L.A. Clippers 09/10: De luto (Mayo 2008 - Marzo 2011)
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Re: L.A. Clippers 09/10: Let's go Gentry: 27-M, manifa proLe

por Mr. Cátering » 21 May 2010, 14:13

With the suspense of the NBA Lottery now over, the hopes and dreams of the NBA wretched turn once again to LeBron. There are many exceptional players in the Association, but there are very few who can elevate a lottery team into a title contender by his mere presence. It is a testament to LeBron James’ prodigious talent that the choice of his next team will probably alter the NBA’s balance of power for years to come. The national media have been abuzz about LeBron’s potential destinations, of course, with nary a mention of the Clippers. Fortunately, both Kevin Arnovitz, on this site, and Steve Perrin over at Clips Nation, have made compelling cases for the Clippers as a possible destination for King James and his championship aspirations.

It is interesting to note that even the New York Times suddenly weighed in with multiple LeBron articles when Cleveland was unceremoniously bounced from the playoffs. Though they did not come right out and say it, what the Times implied was clear: A star of LeBron’s caliber is too luminous for a declining Midwestern city like Cleveland, that he belongs on a bigger stage under the brightest lights of America’s greatest city. On the surface, civic pride is not a bad thing. People in New York, South Beach, Hollywood and Chicago can all claim the virtues and exceptionalism of their city. Coveting a star of LeBron’s caliber is a dream for any franchise. But there has always been something special about LeBron’s relationship with Cleveland from the very beginning; when the Cavs landed the number one pick, they selected the local prodigy from nearby Akron, a sublime talent that the city has long yearned for, someone who can finally exorcise the demons of Jordan hitting heartbreaking shots over the outstretched hands of Craig Ehlo.

In any other time, in any other place, any professional athlete deserves the right to pick his team and a city of his choice. It is his life and his career, after all. But for someone like LeBron, who grew up in Akron and witnessed the slow deterioration of his industrial hometown, the choice between staying in a fading city or leaving it for the larger, more glamorous stages of New York, Miami, and Los Angeles, must be an excruciating one. After eliminating King James, Kevin Garnett told him that loyalty to a city comes with a steep price, for youth can never be regained, and knowing what he knows now, he would have left Minnesota years before he did. The career of a professional athlete is brief, after all, and he must make his mark while his flame burns bright.

No less than an authority than Buzz Bissinger, the co-author of LeBron’s recent book about his youth team, “Shooting Stars” (and the author of the acclaimed, “Friday Night Lights”) has recently mentioned that it is LeBron’s ambition to be the first billion dollar athlete, and by implication, that ambition will likely lead him to Madison Avenue and New York City. It would be a logical and natural progression for LeBron to follow in the footsteps of Michael Jordan, and to surpass him as the greatest corporate pitchman of all time. In the last decade, the intersection of money, advertising, entertainment and athletics have dovetailed nicely for the league’s brightest stars, fueled by the rise of ESPN, Nike and a phalanx of corporate sponsors.

The NBA has come a long way since the tape delayed midnight broadcast of Magic and Dr. J in the 1980 championship game. Before Magic and Bird, the league was staring at possible bankruptcy, as it weighed the dissolution of smaller market teams like Utah and Denver. When David Stern hired Rick Welts in 1982 to secure some corporate sponsorships for the league, most companies never bothered to return his phone calls and Welts never made it past the lobbies of Coca-Cola and GM, so poisonous was the league and its players’ reputations. Magic and Bird changed all that, and Michael Jordan seized the reins of the NBA’s resurgence and corporate sponsors to a level never before seen or imagined. The average salary for an NBA player rose along with the league’s stars, from a mundane $35,000 a year in 1970, to $180,000 in 1980, to $927,000 in 1990, and to $4.2 million a year in 2000. It’s interesting to note that in 1970 the average American household also made $35,000 a year, on parity with an NBA player. But by the year 2000, the average American household income has inched up to $44,800 a year, while the salary for an average NBA player was now 100 times greater than the fans he played for.

Long gone are the days when professional athletes sold cars or insurance during the off-season to augment their income, when players dined in the same restaurants and shopped in the same grocery stores as the people in the stands. The modern NBA player now has more in common with Hollywood celebrities and corporate CEOs, their lifestyle and income level far beyond the imagination of the average fan. In recent years, the public personae of marquee athletes have become increasingly engineered, as every public utterance can mean millions of dollars in lost advertising revenue, such that it is increasingly difficult to see a real person behind the corporate shill. An interviewer once asked Jordan who he planned to support in the North Carolina election for U.S. Senator between Harvey Gantt and Jesse Helms, and his Airness shrewdly answered that both Democrats and Republicans buy his sneakers. The few who aspire to Jordan’s throne admire both his fierce intensity to win and his ruthless business acumen. In this light, LeBron’s decision to leave Cleveland for the brighter lights of New York or Los Angeles is a natural progression.

