The LA Clippers are back to being a media punching bag

Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Clippers - Game Two
Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Clippers - Game Two / Harry How/GettyImages

It's the offseason for the LA Clippers, which means they are back to being a media punching bag. 

It's difficult to sympathize with the organization. Their strategy of relying on former superstar players long past their prime was cringe-worthy in the early 2000s. In today's era of new-age analytics, where League Pass provides instant access to games and over seven decades of NBA history serve as a guide, such a strategy is simply unforgivable. 

The series defeat at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks is not a "what if" but rather a "never again." Presuming Kawhi Leonard and Paul George will ever be healthy enough for four rounds to bring a title to the other side of Los Angeles is a fantasy. It's no different than trying to win the lottery—there's technically a numerical chance, but its value is so microscopic that it's insulting to bank on it happening. 

Despite Steve Balmer's best intentions, the franchise is still a glorified circus. It's to the point where even high-profile league analysts are lashing out about the managerial incompetency. In the latest episode of his self-titled podcast, Ringer founder Bill Simmons took various barbs at the team and their bleak future. 

"Dallas is a little overvalued because of the Clippers team they beat. I think that team was a mess," Simmons said. "Paul George is up and down—you have to re-sign him. Eh, I mean, I guess you do because you're opening the new arena. So you're going to open a new arena with a $250M payroll of guys who just got bounced in round one, and we don't know if they're going to play?" 

The LA Clippers need a philosophy change

The Clips "running it back" would be a catastrophic failure. They're not dead in the water—they have ways to revitalize this roster. But the shift in philosophy has to start now. 

Extending Kawhi Leonard was mind-boggling, given his recent inability to be in uniform when it matters most. Even at 32 and with his best days in the rearview mirror, some other club on the ropes would talk themselves into taking on Leonard and his massive contract. The return doesn't have to be spectacular, but resetting the deck and ending his partnership with George is necessary. 

You can't buy a championship. Many have tried, but few have succeeded. Many will point to the Golden State Warriors with Kevin Durant, but they built their infrastructure of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green through the draft. Signing or trading for superstars can push a club over the top, but the heart of a team has to be drafted or developed. 

The Clippers have lost the plot in trying to expunge themselves of their little brother status in Tinseltown. It's time to adapt.