Hernández: Clippers go from cursed to franchise first by reaching conference finals

A franchise that seemingly has been cursed for most of its existence underwent a transformation in Friday's playoff series victory over the Utah Jazz.

6/19/2021 8:50:00 AM

On Friday night, in their 51st season of existence, the ugly frogs of the NBA finally were kissed by the goddesses of victory. The Los Angeles Clippers are in the Western Conference finals.

A franchise that seemingly has been cursed for most of its existence underwent a transformation in Friday's playoff series victory over the Utah Jazz.

“Let’s Go Clip-pers! Let’s Go Clip-pers!”With 2:16 remaining in the period, George went to the free-throw line, eliciting a chant from the crowd in this building previously reserved for the likes of Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.Advertisement“M-V-P! M-V-P!”

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By the time Jackson drained a corner three-pointer with 1:42 left in the quarter, there was complete bedlam in the stands.There were no words, just a deafening roar.Victory was inevitable, just as painful defeats of the past were.AdvertisementClippers fans celebrate the team’s 131-119 comeback victory over the Utah Jazz at Staples Center on Friday.

(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)A three-pointer by Nicolas Batum in the opening minute of the fourth quarter tied the game, 94-94.Less than a minute later, Jackson drove to the basket and moved the Clippers in front, 96-95.Another three-pointer by Batum, this one with less than nine minutes to play, extended the Clippers’ lead to 107-100. The visitors called a timeout. headtopics.com

AdvertisementBy this time, the entire arena was on its feet. Wearing the promotional blue shirts they found on their seats, fans exchanged high-fives with their neighbors. Team consultant Jerry West, who calmly watched the game from a folding chair in a corner of the floor level, stood up. A nearby fan extended a fist in his direction. West balled up his hand and touched knuckles with him.

Clippers fans cheer on the team during Game 6 of the NBA Western Conference semifinals against the Utah Jazz on Friday.(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)History was about to be made.A team that was subjected to a steady and continuous stream of embarrassments under Donald Sterling was about to make the breakthrough envisioned by the considerably more ambitious Steve Ballmer.

AdvertisementGenerations of Angelenos laughed at the Clippers’ repeated failures. The team’s small but loyal band of followers suffered in anonymity.All this was about to change.What the Clippers did marked an unprecedented step for the franchise. How they did it marked a transformation in their culture.

The untimely knee injury suffered by Leonard was entirely in line with the team’s cursed tradition. How the Clippers responded wasn’t.Advertisement×Highlights from the Clippers’ 131-119 win over the Utah Jazz in Game 6 of the NBA Western Conference semifinals. headtopics.com

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They became the first team in NBA history to overcome a 2-0 deficit twice in one postseason. They were resilient. They were unbreakable.Which is why George, Jackson and Mann were able to do what Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan never could.

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dylanohernandez Well this is a degrading and disparaging article. You should be ashamed of yourselves. Apologize. What time do your Lakers play? Crying inside right now i see lol Written by: 🤡 El dinero mueve montañas. dylanohernandez AIGHT🤣😭🤣😂 Terrible headline. Try harder. Jesus Petty and pathetic, LA Times.

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Putrid journalism 'Ugly frogs' implies the rest of the NBA are handsome frogs? Delete this headline what a horrible headline

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