Sunday was not a good day in El Lay.
The Los Angeles Clippers lost Game 7 of their first round NBA playoff series to the Utah Jazz. There were probably a lot of NBA fans, even casual ones, rooting for the Clippers to win and play their hated rivals, the Golden State Warriors, in the Western Conference semifinals.
Heck, even the Warriors were rooting for the Clips. They claim there’s no nightlife in Salt Lake City.
But, with Blake Griffin out injured (again), Los Angeles lost in the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season since Winston-Salem native Chris Paul came to Los Angeles to join Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. Worse, the Clippers became the first team in NBA history to blow a playoff series lead in five straight postseasons.
Utah beat Los Angeles 104-91 in Game 7 and won a playoff series for the first time in seven years.
Afterwards, Twitter bombed Paul, the Clippers leader and former Wake Forest All-American, who struggled Sunday, scoring 13 points on 6-of-19 shooting.
But Monday on his nationally televised talk show, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith came to Paul’s defense.
Smith has been under fire himself lately from some media members wondering why the man some mock by calling “Screamin’ A” wasn’t let go in a rash on ESPN layoffs last week.
Smith said, unquestionably, Paul is not the source of the Clippers problems.
“If you think for one second, he’s to blame, that he’s the one that’s come up short,” Smith opined, “do me a favor please and check your basketball IQ at the door.”
Watch Smith’s rant below and let us know if you agree in the comments.