Griffin Dismisses Talk Of Curse With Perspective
PLAYA VISTA, Calif. – Keeping cool and composed can be challenging in the aftermath of a demoralizing defeat.
That can especially be the case when an athlete is then immediately asked a question about his team being cursed, but Blake Griffin managed to answer thoughtfully after the Clippers lost in the Western Conference Semifinals, providing perspective on how far they’ve come in just a few years.
“The Clipper curse when I first got here was No. 1 picks getting hurt, not working out; their draft picks not working out, not making the playoffs, not having winning seasons,” Griffin said. “No one talked about not getting past the second round. Not a single soul talked about that, but now, that’s what everybody talks about. Just like the last one, we’re going to bust through this one.”
After making the playoffs once in their previous 14 seasons, the Clippers have done so each of the past four years, including trips to the Western Conference Semifinals in three of the past four seasons. A team with winning records in two of their first 27 seasons since moving to Los Angeles in 1984 now has four straight winning seasons, compiling a 209-103 regular season record in the process.
Because of all that, the idea of the so-called “Clippers curse” has morphed into something new. Griffin, head coach Doc Rivers and the rest of the Clippers know that’ll continue to be the case until a Western Conference Finals appearance and, ultimately, a championship.
But that’s also something they use as fuel to push them.
“We’re going to break this,” Rivers said. “It’s my goal. It’s why I came here. I thought we had it, and I thought we had it last year. We just have to keep at the fire – that’s it.”
Rivers said after the playoffs ended that there’s nothing wrong with being criticized, and he tells his players that. Sometimes, he believes it can be healthy to hear that criticism.
“That’s what should keep them going,” Rivers said. “There are people that will be disappointed in us clearly, and they should be, but no more than we are in ourselves. But we’re up and we’re going to keep going.
“The job’s not done, and until the job is done, we have to keep working.”