Los Angeles Clippers: Jermaine O'Neal

Clippers-Warriors: A retrospective

April, 18, 2014
Apr 18
LOS ANGELES -- As is the case with most feuds, the participants have a hard time remembering exactly why they don't like each other, except for the fact that they, well, don't like each other.

Trying to stroll down memory lane in search of an exact reason or incident seems inconsequential.

[+] EnlargeClippers vs. Warriors
Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY SportsThe Clippers and Warriors admit they really don't like each other, and it seemed to come to a head on Christmas Day this season.
For the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors, the genesis of their feud is no longer important to them. But it might help others to explain why these two star-crossed franchises, which have never met in the postseason before Saturday, dislike each other so much.

"You would have thought they won the NBA Finals"

All good rivalries need a good instigator and the light that lit the flame on the Clippers-Warriors rivalry was the Warriors' bench, led by Kent Bazemore during the 2012-13 season.

Mark Jackson, who was then in his second year as the Warriors' coach, wanted his bench to get more involved games. He wanted them to celebrate after every big play and be totally into the game. No one took this more than Bazemore, who was an undrafted rookie out of Old Dominion. His over-the-top celebrations on the sideline became so legendary that it earned a nickname: "Bazemoring."

The birth of "Bazemoring" coincided with the birth of the Clippers-Warriors rivalry. When the two teams met in 2012-13 in the third game of the season, the Clippers had just come off of back-to-back wins against the Memphis Grizzlies and Los Angeles Lakers. A win over the Warriors, a team that had won 23 games the previous season seemed like an afterthought. Before the game, Clippers players were already talking about a postgame party in Hollywood to commemorate the launch of Chris Paul's new shoe.

Not only would the Warriors go on to win the game 114-110 and serve notice they were legitimate contenders now, their bench celebrated every big play just a little bit more than usual. When Steph Curry took a charge from Paul to seal the win with 7.5 seconds left, the Warriors bench went crazy and a rivalry was officially born.

"You would have thought they won the NBA Finals," Paul would later say.

That was just the beginning of the rivalry and the Clippers' growing dislike for the Warriors.

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Blake Griffin
23.1 4.7 0.8 35.1
ReboundsD. Jordan 13.4
AssistsC. Paul 9.7
StealsC. Paul 2.0
BlocksD. Jordan 2.4