The one certainty of the LA Clippers in the 2018-19 season might not be true at all.
The LA Clippers had a weird season in 2018-19. The team traded their best player for the second consecutive year, but this time, they were even better and gave the Golden State Warriors a run for their money in the first round of the playoffs.
Before this and throughout the season, though, there was a lot of uncertainty surrounding the team. Would they make the playoffs? Would they accomplish their goal of luring Kawhi Leonard from the Toronto Raptors in free agency? If they could woo Leonard, could they find him a co-star?
There was one certainty in a very clouded season, however. It was a question the Clipperholics team pondered at the start of the season: Who is the cutest Clipper?
Almost unanimously, us Contributors and Site-Experts agreed that the answer was rookie point guard, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. It was agreed upon shortly after he was drafted and accepted as the truth for the remainder of the season. Site-Expert Ryan Snellings even publicly answered the question in his March Mailbag, where he deemed SGA the winner.
However, a recent experiment from South China University has changed everything. Using an AI facial beauty neural network, SCU rated all NBA starters from the 2018-19 season by attractiveness.
There is a lot of information here (thanks to @kevnfeng on Instagram for the graphic!), so let’s decipher it. The Boston Celtics had the most attractive starters, with Marcus Smart being their only starter below a 20/100 on the attractiveness scale.
The Denver Nuggets rolled out the least attractive starting five, with none of the players surpassing a 40/100 on the scale.
As stated before, there is a lot to dive into here, but most notably, SGA wasn’t the highest rated Clipper. In fact, he was tied for second in attractiveness with LA’s starting shooting guard (without a name available, it is presumably Avery Bradley). The most attractive Clipper, though, was their starting power forward, Danilo Gallinari.
Everything we knew is out the window. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is the cutest Clipper. It was a fact. Now, as a fan base, Clippers fans need to decide if they want to stick to what they used to known as fact or rely on the results of the new experiment.
On a better note, earlier this offseason, the Clippers acquired Maurice Harkless from the Portland Trail Blazers in a four-team trade. Harkless just so happens to be ranked as the most attractive starter in the NBA, with a rating of 94/100.
While the fans may have been wrong on about SGA, it is refreshing to have the league leader in attractiveness on the squad.
This is good for the Clippers. In this summer alone, they have acquire two Most Valuable Player (MVP) candidates in Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, as well as the Most Attractive Player (MAT) in Maurice Harkless. The NBA should hand out the MAT award annually at the NBA Award Show because, as Harkless has said, “numbers don’t lie.”