LA Clippers fans may not be happy that the playoffs weren’t able to start today but we all have to remember it is for the best.
For followers of the NBA, and especially for fans of the LA Clippers, this was the weekend that has been circled on the calendar, the dates when we begin to find out if the team we love and follow is really built for the long game.
In a universe that seems so far away right now, this weekend was supposed to be the start of the NBA playoffs. As the entire basketball-following world knows, the playoffs have been delayed, may be canceled, as the world navigates the coronavirus.
It is an emotional time for so many reasons. Although of course basketball takes a backseat to public health, as it should, it may still be hard for fans to forget the basketball hopes and dreams they had for April, May, and June. I couldn’t wait to see the new fan playoff shirts that would’ve been waiting on my seats at the Staples Center at the first home playoff game. We all looked forward with anticipation to this team that was engineered for the marathon, not the sprint. If all went according to plan, we may well have seen Kawhi Leonard anchoring the Clippers in every playoff game.
NBA playoff season is one of my favorite times of the year. Not only do I love the game, but it provides an exciting game-time decision as do any social plans. Starting the middle of April, every plan has the caveat “unless there’s a playoff game”. I had two out-of-town weddings in May, both now postponed. I had a music festival Memorial Day weekend, now postponed. Great events, all of which may have fallen away depending on the playoff schedule. I even had a fantastic outdoor concert in Seattle planned with my sister for the last week in June. After the playoffs, but still just penciled in, “in case there’s a championship parade”.
We have all seen so many heartwarming stories come to light during this global pandemic. I feel so much love for the Clipper Nation that has bonded even more strongly and found ways to stay connected even without basketball. We have enthusiastically latched on to every bit of news about our players, whether the surprising info from Lou Williams that Kawhi is the most vocal on the team group chat or the Friday night home movie nights hosted for the fans by Pat Pat. We (well not me but everyone else) followed every moment of the deep runs by Patrick Beverley and Montrezz Harrell in the NBA 2K tournament. Clipper fans have stuck together, holding onto hope for an eventual 2020 playoff, whatever format that might take.
It’s okay to feel sad about what we’re missing. And it’s even more okay to feel hopeful for the future. We may not have a new Clippers playoff shirt to proudly wear, yet, but we will be safe and strong in our own homes and as part of the Clippers family until the world, and basketball, heal.