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Chris Paul already talking championship with Clippers

Dec 16, 2011, 12:43 PM EDT

Los Angeles Clippers Introduce Chris Paul Getty Images

Chris Paul is not backing down from the challenge.

Clippers nation is dreaming of having their own banner hanging up at Staples Center, something that doesn’t look like the JV next to what the other team in the building has enshrined. The Clippers are not just dreaming of respectability — that came with Blake Griffin — they are thinking big.

And Paul is good with that, as he said at his introductory press conference (via the Los Angeles Times).

“I’m excited to bring a championship here to L.A. in a Clippers uniform,” Paul said. “Knowing that they’ve never won a championship here, I wanted to be a part of something like that.”

“I know about the history of the franchise and different things like that,” Paul said. “But this decision wasn’t about the past. It was about the present and about the future.”

He said all the right things.

But the pressure is still on the Clippers organization. They need depth to go around their stars now, and particularly depth along the front line. They need to play defense at an elite level, which means DeAndre Jordan has to mature. Vinny Del Negro needs to prove he can coach a team up to that level. And Donald Sterling has to foot the bill and then stay out of the way — and out of the locker room — and not screw this all up.

But this Clippers team suddenly looks like a squad that in a couple years could be a threat to win it all, to put their own banner up in Staples Center. And Chris Paul is not backing away from that.

  1. cakemixa - Dec 16, 2011 at 12:47 PM

    Print the shirts!

  2. denverhoopdreams - Dec 16, 2011 at 1:14 PM

    If Sterling does indeed add some depth, it would be ignorant to think the Clippers wont win a title.

    • therealhtj - Dec 16, 2011 at 1:23 PM

      In the off chance Sterling keeps this bunch together, in a year or two he’ll be paying 40mil to CP3/Griffin, another 10+ to Jordan, and 8mil to Butler. By my calculations, that’s pretty much the full cap right there. So what’ll they add with no longer affordable ready-to-go rookie talent to fill out there roster? Now keep in mind, the chances of Donald Sterling going into the Luxury Tax are about as likely as him treating the tenants in his Koreatown Slums fairly.

      And OKC fans, a similar scenario is about to play out for you too. Except the Clippers have at least 10x the TV revenue.

      • baron30 - Dec 16, 2011 at 1:28 PM

        the amnesty carries over to next year too…i wouldn’t be surprised if Butler is a one and done and then use his money to bring in a couple bench contributors at half the price

      • denverhoopdreams - Dec 16, 2011 at 1:35 PM

        Butler will be one and done.

        The depth they add will be 2mil and 3mil a year guys and it will be handled. And Sterling after years of humility must have hired some sort of PR guy, he’s been handling everything a tiny bit better. But time will tell.

        They will still win a title, and everyone will be like, OMG CLIPPERS LOL.

        Just saying, the Fakers fans will be jumping the bandwaggon regardless of what people think once Kobe is gone. Dwight to Brooklyn, and the Lakers will be nobodies unless someone comes out of the NCAA as some kind of phenom.

  3. baron30 - Dec 16, 2011 at 1:26 PM

    They should absolutely sign Kris Humphries…double double potential and really fortifying the D and boards on the front lines.

    • tomtravis76 - Dec 16, 2011 at 2:59 PM

      Oh please sign the goof ball.

  4. therealhtj - Dec 16, 2011 at 1:34 PM

    @baron30 – amnesty only applies to contracts signed under the old CBA. The best they can use is the stretch on Caron where they spread the remaining years on his contract over 2x the remaining years + 1.

  5. kpow55 - Dec 16, 2011 at 1:43 PM

    Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp 2.0

    Solid team around them, no chance of winning a championship.

    • SmackSaw - Dec 16, 2011 at 2:45 PM

      Yup. Stockton Malone was what I first thought.

  6. karlton2 - Dec 16, 2011 at 1:46 PM

    Haven’t we been here before?

    Not four, not five…

    Win, then talk; otherwise it’s just baseless, unearned bravado.

    • jimeejohnson - Dec 17, 2011 at 4:09 AM

      Talk doesn’t win a title.

  7. danielcp0303 - Dec 16, 2011 at 1:53 PM

    My most fundamental problem with these superstars trying to form super teams, is that they don’t know what it takes to win a championship. With the exception of the Celtics, they think that playing with another great player just about seals the deal. Nevermind the hard work and dedication, the glue guys, the ability to play championship defense, having the mental toughness to grind through the tough battles.

    • denverhoopdreams - Dec 16, 2011 at 2:20 PM

      Celtics fanboy? Maybe.

