Chris Paul on Lob City: "You Don't Realize What You Have Until it's Gone"

Garrett Chorpenning

The Lob City era of L.A. Clippers basketball was complicated. On the surface, those were some of the most entertaining teams to watch on the court. Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan were the league's premier high-flying duo, and Chris Paul and Jamal Crawford always set them up with pinpoint accuracy. But underneath, the squads had their fair share of issues. 

The era came to an end in 2017, and with little to show for it. L.A. won back-to-back division titles in 2013 and 2014, but the Clippers never made it beyond the second round of the postseason. 

Paul, now the starting point guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder, admitted on Wednesday's episode of All The Smoke that he still thinks about what he could have achieved in Los Angeles.

"It's seriously one of those things you don't realize what you have until it's gone," Paul said. "Me and Blake absolutely our issues here and there and whatnot, but I actually appreciated Blake probably a lot more after I left, and then especially once he started shooting them threes like that."

It's a wonder that the Clippers didn't accomplish more with those star-studded rosters. The closest they ever came to greatness was during the 2015 Playoffs when L.A. knocked off the defending champion San Antonio Spurs in the first round. The Clippers would take a 3-1 lead in the following series against the Houston Rockets — one win away from the franchise's first-ever Conference Finals appearance — before losing three consecutive games and being eliminated.

Paul also talked about his relationship with Jordan and what it was like to play alongside him in L.A.

"When I threw the lobs to DJ, all I had to do was keep it in the arena," Paul said. "I still talk to big fella about every day."

The Clippers are in an equally exciting era of basketball now, with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George spearheading one of the best two-way teams in the NBA. And while this current squad has a much higher ceiling than the Lob City teams did, there's something to be said about how exciting they were. 

Paul's full interview can be seen here. (Warning: Explicit language).

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