Earlier this year, I sat down with former Clippers center Ryan Hollins and our chat. Hollins shared why he thought Lob City never reached the finals.
“Our Clippers’ team Blake and DeAndre’s spacing became an issue. I think Chris Paul is great, but he is not equipped to lead a team. We had the point guard, bigs, but we didn’t have wings. If you look at the championships, it comes with wings. Chris Paul is not dynamic enough like a Steph Curry on the offensive end to have led us where we needed to go,” said Hollins.
“Then the spacing becomes an issue because now there is nowhere he can drive because he has two non-shooters on the floor. We were constructed wrong, and Chris just wasn’t that guy. You have to think of the champions like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James. It is the wing position that does it, and when Curry did it, they were great as a unit. Curry is an outlier, and maybe Chris [Paul] was too much of a traditional point guard. Perhaps we didn’t have enough spacing or star power.”
Recently, I spoke with Jamal Crawford, who spent five seasons in Los Angeles as a part of the Lob City era. I also asked Crawford to share his thoughts on Hollins comments.
“Obviously, He was on one of those teams, so he has every right to say how he feels from his perspective. From my perspective, I don’t think it was the shooting guard position. I think it was a combination of injuries at the wrong times, mentally having let down if that makes sense? When we were up three to one, and we just beat the Spurs that just won a championship, and we end up losing that series. For me that is not a shooting guard, that is all of us collectively as a group not finishing our job,” said Crawford.
So, thinks like that and injuries and then if you look as we were together for two years, three years, and when get to the fifth year at this point. Everyone is like man is this really going to work? And then people decided to go their own way, then the organization, and things start happening. So, that is my perspective and viewpoint.”
Fast forward four years after the Lob City era ended, Chris Paul, who was the floor general during the time is two wins away from winning an NBA Championship. He had helped guide the Phoenix Suns to a 2-0 against the Milwaukee Bucks, as the series shift back to Milwaukee.