.
“Harrell responded with something along the lines of, “You’re always right. Nobody can tell you nothing,” and expletives were uttered from both players, sources said. George eventually toned down his rhetoric, but a heated Harrell wasn’t having it.”Chris Haynes, Yahoo Sports
It doesn’t sound like much, but that’s serious criticism. Its like you mom or significant other saying “I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed.” That’s the moment someone gives up on you a little bit, at least for a while. Last year’s Clippers were the fighting underdog, a team with grit. You don’t get there without humility and accepting responsibility. Once you become the guy who’s never wrong, things go south quick.
Harrell called it in January when he said the Clippers were “not a great team,” after a loss signified with lack of effort and commitment. The entire year, the Clippers acted like there’s plenty of time to flip the switch. That doesn’t work for a team that has no continuity or identity.
Don’t get me wrong, they are still very talented and have a lot of high character guys. If this loss helps Doc find a new “ubuntu” and get everyone to sacrifice, the Clippers will be the team to beat next season. But for that to happen, difficult conversations will have to happen.