To be fair, LeBron has shown tremendous loyalty to his closest childhood friends from Akron and to his hometown. But he has also made plain his ambition to carry the mantle left by Jordan, to become the first billion dollar athlete, to win multiple championships on the world’s grandest stage, and to establish his case as one of the greatest players of all time. Much has already been written in recent days about Cleveland’s long futility in professional sports; the city has not won a major sports championship since 1964. But more depressing than Cleveland’s athletic drought, is the economic fragility of the city and the inexorable decline of the rust belt. After LeBron’s final home game at Quicken Loans Arena this year, when he walked off the court to a chorus of boos, a local comedian joked that the people who booed him that night weren’t real Cavs fans, because real fans in Cleveland can’t afford to buy playoff tickets. It was said in jest, but it has a sting of truth to it. Just as the salaries of NBA players has skyrocketed to the stratosphere, the average income in Cleveland has fallen below the national average. In places like Akron, the economic disparity is even greater and that gap yawns wider with each passing year.

Though Cleveland is in slightly better economic shape than some of its rust belt neighbors, the ruins of America’s once great industrial cities — Youngstown, Gary, and Detroit — lie smoldering just beyond their doorstep. If our deep recession and credit bubble have hit this country hard, these Midwestern industrial cities have been in the grips of a depression since the 1980s, when the Big Three automotive giants began to lose their dominance. Thirty years later, the slow-motion collapse of America’s once great industrial base is in the final stages of being swept away by the tides of globalization. The identity and pride which these communities once had as the industrial heart of the nation is now gone. Urban planners in Detroit are now trying to shrink the municipal footprint to accommodate a rapidly diminishing population and a smaller tax base. Small farming communities, mining towns, railroad towns, have disappeared before in the vastness of this country’s interior. But the thought that a once great metropolis like Detroit is on the verge of becoming a ghost town is difficult to grasp. If a metropolis that was once America’s fourth largest city can fall to such depth, what does it portend for the rest of the country? Is the decline of the rust belt a harbinger of things to come?

It is in this deteriorating economic landscape that LeBron James came of age, and perhaps, like Derek Fisher said after the Utah series, if he were a plumber, people would have understood if he left for another city to accommodate the needs of his family or his own professional ambitions. But professional athletes are no longer a part of our community like in the old days. They have become less real than your neighbor and more like a movie star upon which you can project your imagination and ideals. And thus they represent something more, even as they have become something less.

The people of Cleveland have been relatively good-natured about the possibility of LeBron leaving. The “We are LeBron” on YouTube is pretty funny. There is a bit of fatalism there; the knowledge that Cleveland and the state of Ohio doesn’t have much to offer LeBron except to tug at his heart strings as his birthplace and home. New York and Los Angeles, and to lesser degrees, Chicago and Miami, can offer the glitz, glamour, and the spotlight of a truly global metropolis, befitting of someone who has crowned himself King. Perhaps, in this post-industrial America, the large metropolises on both coasts, with their vast concentration of wealth and innovation, will increasingly grow richer as the cities in the interior grow poorer, and it will be to these big media markets that great athletes and celebrities gravitate to leverage their talent across multiple revenue streams. Just as the salary gap between an NBA player and their fans has grown, so too will the economic disparity between different parts of the country, and with it, certain big market franchises will hold vast economic advantages over smaller market teams, which will extend far beyond the league’s salary cap rules. It is to these cultural, social and economic advantages that LeBron is now contemplating, along with his oft-stated desire to win.

If someone of LeBron’s caliber were to leave his hometown team — which had the best record in the league but failed in its ultimate goal — what does it say to the rest of the NBA’s smaller market teams? What hope do they have of ever holding onto a superstar should they ever be fortunate enough to land one in the draft? For people in Cleveland this summer, the spectacle of New Yorkers happily celebrating the Cavs’ demise and circling LeBron like vultures must be infuriating. It is left for LeBron alone to determine his future, and to a certain extent, the future of the league, though perhaps not in a way he intended. King James can choose to further his career ambitions, to conquer the extent of the known basketball universe, to surpass Jordan in his endorsements, and to surpass Bill Russell in his rings under the incandescent glow of the country’s most glamorous city. But he has to ask himself; is one championship in Cleveland greater than ten rings in New York? Can the King be satisfied with earning only $500 million instead of a billion dollars? What is the price of loyalty when measured against such lofty personal ambitions? And what does it say to a city, to a region whose glory has passed, if its brightest and only star were to decamp? Is it finally time to turn off the lights? If LeBron were to leave for New York, Los Angeles or Chicago, it would be entirely understandable. The legacy of Jordan has led us to this; the elite athlete as a global brand, the image of a multinational corporation. But if James stays, he will have essentially decided that hearth and home is more important than the calculus of hard currency. It will have been a genuine and personal choice. And maybe, in some small way, it will imply that the rust belt is not quite finished yet, as long as people with talent and ambition are willing to stay and rebuild it anew.

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Re: L.A. Clippers 09/10: Let's go Gentry: 27-M, manifa proLe

por Legend » 21 May 2010, 14:20

Mr. Cátering escribió:Let's go Celtics



Que poco sentido del humor!
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Re: L.A. Clippers 09/10: Let's go Gentry: 27-M, manifa proLe

por Mr. Cátering » 21 May 2010, 20:03

Parece que Thibodeau es el favorito de Olshey para el puesto de entrenador (algún medio -la CBS, exactamente- vuelve a colocar a Larry Brown en la franquicia), y sobre el tema de los agentes libres prefiere no decir nada y trabajar en silencio para intentar pegar un campanazo:

As many of you know, there was a conference call today for all the STH's. I saw some people post that they wanted to know what was said in it, so i thought I would let you guys know. Ralph came on first, and introduced GM Neil Olshey, who was in Chicago for the Draft Combine. The set-up was that the STH's would ask questions and Olshey would answer them (or try). The first question was about the draft, and the guy asked about Ekpe Udoh and Luke Babbitt. Olshey said that he had Udoh and Whiteside coming in for a workout in Los Angeles, but that because we have Blake Griffin, he doesnt feel that PF is a need. He then went on to say that they are gonna take the best player available on the board when they make their pick. Someone asked about Mike Taylor, and Olshey said that he tore his ACL while playing in Serbia.

