As the NBA season suspension stretches into its fourth week, fans and superfans across the country are coming to terms with what could have been—and still might be—possible for their teams.
SI’s Robin Lundberg caught up with actor and huge Clippers fan, Adam DeVine of Workaholics, Righteous Gemstones, and Pitch Perfect fame for his perspective.
“There’s a curse on us Clippers, this was our year. We obviously were winning the whole thing,” DeVine said. “So if we don’t win it this year, I feel they should give us some sort of honorary trophy.”
For historical arguments and considering how well LeBron James has played during his 17th NBA season, if the season does end up being canceled, some might argue it would cost LeBron a fourth championship.
Not so, according to DeVine. “Just because someone can do something great in year 17 doesn’t make them better than what someone can do in year six,” according to DeVine. “I love LeBron, I think he’s great. Do I think that it was a weak move to go to the Lakers, the Death Star? Yeah, I do. If he was a true champion, he probably should have come to the Clippers.”
That’s despite the fact that the Clippers wound up with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, which seems to have worked out pretty well for them. But for DeVine, it’s a matter of grit.
If the Lakers were to meet the Clippers in a playoff series, DeVine believes, “In a seven-game series, the Clippers would take them in six is my guess.”
How can he be so sure? It’s not only about every player being a “banger,” it’s about how the team was constructed. For that, he gives big props to GM Steve Ballmer, whom he considers “the coolest owner in the league.”
“He’s turned the whole atmosphere of the team around,” said DeVine. “From Clippers fans who haven’t had a lot to be excited about, we’re really turning a page in LA history and the Clippers are going to be here to stay for a long time.”
During this quarantine downtime, at least there’s something else to get excited about—the Michael Jordan documentary is being released early. After some serious fan lobbying via social media, the show will run starting April 19 on ESPN and Netflix. Jordan being Devine's favorite player of all time, he recalled having 11 posters of the Chicago Bulls legend covering the walls of his room growing up.
Speaking of streaming video, which of DeVine’s role would he pick for people to stream first—Workaholics, Pitch Perfect or The Righteous Gemstones?
With 87 episodes of Workaholics on Amazon Prime, he thinks there’s a lot to watch there, although it might be fun to catch up on The Righteous Gemstones, his new show on HBO or catch his comedy special on Netflix, Adam Devine’s Best Time of Our Lives.
You can also see DeVine on Modern Family, where he played the love interest for Sarah Hyland’s character, Haley Dunphy for roughly 25 or 30 episodes across the series.
But going back to basketball, Lundberg wanted to know why the Clippers are the team to beat this year according to the diehard season ticket holder.
“I’m not taking anything away from the Lakers and from the Bucks who are obviously great, but our bench is so deep,” said DeVine. “The fact that Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell come off the bench for us when they would start for 25 other teams in the league—that says something. I think no other bench in the league can really compete.”
Whether they will literally compete remains to be seen, but at least for now, we can all have something to hope for when the NBA season returns.