Chris Paul’s LA arrival has changed almost everything about pro ball in the city. The Clippers are revamped and relevant, with youth and excitement quotients so high that the Lakers look obsolete in comparison. Sure the Clips have zero titles and the Lakers have 16. Sure the Clips are the San Diego transplants who’ve remained second banana to the Lakers’ decades long legacy of dominance. But this is the here and now. The Clips have Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, two young superstars on their way up as Kobe and Pau are steadily descending the acme of their long careers. That contrast is the loud voice you hear in the din of LA basketball conjecture. Then there’s the other voice. A hushed tone heard just as well that reminds us that moments end in the NBA. Indomitable runs stop running, especially when new ones start. So really this intra-city jostling isn’t about current matchups so much as future trajectories. That’s why the Clippers are tacitly LA’s top dog.
That storyline continued to hang over both squads last night when they faced off for their last preseason game. Clippers won, 108-103, on the back of Griffin’s 30 points in his Nike Zoom Hyperdunk 2011 “Home” PE, while Chris Paul rode in the backseat this time with 7 points and 10 assists in a new pair of Blue/Grey Jordan CP3.V‘s. Kobe actually registered a DNP-CD after being diagnosed with a torn lunotriquetral ligament, an injury that probably would, and should, keep most players out at least a month. But this is a guy who’d play through a compound fracture so expect to see him back way sooner than later playing with that everything’s-going-wrong-for-me-right-now-so-I’m-going-to-destroy attitude.
The Heat and the Magic finished up their preseason tryst as Orlando squeaked out a 104-100 win. Dwight Howard put up 15 and 9 in some grey adidas adiPower Howard‘s, while LeBron went for 27 in his Nike LeBron 9 and D-Wade added 21 in his Jordan Fly Wade 2, “Away” versions both.
A look at these kicks, plus KG’s ANTA KG 2 “Home” debut, Quentin Richardson giving the Jordan Big Ups a run, Carmelo Anthony breaking out a new Jordan Melo M8, Damion James dusting off the Nike Zoom Kobe IV, Kawhi Leonard’s Nike Air Foamposite One‘s, LaMarcus Aldridge’s return in Nike Air Max Hyperdunk 2011 and much more ahead in NBA Kicks…