There were a lot of questions about the Coaching Search, and Olshey basically reiterated what he has been saying all along, that they are doing a lot of work behind the scenes and that they have narrowed it down to about 5 or 6 names. And when they feel "the time is right" they are going to move swiftly. He also kept saying it will not be influenced by outside sources. I dont even know what that means. People asked if he thought it was important to have a coach in place before the draft, and he said he didnt think so, because Coaches want to draft for need, but Neil sees the draft as a place for asset accumulation and he wants to take the best player available. It kind of sounds like he thinks a coach in the war room would get in the way of his "vision". He then went on to say that having a coach will be important for Free Agency.

People were asking about LBJ and Dwayne Wade, and Olshey said that the team has put themselves in a very good position with their cap space, and they are going to make a run at one of the max FA's, but he couldn't mention any names because it would be tampering. But it sounds like they have some sort of a plan in place and they are going to try to pull out all the stops to get Lebron to come to LA.

Some other interesting stuff was said in the call. One guy asked Olshey how the team will play next year. He talked about how the Suns never go anywhere with their Run and Gun style and asked if they are going to try to be a defensive team. Olshey said how all of our players we have under contract are good on D, and that they are definitely going to look at that going forward. Hopefully we'll get Thibodeau, because I think he'll be a good coach for this team. He also said that basically anything is possible going forward, and that we can trade up or down in the draft, sign a Max FA or break it up and get depth, absorb a contract, basically anything is on the table.

All in All, there was not a lot of new info said, but he did say all the guys on the team are already working out, besides Kaman, and that he feels it will be a really exciting summer. I hope he's right. I didn't write down all of it but if you guys want to know anything else you can ask in the comments and I'll tell you if he said anything about it.


Putada lo de Taylor.

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Re: L.A. Clippers 09/10: Let's go Gentry: 27-M, manifa proLe

por Mr. Cátering » 22 May 2010, 22:33

El plan de Olshey: primero fichamos a la megaestrella (a ser posible, Lebron), y luego al entrenador:

The Clippers are considering holding off on hiring a coach until after July 1 to offer a superstar free agent a voice in the process, part of a recruiting pitch to lure him to Los Angeles, NBA.com has learned.

The team is known to be preparing a bid for LeBron James, among others.

The Clippers are declining comment on the search for a replacement for Mike Dunleavy, who resigned Feb. 4 to focus solely on front-office duties and then was fired as GM. The team decided not to offer the coaching job to Kim Hughes, who took over for Dunleavy and coached the Clippers through the rest of the season.

League insiders attending the pre-Draft camp here said the Clippers are prepared to wait until July to name a head coach if they feel the decision can be used as part of an intriguing, if unusual, offer to their top target.

The Clippers can make a credible offer to any free agent. They will have approximately $17 million in cap space, a requisite if James is the main target, as many believe him to be. Plus, the Clippers' biggest hole seems to be at small forward, one of the positions James can easily fill.

They can surround James, or whoever, with All-Star Chris Kaman at center, Blake Griffin at power forward (as the No. 1 pick of the 2009 Draft works back from a knee injury), Eric Gordon at shooting guard and Baron Davis at point guard, along with the eighth pick in the June 24 Draft. The marketing possibilities of Los Angeles also would be part of the recruiting pitch.

The Bulls also have a coaching opening and are expected to pursue James, among others, as well.
"There might be a couple of teams that decide to wait until after free agency begins to hire their next coach," one executive said, noting how the openings could be used to attract a mega-star such as James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Joe Johnson and probably Amar'e Stoudemire.

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Re: L.A. Clippers 09/10: Let's go Gentry: 27-M, manifa proLe

por Mr. Cátering » 27 May 2010, 13:48

Hoy es el día:

Don't forget that today at 3:00 PM is the "Bring LeBron to the Clippers Parade" - 3 PM at LA Live.

Clipper Darrell and Joshua Fischel deserve a ton of credit for putting this thing together. I'm obviously a devoted fan of the Clippers and invest a lot of time into Clips Nation as evidence. But what I do, skulking around in cyberspace, is a lot safer. These guys are putting their fanship out there, and I really admire them for that.

When I first heard the idea, I was worried that it could go horribly wrong, with a meager showing of Clipper fans drowning in a sea of purple and gold before game five of the Western Conference Finals. And frankly, that could still happen. But I'm not really worried, because we've got an ace in the hole on this thing. And his name is Clipper Darrell.

No one can really accuse Darrell of jumping on a Clipper Bandwagon in the summer of LeBron. And no one who is familiar with Darrell can help but admire his loyalty to the team. With Darrell leading the troops, a 'parade', as insane as it at first seems, makes perfect sense. Because Darrell is involved, it's not a deranged, pathetic publicity stunt by a deranged pathetic fanbase. It's a sincere act of fandom by arguably the most sincere fan in the NBA. And Clipper fans should show up to support the cause, but frankly also to support Darrell.

