We put together a feature over at ESPN.com where we asked the TrueHoop Network bloggers to discuss their second-favorite team. Both D.J. Foster and I participated.
On nights when the old ball and chain is unavailable, I’ll often find myself committing fan infidelity with the Golden State Warriors. The love for this group of misfits starts with the completely awesome and unquestionably terrifying Stephen Jackson, who was once phenomenally quoted as saying that he “makes love to pressure”. Captain Jack sparked my original love interest, but Anthony Randolph and his absolutely baffling skill set is what really keeps the flame burning. To wit, Ronny Turiafs’ dancing, Andris Biedrins’ logic defying haircut and the league’s most rabid fanbase are equally entertaining and endearing. Basically, the Warriors are everything your NBA mistress should be; Fun, but so insane and wholly dysfunctional that you’ll never leave your significant other for them.
Most of us bristle at Jerry Krause’s contention that players don’t win championships — organizations do. Krause’s claim might have been overstated, particularly in the case of the Jordan-era Bulls. That said, there’s a grain of truth embedded deep inside his axiom. An NBA franchise isn’t just a collection of players and contracts — it’s also a collection of ideas.
Innovation doesn’t happen by accident. It’s the result of creative individuals who take risks. The Houston Rockets’ boldness is changing the way we understand the NBA game. There’s a reason the plucky Rockets managed to overcome devastating injuries to their marquee players and still push the NBA champions to the brink of elimination. The entire organization, from ownership to management to the coaching staff, down to the players bought into a common philosophy, one built not on assumptions about the game, but on a devotion to empirical truths. This practice maximizes the talents of those (limited, but resilient) players.
A couple of the other bloggers selected the Clippers as their second-favorite squad:
Kurt Helin, Forum Blue & Gold (Los Angeles Lakers blog)
The Clippers have one my favorite players in Baron Davis who, when his body isn’t betraying him or when he hasn’t mentally checked out, is just flat out fun to watch. Davis went to India this offseason, had some sort of epiphany (we can all hope that said enlightenment involves ignoring Mike Dunleavy when he tells Davis to slow it down), and he promises to try this season. Then there’s Blake Griffin, who was fun to watch at Summer League and made me a believer, and he seemed to have instant chemistry with Eric Gordon. And the list goes on — they’ve got emerging young guys like Al Thornton, plus a front-line combo of Marcus Camby and DeAndre Jordan that promises to give you one coming-from-the-weakside shot block into the third row every game. As it’s the Clippers, there’s the strong possibility things will go wrong in a spectacular fashion. That’s fun to watch too, in a Macbeth sort of way. Either way, I’m good with the Clippers this season. I want them to get the eighth seed in the West, so the first round is a Hallway Series at Staples Center. I really, really want that.
Matt McHale, By the Horns (Chicago Bulls blog)
As a fan, the worst possible experience is watching my team fail when I expected them to succeed. Well, the Clippers are never expected to succeed. And that’s actually a good thing, because there’s no pressure whatsoever. The Clippers would never crush my optimism because I wouldn’t have any. Then the rare victory would be that much sweeter. It would be like walking down a dark alley and, instead of getting brutally mugged, finding a crisp new one hundred dollar bill. Watching the Bulls start out slowly (thanks to that darn circus road trip) and then fight to make the playoffs every season really stresses me out. Following the Clippers would be great for my blood pressure, plus I’d get to make Clippers jokes all the time. That would provide an endless source of material. Just ask Kevin Arnovitz and Bill Simmons.
Question for Clipperblog readers: Who’s your second favorite team — and why?