ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Culture Of Losing

Updated on April 18, 2012

The NBA is built for parody. The worst teams get the best draft picks. It's as simple as that. Occasionally a team will draft a "sure thing" and it won't work out. But by and large if you have enough quality picks than even the dumbest general manager should be able to turn things around. Let's go back to 1988. That was the first year ever the Clippers had the #1 overall pick in the NBA draft. The Clippers selected Danny Manning from Kansas. In his fifth year with the Clippers Manning averaged 22.8 points and 6.6 rebounds per game, both his best with the team. Then with Manning averaging 23.7 points and 7 rebounds per game in 1993-1994, the Clippers inexplicably traded him to the Atlanta Hawks for Dominique Wilkins. Now it's not that Wilkins couldn't play. He actually put up big numbers that year between both teams. But the Clippers knew he was a free agent after that season and of course he jumped ship to join the Boston Celtics. The real ignorance though is unloading a player THEY DRAFTED #1 and who was producing and steadily improving every year. ISN'T THAT WHAT YOU WANT FROM YOUR #1 PICK.

Let's look deeper though at that 1988 draft. The Clippers also ended up getting the third pick from the Philadelphia 76ers which ended up being Charles Smith. In 1990-1991 Smith averaged 20 points and 8.2 rebounds per game which were in fact better than Manning's numbers. As everyone in basketball knows, however, stats and individual performances do not tell the whole story. The Clippers won 30 games in 1989-1990 but only improved to 31 wins in 1990-1991. Obviously something was missing. Manning and Smith were both 6'10", 230 pounds, and played a finesse game. They had the size to rebound and defend against big opponents but their offensive games were what people call "mid range". So what did the Clippers decide to do with the #2 pick in the 1989 draft in an effort to build around Manning and Smith? That's right they picked yet ANOTHER 6'10", 230 pound finesse player with a mid range game. His name was Danny Ferry. The general manager's name was Elgin Baylor.

As a player Baylor was a true NBA legend. As a general manager Baylor has been a bonafide failure and that pick right there was his biggest mistake. The missing piece was either a deadly three point shooter or a bruiser who could score down low. If you look at the 8 players selected after Ferry it is blatantly clear Glen Rice fit the first of the two descriptions. The Clippers already had a player on their team fitting the second description. 7 footer Benoit Benjamin played very well alongside Manning and Smith in 88-89. The Clippers would have won with Manning, Smith, Rice, and Benjamin. I have no doubt. But once a mistake like that is made the culture of losing is firmly in place and quality players do not want to wear that uniform. It's been 20 plus years of losing ever since.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: ""

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)