Seeing that the Wolves are about to play the Clippers for the second time in a week, you'd think that we've run out of things we could ask Steve Perrin from the excellent Clips Nation...well, you'd be wrong.
Below the fold we ask Steve about whether or not Donald Sterling is a reptile and we learn that Clippers fans are indeed bronies (Just like we always thought!).
Much more after the break.
1- Wolves fans are blessed with a terrible owner. However, he's not a monster. What's it like to root for a team owned by Donald Sterling?
No beating around the bush? No friendly banter? No loaf of zucchini bread? Just straight to Sterling sucks, eh? The funny thing is, as much as the rest of the world hates Donald Sterling, you don't even know the half of it unless you live in LA. He's a truly bizarre man. He takes out huge ads in the LA Times -- on a daily basis -- that just promote himself. He insists on laying out the ads himself, and a fourth grader with a pair a scissors and a glue stick could do better. It's just weird. Clippers fans certainly aren't rooting for the owner, but then again, I don't know any fans that are. If the lockout taught us anything, it's that there aren't a lot of NBA owners who would be fun to hang out with. The good news for Sterling there is that he was smart enough to lay low. A big market owner with a small market attitude, the lockout negotiations were a win-win for him. And the fact that Sarver and Gilbert and Allen took some heat as wacko owners with some of their antics was just a bonus. Sterling is by far the most reprehensible of the lot -- but if you limit your rooting interests to teams owned by nice guys, you just won't have a lot of options.
2- If you were suddenly made GM of the Clippers, what trade would you make with the Wolves that would be good for both teams and why?
I'm not sure there's a mutually beneficial deal to be made. If we look at positional need, which would generally be the way to get a mutually beneficial deal done, the Wolves might need a decent shooting guard, while the Clippers could use an upgrade on the wing. That might lead us to Mo Williams for Micheal Beasley -- but the Clippers wouldn't do that deal if only because of the perceived baggage that comes with Beasley.
3- Do you think Donald Sterling is part reptile?
No. I've met him a few times (though he never remembers me). His skin only appeared at first to be scaly; upon closer inspection he just needs a good moisturizer. His behavior often seems cold-blooded, but from a strictly zoological standpoint, I feel rather certain that he is in fact not ectothermic.
4- What are your thoughts on Hasbro's decision to alter the appearance of Derpy?
My daughter ClipperZoe recently turned 13, and as such has not been into My Little Pony for a few years. There's still a drawer full of them in her room, don't get me wrong. I was not aware of Derpy-gate until you asked about it -- but obviously I'm incensed, as everyone should be.
5- Why does Blake Griffin hate America by endorsing Kia? Is Chevy not good enough for him?
The Kia Optima is manufactured in Georgia, which last I checked is in America (at least the Georgia that's in America is; the Zaza Pachulia Georgia is in Georgia, I think). Blake does not hate America by endorsing Kia -- he hates America for all the usual reasons.
6- Do you miss Craig Smith?
Actually, yes. The Clippers began the season with Reggie Evans and Brian Cook as the first two bigs off the bench. Evans has his strengths as a rebounder and energy guy -- Cook should have been out of the league years ago and is worse than useless. Why the Clippers didn't re-sign Smith to the same minimum deal he got in Portland is beyond me. The Rhino was a very popular Clipper, not to mention an LA native who played his High School ball here. The subsequent signing of Kenyon Martin makes it a little less of a problem, but I'm still not sure why Smith is in Portland and not LA.
7- Is Randy Foye just as frustrating as a Clipper as he was as a Timberwolf?
Yes. The key to appreciating Foye is to lower your expectations to basically zero. If you don't expect him to help in any way, then anything you get is a bonus. The foot on the line two pointers are still an issue, but you just expect them. Sadly, Foye is the Clippers best perimeter defender this season -- which tells you all you need to know about the Clippers' perimeter defense.
8 - In a fantasy draft of the two teams in a single pool--your top 5 picks and why.
1 - Kevin Love. It's a fantasy draft, and nobody puts up better numbers than Love. You gave me an easy out by specifying a fantasy draft. This is in no way an endorsement of Love as the better player than Griffin -- just as the better producer of statistics.
2 - Chris Paul. Paul is the better player at this point than Griffin -- and back to the fantasy draft, he's not killing me in any way the way that Griffin is with the free throw shooting.
3 - Blake Griffin. A statistical monster, if not quite on the same scale as Love. The free throw shooting is brutal, but the field goal percentage is sweet. Obviously he's not helping on three pointing shooting, but he's a better shot blocker than Love (Griffin has actually become a much better shot blocker in his second season).
Four and five depend on the needs of my fantasy team. If I need rebounding, blocked shots and field goal percentage, I'm going with DeAndre Jordan (and I'm just conceding that I finish last in the league in free throw percentage). If I need assists and steals, I'm going with Rubio. If I need scoring, I guess it's Beasley (reluctantly).
If it's a draft-draft, the players I'd want to build a team around for the future, Derrick Williams is probably my fourth pick.
9 - In the move from awful to respectable, how did the fanbase react? Did folks want to push harder earlier on? How did the timing of it all feel?
I think it's been a little jarring for some Clippers fans. It's just not what we're used to. It happened so quickly. Having Blake Griffin for a season (and even having him as a draft pick, though he missed one entire year) got everyone thinking about the idea of being pretty good -- in a superstar driven league, the Clippers had never had a player at that level. But adding Chris Paul 10 days before the season started vaulted the Clippers into contender discussions immediately, and that was a shock to the system.
Of course, like all fans, most people have gotten to the point where they're now taking it for granted, and livid over missteps like losing home games to the Timberwolves. The Clippers are struggling a bit at present, and the fanbase is distraught -- even though LA still has a top four record in the West, which would have been deliciously unthinkable before the Paul trade, and more than acceptable even in the immediate aftermath of the trade.
10 - Did you like being the beneficiary of Stern's "basketball reason" trades? Or do you feel dirty, like you should?
Are you kidding? Are you saying you wanted Paul to end up with the Lakers? I don't like Stern and I don't believe that things like Dan Gilbert's feelings had nothing to do with his veto of the original deal. But even the most ardent conspiracy theorist would surely think that Stern's purpose was to keep Paul off the Lakers, not to steer him towards the Clippers, right? The Clippers had assets to offer, and even before the Lakers deal was announced and then vetoed, the Clippers were in the mix. It's not like the LAC offer was a joke -- they won the Paul sweepstakes, and if it came at the expense of the Lakers, so much the better. Am I right?