As I was walking towards Staples Center last night to catch the Los Angeles Kings take on the Phoenix Coyotes (yes I know it's hockey, but I was in the area) something amazing caught my eye. Aside from all the Kings decorations for the night, there was a set of paintings that dawned over Downtown Los Angeles. There are three apartment buildings adjacent to each other, and on each of them are paintings of Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, and DeAndre Jordan. It seems as if Los Angeles has caught eye immediately on the most exciting team in the NBA, and have already dawned a nickname for these guys.
It certainly makes sense, since nearly every break the Clippers get on offense, it always Paul to Griffin for the half court alley-oop, or Chauncey Billups or DeAndre Jordan for the sky high jam. Everyone has caught eye on their trend...except for the Clippers. From espnlosangeles.com:
"It's unfortunate," Griffin said. "It's one of those things where we understand it, but that's not what we're about. Before the game we're not going out thinking, 'All right, its Lob City tonight.' We're just trying to win games and trying to get better."
It was Griffin who famously coined the phrase when a camera crew caught him uttering the nickname as he chest-bumped Jordan after he heard the news Paul would be traded to the Clippers. He now wishes he would have never said it.
"If anybody says it in [the locker room], it's just a joke, making fun of the whole thing," Griffin said. "It's not on our minds at all."
Simply uttering the word "lob" draws an immediate roll of the eyes from Paul, who will usually switch the topic to half-court offense, tight defense or any other aspect of the game.
"It's something we can't control," Paul said. "We are a complete team, and we want to continue to be a complete team. That's the only way we're going to win games. It doesn't matter if you get 10 lobs and lose the game. It's all about winning at the end of the day."
The Clippers make a great point, since one of the best ways they can get to the hoop is to throw it up in the air. Although they have the utmost respect from the city, getting mad over a nickname should be the least of their worries. They are fun to watch, but they really haven't done a whole lot since moving up from San Diego in 1984. They have only made the playoffs a handful of times and have only advanced to the second round once. Right now they are ahead of the Lakers and lead the Pacific Division with a Laker loss to Portland last night. They might not be happy with their name, but they sure do love walking into Staples Center with sold-out crowds. Only time will tell if “Lob City” can turn into “City of Champions”.