The NBA released the full 2021-22 schedule on August 20th, and it revealed a staggering rest disadvantage for the LA Clippers. The NBA, who in previous years has sought to eliminate stretches of five games in seven nights, assigned five such stretches to the Clippers next season.
The Clippers' five different stretches of five games in seven nights is tied with the Portland Trailblazers for most in the entire NBA. For comparison, the Los Angeles Lakers will play just one such stretch, and seven different NBA teams will not play a single stretch of five games in seven nights.
In a recent segment on ESPN's The Jump, analyst Brian Windhorst expressed his belief about the Clippers' 2021-22 schedule. When going over the aforementioned disparity of "five in seven" stretches, Windhorst said, "This is preposterous. Especially because they play in the same venue as a team with one five in seven… this is a really unbalanced schedule compared to the Lakers.
It should be mentioned that the Clippers will not be renewing their Staples Center lease when it expires, as they plan to move into their new arena in Inglewood by 2024. This move has been on the radar of Clippers' chairman Steve Ballmer for years. When asked in 2016 about the prospect of leaving Staples Center, Ballmer said that "We’re third guy in, we have third choice in dates... If you are a good businessman, you don’t come to the end of your lease and say, ‘I have no options, landlord, please take me to the woodshed and beat me.’ We’ll have options.”
If all goes as planned, the Clippers will open the 2024-25 NBA season in a brand new Inglewood arena, hopefully ending the yearly schedule disadvantage that they face in Staples Center.