Chris Paul On His Time with Clippers: “We Never Were Lucky”

Chris Paul with the US Basketball Team in 2012. Photo by Back Page Images/REX/Shutterstock

During Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan’s tenure with the Los Angeles Clippers, in the early and mid-2010s, the team was considered one of the best regular-season teams in the NBA. However, they never managed to translate this success, which included winning 66% of regular-season games, to the postseason. Some would say this was due to their inability to perform when it mattered the most, while others might attribute it to a simple lack of luck.

Paul, who was the leader of the Clippers’ Lob City era between 2011 and 2017, recently made an appearance in the Quibi documentary Blackballed and shared his opinion on the team’s shortcomings. According to the 35-year-old point guard, the Clippers failed to leave their mark in the playoffs because they “never were lucky.”

“Doc used to always say in order to win a championship, you gotta be lucky,” said Chris Paul. “We never were lucky. I don’t think the Donald Sterling thing had anything to do with our shortcomings as a team. It was definitely a bump in the road, something unexpected, but that’s life.”

To Paul’s point, luck did play a certain part in the Clippers’ failure to win a championship with three All-Star-caliber players in their prime. Between 2011/12 and 2016/17, Clippers only had one year in which they had their “Big 3” fit enough to play. In all other seasons, at least one of the three was injured or out for a certain period.

However, the team also had real opportunities to make something happen, and they blew it. In 2014, all of their players were healthy, but they just couldn’t get past Oklahoma City Thunder in the second round, losing the series 4-2. The following year, they managed to get a 3-1 lead against Houston Rockets despite Paul missing the first two games, only to blow it all and lose the series 4-3.