Last I checked, there were over 2000 members of the "Bring LeBron to the Clippers" Facebook page, which is a solid number. I also saw that the special T-shirts for the parade had sold out. So the cause has good support, and I assume that the parade will have good turnout.

Will it make a difference? I sure doubt it. After all, LeBron has plenty of datapoints on which to make his decision. But it sure as hell can't hurt. If it gets the Clippers a little bit more on his radar, if it gets people talking about LA as a destination for the King, then that's something. It's certainly not as bad as that lame "Please Stay LeBron" song they did in Cleveland.

So put on your Clippers gear, head out to LA Live at 3:00, and show your support for the Clippers, for LeBron, and if for no other reason, for Clipper Darrell.

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Re: L.A. Clippers 09/10: Let's go Gentry: 27-M, manifa proLe

por Mr. Cátering » 28 May 2010, 15:32

La ESPN haciéndose eco de la manifestación para pedir el fichaje de Lebron:

Clippers fans want you to understand that their devotion to their team isn't an expression of irony, even if it might seem that way from the outside looking in. The emotional investment in the Clippers is serious even if the organization has done little over the years to earn it. What do Clippers fans derive from that investment? The faith that things will get better next season. That hope carries particular meaning this summer because the Clippers are sitting on a mound of cap space as the most heralded class of free agents in NBA history hits the open market.

When Clipper fans say they want LeBron James in Los Angeles as a Clipper, they're entirely sincere. They'll recite the salient points of their argument with passion: A solid supporting cast for a superstar small forward, an impressive home arena and training facility, a city with an alluring lifestyle, a large stage where James can propel his status as a global icon. If James likes storybook romance, there's an unprecedented opportunity to rebrand a sports franchise. Clippers fans are a fatalistic bunch. They realize the odds are stacked against them, but feel obliged to make the case.

"Clipper Darrell" Bailey, who customizes cars for a living, and singer-songwriter Joshua Fischel hatched the idea to gather Clippers fans to rally in support of their team signing James this summer. They're media savvy. Want to get the basketball media's attention? Host the event at L.A. Live across from Staples Center prior to the Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals.

The unlikely event that the James camp took notice seemed like an afterthought to the 100 or so fans rounding Staples Center during the rally. The Clipper parade-goers are like every other fan base in the NBA sitting home as impartial observers -- they're desperate for a cause. On Thursday, Bailey and Fischel gave them one.


Tema entrenador de nuevo, con rumor incluído de que Phil Jackson pueda seguir en L.A., pero cambiando de acera:

Three weeks ago today I posted about the state of the Clippers head coach search (if in fact you can even call it that). It's time for an update, though not really because the Clippers haven't done anything.

If I had a point back on May 5th (and I'll admit, it's not always easy to tell) it was simply to analyze the situation a little, examine a few candidates, talk about timing, that sort of thing. I was assuming that the Clippers, who were clearly in a go slow mode at that point, would pick up the pace some time after the drat lottery. Well, three weeks later, and a week after the lottery, the Clippers are still going slow. That's not to say that nothing has changed, because in fact a lot has.

As far as I know, the Clippers have yet to actually interview a coaching candidate. There are rumors here and there about names that may or may not be on their list of candidates, assistants for other teams the Clippers have asked for permission to interview, that sort of thing... but no interviews have actually taken place.



Of course, there's one school of thought that says this is part of a master plan that involves allowing LeBron James to have input on the coaching decision. I never saw the logic in that strategy (and I use the terms 'plan' and 'logic' and 'strategy' loosely here) as I mentioned last time. Of course, that was before the John Calipari rumors surfaced, so at least now there's some conceivable end game as opposed to before. But it still seems like something between a crap shoot and a pipe dream. Call it a crap dream.

To recap the Calipari situation, soon after Vinny Del Negro was fired, stories surfaced that had LeBron signing in Chicago with the Bulls and Calipari taking over as head coach. What's the connection, you ask? Well, apparently they are close friends through their mutual friend, William Wesley, aka Worldwide Wes.

The logic behind this rumor, such as it is, is tenuous in the extreme. Let's ignore for a moment the fact that Calipari has denied any interest in coaching in the NBA again, has a contract in Kentucky, and went so far as to Tweet his reassurances to his Wildcat constituency that he wasn't going anywhere. The more immediate question, it seems to me, is why LeBron would feel strongly in the least about having Calipari as his next coach? They know each other. Great. So what? I understand why Wes wants Calipari to get a $10M NBA pay day, since he recently applied to be a coach's agent. Why does LeBron want it to happen? It would seem that there would be lots of factors in this decision that would come before "I've got this friend, ok really it's a friend of a friend, and I was thinking that maybe it would be kind of cool if we worked together." Calipari was lackluster at best the last time he coached in the NBA. His forte in the college game is recruiting - the first overall pick in 2008 and likely in 2010 (Derrick Rose and John Wall) and the rookies of the year in 2008 and 2009 (Derrick Rose and Tyreke Evans) were all recruited by Calipari (with connections supplied by Worldwide Wes, the story comes full circle). And recruiting is, as we all know, a huge part of the NBA game. Having a great recruiter as your NBA head coach is every bit as important as free throw defense. On the plus side, if Calipari returned to the NBA at least his new employer wouldn't have to worry so much about the inevitable NCAA investigation and sanctions.

