The Clippers unveiled their new logo and uniforms today, and it's a bit of a disappointment. If I were Clippers owner Steve Ballmer, then I would have actually changed the name. But short of that, I'm not sure why they are sticking with their awful blue and red color scheme. Does anyone think Blue and Red look good together, except on the American flag?
Having two bold colors is jarring. Mixing in black helps a little, but not much. It appears that I'm not alone in believing this, as ESPN uniform expert Paul Lukas skewers the new look in his latest column.
I would have advised the Clippers go with a nautical theme, similar to their old San Diego look. But instead, Ballmer came up with a design that evokes Clippy, the old Microsoft mascot. While Ballmer has brought some new energy to the Clippers, he's no stranger to launching disappointing Microsoft products.
I'm really nervous that the Lakers are going to screw up the No. 2 pick. Call it a hunch, but I'm not confident that Jahlil Okafor will be the superstar that they need. I think he can be an effective player. But I really believe that D'Angelo Russell is the best player in this draft after Karl-Anthony Towns.
Russell is a fantastic athletic point guard with length to defend. He can create his own shot, he can step up and hit a three, and he has strong court vision to be a solid passer. He's still raw and may take a few years to develop. But if Towns is off the board, then I'd pick Russell.
Hopefully, the Lakers can learn a few lessons from the Golden State Warriors convincing march to the NBA Title. The Warriors won by making great draft picks outside the top-five in Stephen Curry (No. 7), Klay Thompson (No. 11), and Draymond Green (No. 35).
Their GM had a philosophy that revolved around taking athletic players with length. That led to acquisitions like Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, and Marreese Speights. They had a strong enough organizational culture which helped them get the best out of Harrison Barnes. And they weren't married to playing their highest-paid player in David Lee if he didn't fit in.
But it's also noteworthy that the Warriors took a dramatic step forward when they hired Steve Kerr as their head coach. Rather than go with an NBA retread, they found a new outside-the-box thinker in Kerr, who came in with his own philosophies and got the players to buy in.
I'm not sure if the Lakers have a basketball philosophy right now. Or if they do, they haven't sold their players on it. Byron Scott preaches defense, but the Lakers were 29th in the NBA in defense this year. He supposedly runs a Princeton Offense, yet he doesn't believe in taking threes. His awkward version of the Princeton Offense was a horrible fit for Jeremy Lin, and it wasn't a great system for Kobe Bryant either.
The Warriors are also among the most innovative teams when it comes to using analytics.
If the Lakers want to get back to the top, then they should know it will take several years, like it did with the Warriors. But they're also going to need a clear philosophy, they'll need someone who can effectively communicate it, and it will help if they get the best analytical minds they can find.
I haven't written too much about this, but of the three NFL teams looking to move to LA, I'd prefer the Rams. I grew up an LA Rams fan, and they do have a history here in Los Angeles. I have a great deal of respect for Stan Kroenke, and it would be fantastic if he owned a team here. It would be even better if he owned a beautiful new stadium at Hollywood Park.
I also prefer the Hollywood Park location to Carson for a new stadium. While Carson is perfectly fine, the Hollywood Park spot has the ability to be much more than a stadium. A full retail and entertainment complex is planned for the site, including a rumored "West Wing" of the NFL Hall of Fame and a new studio for the NFL Network. The Hollywood Park facility could also be covered to host a Final Four or other large events. To me, that's a much more exciting proposition for the region than just a stadium.
If two teams come here, then I'd root for the Raiders to join the Rams. Aside from the fact that the Raiders already have a viable fan base here, they offer a clear branding contrast from the Rams. The Chargers are a perfectly fine football team, and few people really object to them. But the Raiders occupy a unique place in sports. If we're going to have two teams come to LA, then it should be two very different teams.
As for the Chargers, I'm kind of hoping they stay in San Diego. They have a great fan base down there. They would likely lose their San Diego following if they moved up the coast. And I have a hunch they'd generally be second fiddle to Rams in Los Angeles. We might as well have two franchises that can stand up on their own two feet here.