Warriors Villains For Life? The Lob City Clippers: CP3, Blake and DAJ
Has Dub Nation forgiven Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan?
Honorary Warriors For Life & Warriors Villains For Life
The concept is simple. There are some players who are not in the Warriors organization, but Warriors fans will still root for anyway (as long as no Warriors interests are at stake). So they are not a part of Dub Nation, but they still are welcomed into Dub Nation. This is very often because they are former Warriors players, but not always.
More details are included in our master list of all those voted Honorary Warriors For Life so far. More details are included in our master list of all those voted Honorary Warriors For Life so far. In short, getting >75% support achieves Honorary Warrior For Life; >50% support of voters who know them achieves Honorary Warrior.
For the rare players that are very much the opposite, we have special statuses. For >50% anti-support votes among voters who know then, we award Warriors Villain status, and for the rotten creme de la creme, >75% anti-support votes, we award Warriors Villain For Life status.
The Lob City Clippers
They threw down thrilling dunks and revitalized the Clippers franchise, and also seemed to consistently piss off everybody else. One of their biggest feuds was with our Warriors. This goes back a long time, and the early history is well summarized by Marcus Thompson II, which I condense further here:
Nov 3 2012. GSW upsets LAC. D Lee screams at Blake to Stop Flopping.
Jan 2 2013. Blake huge flop, GSW bench taunts Blake for brick 3.
Jan 5 2013. Clips blowout, Mark Jackson stares down LAC coach Vinny Del Negro.
Jan 21 2013. Blake airball 3, Steph gallops.
Oct 31 2013. LAC refuses to chapel with GSW. Bogut-DAJ shoving, ejections.
Dec 25 2013. LAC refuses chapel again. Dray ejected, calls Blake dirty. Bogut, Blake ejected. Blake calls it “cowardly basketball”. CP3, Bogut shoving at horn.
Jan 30 2014. No joint chapel again.
Mar 12 2014. Dray, Blake wrestle. Jermaine O’Neal, DAJ techs for jawing. Lee criticizes Blake postgame.
Draymond recently talked about how he thought Chris Paul was emotionally manipulating Stephen Curry, by putting him in commercials and then keeping him at bay, and Dray intentionally tried to divide them to make it a clear rivalry.
The next phase of the rivalry: the colossally weird and dramatic 2014 first round series between the Warriors and Clippers. We discussed this series in detail in my true confession, My Worst Take: Coach Mark Jackson should not be fired.
You can go there for the gory details, but some highlights include CP3 getting away with an uncalled veteran’s foul on Steph’s deciding shot, the bitter taunting after the close Game 7 loss, and the Clippers generally acting like asses while people were trying to be sympathetic to them for playing for an owner too stupid to hide his extreme racism.
From then on, the Warriors were in Maximum Tryhard Mode against the Clippers, no matter what level of burnout they had.
The Lob City Clips added fuel to the fire after the GSW 2015 title, by impolitely calling it lucky:
“The championship window in the West is so narrow,” Redick says. “Ours might only be open another couple of years. But you need some breaks. Golden State was the best team in the league, but they also had everything go right for them. They didn’t have one bad break. I don’t have any doubt about the DNA of our team.”
Rivers agrees. “You need luck in the West,” he says. “Look at Golden State. They didn’t have to play us or the Spurs. But that’s also a lesson for us: When you have a chance to close, you have to do it.”
What does Max Tryhard look like? Between the Game 7 loss in May 2014 and January 6 2018, the Warriors went 13-1 against LAC, dropping only the traditional Warriors dud in Los Angeles on Christmas Day 2014.
Many of Stephen Curry’s most famous highlights came in that stretch against Chris Paul’s team.
Also Draymond’s most famous trash talk happened against the Lob City Clippers:
Dub Nation Renders Judgment
Lob City never even made it out of the second round. A series of weird injuries and generally annoying the hell out of each other led to them never coming close to their promise.
Most of Dub Nation did not shed a tear, citing their heavy karmic debt. So did the Big Three of CP3, Blake and DAJ qualify as Warriors Villains For Life? What would time do to our judgment? The three careers have taken very different trajectories.
Chris Paul went on to form a super-team of Annoyance with the James Harden Rockets, and had a chance to replenish and grow his bad reputation with Dub Nation.