And yet the rumor persists. Of course, it's a beautiful rumor. It involves the current MVP, every team with cap space and a head coaching vacancy, one of the most mysterious characters in all of basketball, and a lightning rod in his own right in Calipari. And there seems to be enough smoke there that SOMEONE must be fanning the flames. Is it just a coincidence that of the teams with coaching vacancies, the ones WITHOUT cap space are on the fast track to a decision (Philadelphia interviewed multiple candidates and has already hired Doug Collins, New Orleans is said to be ready to make an offer to Boston assistant Tom Thibodeau) while the coachless teams WITH cap space (the Clippers, Nets and Bulls) have done nothing. It's as if they're saying, "I don't really believe that LeBron wants input on this process... but holy crap, what if he does? I guess it couldn't hurt to wait until July."

Aye, there's the rub. It could hurt to wait. Some names that may or may not be high on the alleged list of supposed candidates for the theoretical head coaching job in LA (oh wait, the job is real), are Thibodeau and Dallas assistant Duane Casey. But as we've already said, Thibodeau is probably going to get a contract offer from the Hornets any day now, which he will probably accept, and Casey is said to be atop the list of candidates in Atlanta (the Hawks GM Rick Sund was GM in Seattle when Casey was an assistant coach for the Sonics). One of the big problems with firing a head coach is the process of finding a replacement whose likely to be demonstrably better. Allowing the other teams to hire the candidates on your short list before you've even started the interview process would not seem to be the best strategy to move forward.

My recommendation three weeks ago was that the Clippers should make the decision between the lottery and the draft, in order for the new coach to have input on draft day decisions. Again, it seems like that's not going to happen, and again the team is suggesting that it's all part of "the plan". Neil Olshey has said that he'd prefer to wait until AFTER the draft to hire a coach, because, you know, the new guy would just want some sort of voice in the process, and who wants that? It's the "too many cooks spoil the broth" argument. Olshey has expressed concern that a coach is going to feel compelled to draft for need under the pressure to win games - the nerve! At any rate, Olshey is prefectly happy to be the one making the draft day decision - it's easier to reach a unanimous decision when only one person gets a vote, after all. It seems more than a little shortsighted to me - it's not like we're talking about the eighth or ninth cook in this particular kitchen, and when you get right down to it, this is the head coach - he should have a say.

Be that as it may, the signs continue to point to the Clippers taking their time on this. They've as much as said that they're waiting until after the draft. And with free agency beginning only a week after that and the "LeBron picks the coach" scenario still in play no matter how ludicrous it seems, it seems pretty clear they'll wait into July as well.

I guess the good news is that while some candidates are going off the market, others are coming onto it. Mike Woodson, just fired by the Hawks, happens to be a former Clipper (he led the team in scoring a couple of seasons in the late 80s). And then there is last season's NBA Coach of the Year Mike Brown - who certainly isn't going to be hired by the Nets or Bulls or Clippers until AFTER LeBron has made his decision, but who might be a decent choice when the dust settles.

Finally, there continues to be intrigue regarding both Phil Jackson and Larry Brown. The idea of PJ moving across the hall for a big contract from the Clippers (allowing him to stay in LA with his girlfriend) rather than taking a 60% pay cut from Jerry Buss (his girlfriend's dad - AWKWARD) seems plausible unti you remember a couple of things: (1) Donald Sterling is NOT going to have the highest paid ANYTHING in the NBA - it just ain't gonna happen; and (2) Phil said some pretty nasty things about Sterling a couple of months ago, so the idea that they're now going to work together is a massive stretch. As for Brown, a recent post by Ken Berger said that the Clippers were 'holding out hope' that Brown would be available and consider LA. But as a wise man once said, hope is not a plan.


Fotos de la manifestación:

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Re: L.A. Clippers 09/10: Let's go Gentry, let's go Suns

por Baerd » 28 May 2010, 15:44

Por las fotos parece que la manifestación es para traer a Cardinal :mrgreen:
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Tiempo de sueños.

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Re: L.A. Clippers 09/10: Let's go Gentry, let's go Suns

por Mr. Cátering » 28 May 2010, 15:51

Baerd escribió:Por las fotos parece que la manifestación es para traer a Cardinal :mrgreen:

Eso te gustaría

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Re: L.A. Clippers 09/10: Let's go Gentry, let's go Suns

por carmelomvp » 28 May 2010, 15:53

Mr. dime un sólo motivo por que el que Phil se irí a los Clippers. Porque Nets lo tienen, pero vosotros sólo teneis la expectactativa del debut de Griffin la temporada que viene (sabes que Lebron no va a fichar).
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Re: L.A. Clippers 09/10: Let's go Gentry, let's go Suns

por El más turbao » 28 May 2010, 16:53

Baerd escribió:Por las fotos parece que la manifestación es para traer a Cardinal :mrgreen:


Que mamonazo :mrgreen:

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Re: L.A. Clippers 09/10: Let's go Gentry, let's go Suns

por Mr. Cátering » 28 May 2010, 20:08

carmelomvp escribió:Mr. dime un sólo motivo por que el que Phil se irí a los Clippers. Porque Nets lo tienen, pero vosotros sólo teneis la expectactativa del debut de Griffin la temporada que viene (sabes que Lebron no va a fichar).
No moverse de L.A. Otro no se me ocurre.

