Crazy to think it has been nearly a decade since the “Lob City” Los Angeles Clippers became the toast of the NBA.
Chris Paul plays for the Phoenix Suns now, Blake Griffin is all-but forgotten playing for the Detroit Pistons and DeAndre Jordan is slowing down for the Brooklyn Nets. Former Warriors big man Andrew Bogut is retired, but spent part of his most recent Rogue Bogues podcast episode reflecting on the Clippers-Warriors rivalry from the 2010s.
“They were kind of where we wanted to get to, or beyond,” Bogut said of the Clippers. “Chris Paul had those, I don’t know if you remember, those State Farm commercials, and Steph Curry was his little sidekick. When we went into those games I started to notice, we had a lot of guys who would get uptight going into those games with the Clippers. They intimidated us for some reason.”
But the 7-foot, no-nonsense Bogut isn’t one to be intimidated.
After battling an injury through most of his first season with the Warriors in 2012-13, he came out swinging the next season. Bogut specifically discussed the fight between he and Jordan during the second game of the 2013-14 campaign and how it helped change Golden State’s mentality.
“[Jordan] was about to dunk it so I wrapped him up pretty hard, just gave him a hard foul to put him to the free-throw line,” Bogut said. “He gave me a shove … I was, like, ‘Nah, man.’ I went straight back, like at his throat, pushed him back, and he stumbled back.
“Without [tooting] my own horn, I think that was the moment where it was like, ‘F--- you, guys. We’re fighting you now. This is going to turn. This table is going to turn. This Lob City s--- and all the s--- you’ve been doing to us the last couple of years?'”
The Clippers would go on to beat the Warriors in seven games in the first round of the playoffs that season, so the Dubs couldn’t claim bragging rights yet. But we all know what happened in 2015, when the Warriors won the title and made the first of five straight trips to the NBA Finals.
That March, Curry dropped Paul on the baseline with an epic crossover before swishing home a jumper. For Dub Nation, it might be the most iconic Curry-Paul moment from their Warriors-Clippers days.
“It got awkward between them two because Chris Paul had Steph as his little brother,” Bogut said. “And Steph was like, ‘Nah. You’re my little brother now.’ I don’t know if you remember, but he made him fall on that one crossover then he hit the jumper. Then I started matching up on Blake and started playing him really well. We just never lost to them anymore after that and ended up winning the championship, and then their team got blown up. It was a big cultural change for us at Golden State.”
In 2021, the Clippers are considered among the best teams in the Western Conference, but the Warriors have some work to do to prove they’re playoff-worthy. If Dubs-Clips can ever get back to the same temperature it was in the 2010s, that would be a treat for all hoops fans.
The Warriors host the Clippers on Wednesday before the teams run it back for another matchup on Friday at Chase Center. Watch for Los Angeles guard Patrick Beverley to stir up the pot against Curry and the new-look Warriors this week.