We recently studied the case of Chris Paul and his Warriors villainy in great detail, and in the end:
Anyway, the odds were very good that Chris Paul was going to qualify as a Warriors Villain For Life, and Dub Nation did not disappoint:Poll 35. Dub Nation, imagine you see Chris Paul in a game with no practical implications for the Warriors. (So not against GSW, ignore draft picks, playoff seeding, etc.) Do you want him to do well or poorly?
Well 2.1% / Poorly 79.3% / Don't care either way 16.4% / Don't know who they are 2.1%
And then CP3 lost a close runoff with James Harden, and locked in his status as #2 Least-Favored Player in Dub Nation.
Blake Griffin was taken #1 in the same draft that Stephen Curry fell to #7. That wouldn’t happen in a re-draft today, but Dub Nation has never had complaints about the outcome of that draft.
Blake Griffin was regularly cited as the engine of the feud, as you can see by his mention in every day of the feud calendar above. But he ended up having his career roll steadily downhill due to injuries and age. During the Lob City Selloff, Chris Paul was traded first by his demand, having tired of Doc Rivers, Blake, and Austin Rivers. Basically, the same people Dub Nation was tired of. This led to Rockets CP3 feuding with the Clippers in amusing fashion with the famous Battle of the Tunnel where CP3, Harden and others tried to use a tunnel to break into the Clippers locker room and fight Blake and Austin.
To this tragicomedy, Dub Nation replied:
January 2018, the Clippers pulled the final plug on Lob City and traded Blake to the Detroit Pistons. He flashed a more rounded game in Detroit, but continued to be plagued by injuries.
So, how is Dub Nation feeling today about Mr. Griffin? Still annoyed about the years of dangerous flopping and being an ass? More forgiving over time as Blake annoyed everyone else annoying in Lob City and winds down a sad ending to his career?
Well 13% / Poorly 43.5% / Don't care either way 40.6% / Don't know who they are 2.9%
In a minor upset, Blake Griffin does NOT qualify for Warriors Villain For Life, and does NOT qualify even for Warriors Villain. A healthy plurality of Dub Nation still wishes him ill, but even more just plain don’t care.
DeAndre Jordan was the third of the Lob City Big Three, but he never to my knowledge got called out during the GSW-LAC feud. In fact, he was reportedly tired of the Chris Paul Show in 2015, which gave him something in common with Dub Nation, and he in fact made a commitment to leave in free agency for the Dallas Mavericks.
This led to a day on NBA Twitter which is hard to understand today if you weren’t there, but the experience of seeing it unfold minute by minute was the most I’ve laughed in my life. The details are nicely outlined here, but the day started with rumors that the other Clippers were traveling to TX to kidnap DAJ to physically prevent him from signing the DAL offer, and it actually sort of happened as they live-tweeted it, and then it all ended with DAJ reneging on his oral deal with DAL, thus messing up a Western Conference rival and giving us a day of absurd joy.
DeAndre Jordan had been a white unicorn for the Warriors. In 2011, the Warriors swung for the fences and made DAJ a long-shot offer as a restricted free-agent. Some in fact would view this as a stupid offer since LAC was certain to match, and it led to GSW cutting a bunch of players to get the cap space, including Jeremy Lin, who proceeded to bounce around and then electrify the sports world with Linsanity. It also led the Warriors to use their salary cap amnesty on Charlie Bell ($4M/1 year) instead of on Andris Biedrins ($27M / 3 years), for reasons that are beyond my cap-fu.
Then years later in 2019, DAJ helped convince Kevin Durant to form a Big Three with Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn, contributing to the end of the Warriors Five Finals Run.
So, DeAndre’s story keeps bumping into the Warriors story, usually with bad effects. But it seems unlikely that Dub Nation would hold that against him…?
Well 1.7% / Poorly 33.3% / Don’t care either way 61.7% / Don’t know who they are 3.3%
Well, not a ringing endorsement, but well below the threshold to qualify as a Warriors Villain. Some people still root against him, but most just don’t care.
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Griffin and Jordan are not my favorite players, but they just haven't done enough against the Ws during the championship run for them to matter. This is reflected in the polling, which says that most of us don't think about them anymore.
CP3 was more relevant and his villainy more recent because of his alliance with Harden in Houston. They even had the Ws down 3-2 in a playoff series, and that was a real threat. There are very few guys in the league that I actively root against, but he's one of them. I won't be sorry if he never wins anything, and he's looking pretty good for that.
I think I have agreed with Dub Nation on every one of these so far, and it continues to be the case. Truly, a study in team unity.