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Re: L.A. Clippers 09/10: Let's go Gentry, let's go Suns

por Mr. Cátering » 29 May 2010, 17:36

It happens every time. I should know better. If I invest a decent amount of time in a post, you can rest assured that an interesting or even crucial story will break shortly after (if not before) I publish it. The coaching update I posted this morning is no exception. This isn't exactly a reverse mojo sighting... not like the Clippers buying out Sam Cassell, or signing Baron Davis, or trading Zach Randolph, shortly after I said those things wouldn't happen. But it's annoying nonetheless.

And I really, really should have known better this time. I actually wrote most of the coach post on Wednesday - but wanted to leave the LeBron Parade post on the front page through Thursday. So I scheduled the coach thing to post late Thursday night. Some day, I'm going to get the hang of this blogging thing.



Anyway, this Kelvin Sampson rumor is pretty interesting. Adrian Wojnarowski reported yesterday that Sampson is a serious candidate for the job in Cleveland, and that the Clippers also have interest. Brian Windhurst confirmed the Cleveland interest, so there seems to be something to this story.

Kelvin Sampson, in case you don't know, is a former NCAA coach and a two time college coach of the year. His D-1 college coaching career ran from 1987 to 2008, with stints at Washington State, Oklahoma and Indiana. Those last two schools are significant, because they are the alma maters of the last two Clipper lottery picks, the 21-year-old current cornerstones of the future of the franchise, Eric Gordon and Blake Griffin.

Now, given that Gordon and Griffin are from the same high school graduating class and both entered college the same year, obviously Sampson did not coach both of them. Sampson had already left Oklahoma for IU by the time Blake arrived in Norman. But it's clear that he has a ties to both players.

We'll start with Eric Gordon. The Indiana-based citizens of Clips Nation can provide more details, but Sampson and Gordon are closely linked in Hoosier history, and not necessarily in a good way to outsiders. When Sampson took over at Indiana in March 2006, Gordon had already made a verbal commitment to Bruce Weber to play at Illinois. When Sampson started recruiting the home-grown Gordon, it raised eyebrows - but it worked, as Gordon changed his mind and became Sampson's prize recruit in Indiana.

Unfortunately, Sampson ran afoul of NCAA recruiting rules for the second time, and was fired during EJ's freshman year. The rules violations were severe enough that the NCAA slapped a "show-cause" order on Sampson, essentially banishing him from any NCAA coaching job for five years. Sampson then went to work for Gregg Popovich and the Spurs, before landing as Scott Skiles' top assistant in Milwaukee two seasons ago.

For his part, Gordon supported Sampson throughout the controversy. If you'll recall, EJ's draft stock plummeted during the second half of his freshman year in Bloomington as he struggled mightily down the stretch of that season. His statistics from the first half of the season and the second half of the season look like two very different players. Injuries certainly played a part in his drop off in production. But Gordon has also said that the school's firing of Sampson was a factor. The players actually boycotted the first couple of practices under the new coach and considered boycotting the season. Gordon has said that Sampson is 'like a father' to him.

As for Griffin, although Sampson did not coach Blake Griffin, you can bet he recruited him. Blake Griffin is arguably the most heralded high school basketball player in the history of the state of Oklahoma. He was a High School junior in Edmond during Sampson's final season as the Head Coach in Norman - about 30 miles away. Blake's older brother Taylor was recruited by Sampson and played his freshman season for him. Of the 500 plus illegal recruiting phone calls and the thousands of other legal ones Sampson made while the OU coach, it's safe to say that a lot of them were to the Griffin household.

So what? Is any of this a big deal in choosing a coach? It's a legitimate question. It's interesting that in the midst of the whole "LeBron can pick his coach" thing we have a candidate with ties to two important current Clippers. As the saying goes, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Well, in this case we have two birds in the hard and one in the bush. The Clippers could do worse than to make a choice that would please Griffin and Gordon.

Do we know that it would necessarily please them? I think it's safe to assume that if indeed Neil Olshey and Andy Roeser are considering hiring Sampson, that they have spoken to both G's about the idea. We can be reasonably certain based on his prior comments that Gordon is in favor of the idea. And there's no way this is going anywhere if Griffin DOESN'T like the guy. The Griffin family is extraordinarily close, not to mention that dad Tommy Griffin is a High School coach and knows the game. If Taylor or Tommy had anything bad to say about Kelvin Sampson, Blake would be more than inclined to listen. So I'm working on the assumption that if the Clippers pursue Kelvin Sampson, it means that Griffin and Gordon support the idea enthusiastically.

While we're on ties to important Clippers, Sampson was also an assistant on the USA team that competed in the 2002 World Championships, a team that featured Baron Davis. Now, that team was less than a roaring success, but the point is that Baron and Sampson have also worked together.

Can he coach? I can't say that I followed his college career closely enough to make a definitive pronoucement on that. I will say that it's been a long time - and I mean a LONG time - since a college coach made a successful transition to the NBA. It's much more common for high profile college coaches to be NBA busts - Rick Pitino, John Calipari and P.J. Carlesimo, being but a few examples. I like the fact that Sampson has served an NBA apprenticeship under Skiles in Milwaukee. I like the fact that Milwaukee has overachieved significantly while he's been there, and improved massively on the defensive end. I like the fact that Popovich thought highly enough of him from their time together at USA Basketball to give him a job after he left IU in disgrace.

