In his Lakers debut after signing a two-year, $30 million contract in the summer of 2019, Green looked like that deal might be a bargain, lighting the Clippers up for 28 points while hitting seven triples in an opening-night loss, setting a new franchise record for a player’s most points in their first game in purple and gold in the process.
Green never scored that many points as a Laker again, and his season became more and more polarizing as the year went along. But given his obvious comfort in his matchup against the Clippers right from the start, perhaps it shouldn’t be a shock that he recently told Tomer Azarly of Clutch Points that he would have loved to see the Lakers’ Staples Center co-tenants in the playoffs.
He broke down why:
“I mean you’ve seen, there’s viral clips, two-minute clips of everybody saying that the Clippers are better.”
Fact check: Yes, yes there are.
“There’s a bunch of clips throughout the whole year, from players to analysts to everybody that has a voice that’s been banking on the Clippers.”
Fact check: This is also correct.
The Cinderella story continues! pic.twitter.com/1j5fUq090n— pickuphoop (@pickuphoop) September 27, 2020
Again, Green continued (emphasis mine):
“You’ve heard it all year. I don’t mind being the underdog. I actually prefer to be the underdog and flying under the radar, but it’s hard to fly under the radar when you have LeBron James and Anthony Davis in Los Angeles, but to be the underdog in the city was how we wanted it to be. If we had the choice, we’d definitely have loved to play them in a seven-game series.”
Considering that everyone from anonymous Lakers officials to veteran reserve Jared Dudley — and even a few of your favorite Lakers podcasters — have been laughing at the Clippers for several months in succession now, it’s fair to say Green isn’t the only one who would have liked to see that series.
Unfortunately for Green, the Lakers and everyone else who likes basketball, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George went a combined 2-18 in the second half of Game 7 — and 0-11 in the fourth quarter — as the Clippers finished choking away a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference Semifinals against the Denver Nuggets.
Alas. Better luck next year Clips!