When I was 10 years old, my parents got me a remote control car for Chanukah. It was all I wanted. It was fast, flashy – a convertible, of course. If it rained, I guess the passengers would get wet, but that was all right considering miniature, four-inch people weren’t included in the box with the car.
Upon getting that convertible, I drove it around everyday in my room. I’d drive it through the hallways of my house, crashing it into my little brother’s feet unintentionally – or at least that’s what I told him.
But then, after a little while, I got bored with the car. I didn’t get sick of remote control cars in general. I didn’t get too old for them. I didn’t grow out of my phase. It simply wasn’t new to me anymore and my 10-year-old, ADD-ridden brain didn’t have the attention span to fixate on a toy car for more than a week or two.
The Bledsoe novelty is starting to wear off, isn’t it? We’re not screaming about his minutes as often, boasting about his phenomenal plays or even lauding his defense that is so sticky he should be getting endorsements with Elmer’s Glue. It’s not that Bledsoe has gotten worse over the season. He hasn’t. No one thinks that. But it’s different watching him play now than it was last year or even at the beginning of this year.
For about two-plus seasons, Bledsoe represented the unknown. He was hope.
Think about how good the Clippers would be if Bledsoe played 30 minutes a night. They’d be unbelievable!
“Hope” was something that used to be a main part of the Clipper fan’s vernacular. In some ways, it was the only way of staying sane throughout the season. But in 2013, hope is the present. The Clippers play so well without Bledsoe garnering significant minutes that it’s easy to forget just how exciting he can be.
Of course, the Bledsoe minutes-advocates have taken a break over the past few weeks, as Bledsoe has started in 11 of the past 13 Clipper games with Chris Paul out with a knee injury. But it’s just not the same.
You witness a fantastic dunk and it’s exciting, but it’s no longer surreal. You see phenomenal on-ball defense and it’s beautiful basketball, but it’s something you’re used to. You used to worry when he skied miles into the air for offensive rebounds only to crash onto his hip, but now you know the basketball court is just his personal trampoline.
Bledsoe used to be our little secret, the hidden commodity that Clippers fans raved about and no one else knew of.
He was that cool, Indie band that you knew about before it even had representation. You immediately realized, “Hey, I kind of love these songs” and told everyone you knew.
They’re not on iTunes, but I can overly enthusiastically lend you their album.
But now Bledsoe is on iTunes. He’s nationally recognized as a prolific defender. He’s talked about as a trade chip in every trade scenario. Everyone wants a piece of Eric Bledsoe and no longer can the Clipper fans out there scream, “But I found him first!”