Comparing him to Calipari, I have a gut level reaction that perhaps Sampson would be able to make the transition more readily. One gets the impression that most of Calipari's success at the NCAA level has been based on his ability to recruit - lottery picks and Rookies of the Year have been parading through Memphis and Lexington. By contrast, Sampson had terrific success at Oklahoma with nary a pro prospect - Eduardo Najera is the only significant NBA player to play for him in Norman. Given that you don't get to recruit in the NBA, I'd be much more concerned that Calipari's skills wouldn't transfer than that Sampson's wouldn't.

Should we be concerned about the ethical lapses implied by two consecutive NCAA rules violations? Perhaps a little. It's worth noting though that the NCAA rules seem more than a tad prosaic when viewed from the outside. "He actually made phone calls to recruits?! Why, the very thought of it! I feel faint!" Maybe the NBA, working with the guys who are openly getting paid to play hoops, is where he belonged all along. Again, the Hoosiers and Sooners out there in Clips Nation can tell us more about these ethical issues.

There is no guaranteed method for picking a successful new coach. The guys with NBA head coaching experience all have warts or else they wouldn't be available (or maybe they just aren't ready to go back to coaching, like Jeff Van Gundy). The guys without NBA head coaching experience are really unknown quantities. That would include Sampson. The recent history of college coaches trying to make the jump to the NBA doesn't bode well for him. But I do like the fact that he has been on an NBA bench for two seasons (i.e. he's not going straight to the pros from college) and that he's got a couple of decades of experience as a head coach on top of that. In the end, the team could do worse than finding a candidate who they feel comfortable with, who also has the trust and confidence of the most crucial players.

Mr. Cátering
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Re: L.A. Clippers 09/10: Paul Pierce es de los Clippers

por Mr. Cátering » 30 May 2010, 17:15

This is the first installment in a series of five player reviews penned by Charlie and Sumner Widdoes. In this piece, they take a look at Eric Gordon.

When the Clippers drafted Eric Gordon with the seventh pick of the 2008 draft, it appeared that the team had finally found the multi-dimensional perimeter scorer that it had craved for years. During his rookie season, Gordon rained from deep (almost 39 percent from beyond the arc) and disarmed defenders with a shockingly quick first step (one-third of his shots came in the key) proving that he could get his shots off and make them at a tremendously efficient rate. However in year two, when it was hoped he would expand on his offensive arsenal and include more playmaking and intermediate shotmaking, progress stalled: his repertoire remained limited to attempts from beyond the arc or straight line drives to the rim, all while revealing major deficiencies as a passer and ballhandler. Despite all that, Gordon’s efficiency numbers dropped only negligibly while his offensive role grew this season, leaving us with one question to be answered: Does the absence of improvement from year one to year two actually signify a regression?

There are few players that, with the correction of just one weakness, are almost guaranteed to improve spectacularly. Gordon’s deft shooting touch and ability to explode toward the hoop are unquestioned, but it is how he reacts to a collapsing defense off the dribble that remains a concern. Similar to Corey Maggette, Gordon’s primary option off the dribble has been to head straight for the hoop and finish right at the rim, drawing plenty of contact in hopes of drawing a foul along the way. We can expect that as Gordon’s career progresses, referees will show him more respect and put him on the line more often (he drew a foul on 15.5 percent of his field goal attempts last season, up from 13.6 percent as a rookie).

But there must be something more, and for Gordon those other options will only reveal themselves if he improves his handle. According to 82Games.com, Gordon posted a “Hands” Rating – a stat measuring playmaking ability in terms of offensive fouls, bad passes, and ball handling turnovers – of 13.0 last season. Compared with other top shooting guards, Gordon lags far behind the competition. Dwyane Wade (22.8), Joe Johnson (20.5), Kobe Bryant (19.4) and Brandon Roy (18.4) all have Gordon bested in this category by a large margin. Even many of the league’s mid-level two guards rank higher than Gordon: Rip Hamilton (19.6), Jason Richardson (15.1), Courtney Lee (15.3) and O.J. Mayo (14.4), being just some of the names. So many times this year it appeared as though Gordon was too quick for his own abilities, almost moving twice as fast as the ball. There is little doubt that Gordon can get his body to the places he needs to be on the floor, but too often he just can’t get the ball to catch up with him.

Gordon’s improvement as a playmaker has been a priority for the Clippers’ coaching staff since last offseason, which illustrates that it certainly is not an easy task. There have been plenty of great 3-point shooters in NBA history, but few that combined that with an explosive ability to get to the rack. Even fewer still had the aforementioned skills complemented by a killer handle and stellar court vision. Gordon has the foundation to add these new components, and if he does, he will make a noticeable jump in his third season.

Still, a concern that remains unsolved is Gordon’s rebounding. For those who contend that, as an undersized two-guard, he is simply ill-equipped to grab more than three boards a game, look no further than the 6-foot-1 Rajon Rondo. Compare Rondo’s 13.0 rebounding rate to Gordon’s 7.4, and then factor in that Gordon is two inches taller. Granted, Gordon is often matched up defensively against much bigger players, but it seems rebounding is less about size than it is about aggression and a keen understanding of how a round ball bounces off a round metal rim. Clipper fans got used to Elton Brand grabbing ten rebounds a game and may have forgotten that he often gave up two or three inches to his opponents. In his book “A Sense of Where You Are,” John McPhee described how Bill Bradley tirelessly studied the ways balls bounced off the rim and how he could position himself to catch them. It may be a stretch to ask Gordon to approach basketball the way a Rhodes scholar did forty years ago, but it certainly is not too much to ask your starting shooting guard to break the 2.6 rebounds per game threshold.

