Monday, March 26, 2007

Catching up on some Clipper past ignominy, it’s good to know that former Clips #1 draft pick Michael Olowokandi is still all about the commitment to excellence. Excellence in pine-sitting and paycheck collecting, that is.

Yeah, big Mike ain't exactly having the career all us clipper loyalist had to have been hoping for when we heard that mysterious nom de plume uttered by the commish. ah well, selah & salud.

(for a little now vs. then, note Tim Thomas in a Bucks uniform chasing down fair Sir Michael in that pic! Gratzi,, and no, I don’t know, so don’t ask, in ref what they're doing at that likely fine web site, do tell, but I know it's stacked with pics, good, evil, and everywhere in between, you're welcome)

To give the guy a little break, (Kandi-Man) he has been banged up, tearing an abdominal muscle going up for a rebound earlier this year. Also, it's hard to lay too much blame on the door of a guy who's big qualifications for being drafted #1 was that he was 7 feet tall. Talk about a random entry into the world of big time basketball. The empty the bench post linked above refers to a nice Worcestor Telgram & Gazette (I never miss an issue, natch) article, vital for any and all Olowakandi enthusiasts, which I respectfully quote pieces of herein:

...he was 7 feet tall so the Clippers took him with the No. 1 pick ahead of such future NBA stars as Vince Carter, Antawn Jamison, Dirk Nowitzki and Paul Pierce...

...Olowokandi… grew up in England and never played basketball until he was 20 years old. On his 20th birthday, while attending his second year of college in England, he picked up a library book on American colleges and University of the Pacific in California was listed on the first page he turned to. So he called Pacific’s administrative offices to see if he could transfer and join the track team as a long jumper and triple jumper. When the school learned he was 7 feet tall, his call was switched to the basketball office.

“I hadn’t played a game of basketball, ever,” Olowokandi said. “I got lucky.”

Can't fault a guy for being in the right place at the right time and making the most of it, and then dropping off the map into mediocrity and obscurity, at the expense of ever increasing chunks of a fan base's rotted and formerly thought completely carved out soul. OK, maybe a little fault. Eh, Mike gave us his all, I GUESS, just too bad his all came out to about a medium sized strawberry shake from McDonalds.

Veering a casual eye askance to where we’re at in the standings after the clips winning 5 out of their last 6 (and the Warriors dumping one to the suddenly en fuego Kobe driven Lakers), Clipper Steve sums it up quite nicely:

A four game winning streak that started at the end of their road trip has the Clippers within 2 games of .500 and a full game ahead of the Warriors for the final playoff spot. Three consecutive wins over clubs well over .500 also makes the remaining schedule seem even softer by comparison - of 12 remaining games, 6 are against teams under .500, 3 against the Lakers and Denver, and only 3 against the top teams, starting with a re-match with the Rockets Wednesday that the Clippers have got to be looking forward to.

Meanwhile the Nuggets, now only 1.5 games ahead of the Clippers and coming to Staples in April, have 10 of their final 15 on the road, including games at Cleveland, at Detroit and at Phoenix before the end of March. It is not inconceivable that the Clippers could catch them within the week. And I think we can safely say that the Clippers would rather see the Suns than the Mavs in the first round.

But they have to get there first. This is the team we remember. Did they show up in time?

I like to think so. Remembering that I'm a Clipper fan, my original pre 2006 attitude is actually to be thankful that they showed up at all. Hosannah in the highest.


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