      A lot of superstar teams don’t have superstar PG’s which I think is the key. The Celtics won a title because they had Rondo, and Rondo may not be looking as prime as he was early on, but regardless… they won because they ran great players through a great point guard. CP3 is a great point guard who has never had another superstar around him. No one to dish 6-7 assists to, and then score 20 a game with. This is going to be a whole different story. And don’t even give me that David West crap – old man is old!!!!!

      Young guys build together that glue a lot better than veterans build it. That is one of the key things that hurt the Heat.

      Just some ramblings for your plate.

      • danielcp0303 - Dec 16, 2011 at 7:24 PM

        Not a Celtic fanboy, Rockets fan actually. There were a lot of factors that helped the Celtics win, and a lot of those things are overlooked by the ones trying to copy it. That’s my point.

      • iplaybingowitholdpeopleandwin - Dec 17, 2011 at 11:48 AM

        Superstar PG is not the key. Look at a list of NBA champs and you’d be looking back at least 20-30 years to come up with a team that had a superstar PG (in their prime). May even need to go back to the 80s where the Lakers had Magic as the point forward and the Pistons had Isaiah Thomas.

        The following is a list of recent very good, non-superstar PGs won the title: Rondo, Derek Fischer, Chauncy Billups, an old Jason Kidd, Sam Cassell and Tony Parker. Calling any of those dudes “great” is a bit excessive. They are very good at what they do, each one with a different skill set, but great is a stretch. Would I want them on my team sure. But great, nah.

        The very things CP3 is saying about the Clippers is the same things these guys say when they leave the old for something new. LeBron said it when he was drafted by Cleveland and when he left for Miami. Shaq said it when he signed with or was traded to the Lakers, Heat, Cavs and Celtics. It’s horse poo. You win championships because of a solid team game, with grit, tenacity, defense and complimentary players. These role players make all the difference in the world because they are the ones who help the rest of the team step their game up. CP3 to BG will be nice to watch, but championship? That’s worthy of an AI rant on practice or a Jim Mora rant on playoffs.

        CP3 is not great. Great players take the ball and team in their hands. CP3 didn’t do that enough in Hornets games. He did have some talent around him…David West played his butt off in a contract year — I believe he will disappear this year. Otherwise, he’s nothing exceptional: He has only a 16 ft jump shot and can’t play defense. Okafor is a double double guy, but gets in foul trouble all too often. There was talent on the Whorenets but going to LA gives him a chance to play with Shawne Kemp 2000.

        As for the Whorenets, there were opportunities for CP3 to have talent around him in New Orleans, but not every coach is suited to develop and coach up talent. Imagine a team with Brandon Bass at the 4, JR Smith off the bench, David West at the 3, Marcus Thornton at the 2 and Chris Paul. That’s scary. The franchise has been poorly run ever since George Shinn bought it, so hiring Byron Scott and chasing off talent shouldn’t have been a surprise. Nor should it be a surprise that the team’s best players wanted to leave and made up their minds to do so 2 or 3 years ago.

  8. theduuuuuuuuuude - Dec 16, 2011 at 2:10 PM

    Slow you roll CP3. They are still the Clippers. You’ve had one practice. This is an exciting team with a lot of young talent, but let’s save the Championship talk until the Clippers even get a whiff of the second round of the playoffs. We learned last year that having a Big 3 isn’t necessarily a recipe for a championship, and the Clippers have really only got a big 2 (Deandre Jordan might be there in a few seasons, but not yet).

    The truth remains that there is only one team in LA that can talk about championships, so shut up and play the game and prove that you can do. Don’t start yapping before the first tip off of the season.

    P.S. we all know you’d rather be playing for the other team in the arena.

  9. narrabeen23 - Dec 16, 2011 at 2:35 PM

    I don’t know if it would work, but I would be on the phone trying to get a good wing defender and a big to spell Gordon/Jordan…

    Ronnie Brewer + Taj Gibson + a cap filler for Mo Williams?

    • jvnyj - Dec 17, 2011 at 12:34 AM

      LOL, A team with Isiah Thomas as Pres. and Kahn as GM would not make that deal. This made me laugh.

  10. 1972wasalongtimeago - Dec 16, 2011 at 2:36 PM

    Can we boo the Clippers mercilessly everywhere they go now? Can the good people of New Orleans burn Paul jerseys in the street without fear of being arrested? Can we all take pleasure in every single basket scored against the Clippers this year?

    • jimeejohnson - Dec 17, 2011 at 4:10 AM

      Nope.

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