Warriors vs. Clippers Was A Playoff Series For The Ages

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Post-series Altercation

May 3, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) attempts to pass the ball defended by Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin (32) resulting in a stolen pass by guard Chris Paul (3) during the fourth quarter in game seven of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center. The Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Golden State Warriors 126-121. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Of course, the two teams couldn’t just let the series end without some kind of physical altercation. They had at it after the game in the hallway that connected their respective locker rooms. The incident probably stemmed from a Clippers’ ballboy yelling, “It’s awfully quiet in there” at the Warriors’ locker room. Curry and Steve Blake went out to confront the instigator, and things escalated when Paul decided to join the confrontation. The police were even called in to help.

It was a fitting end to a crazy playoff series.


In retrospect, perhaps we will look back at this series in 30 years and be able to say that we witnessed arguably one of the hardest-fought, emotional, and thrilling series in the history of the league, although it was just a first round matchup.

It started out as two up-and-coming teams who had created a newfound rivalry with each other, now that they were both entrenched as legitimate NBA contenders, no longer mired in obscurity and at the bottom of the standings. But it became much larger than that — much larger than just a game or a rivalry. It became a method of uniting fans, players, and coaches in the wake of perhaps the biggest controversy that the NBA has faced. It became a platform for protest when the Clippers wore their jerseys inside-out along with black socks. It nearly became an iconic moment in time, if the plan to boycott Game 5 had actually taken place. As basketball and a nationwide-leading news story intertwined, the series morphed into something beyond our wildest dreams.

So now we sit here, two months removed from this epic playoff series. The Clippers bowed out in the second round to the Thunder in six games. The Warriors went home, fired their head coach and hired a new one. Donald Sterling still appears to be fighting anyone and everyone, somehow unaware that he is a despicable, abominable, and racist human being that has no place owning any professional team at any level.

Time will move on, and as free agency approaches in a few days and teams gear up for the 2014-2015 season, this Sterling fiasco and the Warriors-Clippers playoff series that went along with it will drift into the back of our memories. But we’ll still remember it, and when asked to recall it, we will remember it like it was yesterday.

Five years ago, I would have laughed out loud at this statement, but the 2014 Western Conference Quarterfinals matchup between the Warriors and Clippers was unforgettable in so many ways. It really was a playoff series for the ages.