How he fits

Far more likely is the scenario in which Gordon continues to work on his playmaking skills and in-between game in an effort to take a leap forward in his third season, one in which the Clippers will again count on his improvement if they hope to contend for the playoffs. The front office can do its part to help Gordon, primarily by providing a suitable counterpart on the wing to open things up a bit. The search for the “glue guy” small forward led the team to Rasual Butler last season, but despite his occasionally proficient three-point shooting, he lacked the versatile offensive game to actually take any pressure off of Gordon. LeBron James is arguably the best player in the league and he plays the position of biggest need for the Clippers, but in the likely event that he signs elsewhere, the team would still be in the market for a wing opposite Gordon. Players like Andre Iguodala and Luol Deng appear to fit the profile, but only time will tell what it would take to acquire players of their caliber.

Ceiling/Floor

It’s hard to imagine Gordon’s floor being lower than his 2009 performance. His PER dropped from 14.98 as a rookie to 14.15, and his True Shooting Percentage from 59.3 to 57.1 in 2010. While we have grown cautious of assuming improvement with Gordon, thanks to last season, we also know one thing: no one believes his 2010 numbers inflate his value. If anything, his history indicates he is a better three-point and free throw shooter than he showed last year. Even without improving his handle and decision-making, it’s still hard to see him regressing from last year’s performance. A worst-case scenario could involve a new coach who fails to incorporate his strengths and exposes his weaknesses, but Gordon’s skill set makes it seem unlikely that he doesn’t at least maintain his performance from last year.

Like the college freshman who opts to return for his sophomore season, Gordon’s “stock” may have dropped slightly in 2010 by virtue of merely providing more film for teams to find flaws. In many ways he failed to live up to raised expectations, but he also battled injuries and more coaching turmoil. As a result, Gordon is entering this offseason with goals similar to those he had a year ago. The “sophomore slump” is commonly used to explain the tendency of the league adjusting to a player that may have benefited from lack of exposure as a rookie. Entering his third season, though, Gordon may be in position to use his experiences last year to make his own adjustments to the way the league has responded to him. If he does so, a return to the efficiency levels seen in his rookie season would not be surprising, and given increased involvement in a stable offense, you could reasonably expect Gordon to top 20 points and five assists per game for the first time in his career.

Aside from Blake Griffin, from whom we have seen the least but expect (or hope for) the most, the continued development and contributions of Eric Gordon may be the most crucial factor in the Clippers success for next season and beyond.


PD. Let's go Celtics

Mr. Cátering
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Re: L.A. Clippers 09/10: Paul Pierce es de los Clippers

por Mr. Cátering » 02 Jun 2010, 10:45

Perfil en clipperblog de Hayward, la estrella de Butler:

Following Butler’s miracle run through the NCAA Tournament, Gordon Hayward started popping up all over the draft board, moving as high as a top six pick, and dipping as low as the end of the first round. Just today, ESPN’s Chad Ford said in a chat that the he’s “heard Hayward may have the nod in LA” at pick number eight. The 6-foot-8 forward is one of the more polarizing players in the entire draft — it seems as though scouts are either bullish on him, or they think he’s a potential bust that’s capitalizing on tournament success and exposure. As is usually the case, the truth likely lies somewhere in between.

Shooting
Hayward saw his shooting percentages drop from 44.8 percent from three-point land as a freshman to just 29.4 percent in his sophomore season, which may be the result of defenses honing in on him. Hayward has been praised for his solid shooting mechanics, but there’s a definite flaw worth pointing out. When a closeout comes hard and fast, Hayward’s shot changes in that he short-arms his release and doesn’t follow all the way through, almost shot-putting the ball instead of stroking it. The main adjustment great collegiate shooters have when moving on to the pro game is the speed of the defense on their rotations and closeouts. With that said, it doesn’t help Hayward’s cause that he was often matched up against opposing teams’ power forwards, who won’t nearly have the quickness that NBA small forwards possess. While Hayward certainly won’t be a number one option in the pros and, as such, will have less attention focused solely on him, it’s not unreasonable to suggest that his percentages, with a moved back line, will lean more towards his sophomore campaign than his freshman year.

Off the Bounce
Part of Hayward’s appeal is his ability to handle the ball and act as a point-forward. Hayward is particularly impressive in this category off defensive rebounds, where he immediately flies up the center of the court and starts the break himself. Hayward is a tough cover off the dribble because he’s a right-handed player who drives to his left about 70 percent of the time, which is unconventional to say the least. Hayward doesn’t blow by defenders at all, but he uses a good pivot off the catch to create space and better angles for himself. One of the huge problems he has off the dribble however is that he stays extremely upright — there’s little explosiveness to his dribble-drive game because his center of gravity is so high. Hayward’s go- to move is a ridiculously high crossover that any decent NBA defender should be able to take away from him. While he can bring the ball up the court for you and protect it, he’s not going to be breaking down perimeter defenders and getting to the tin.

Rebounding
This is where Hayward really stands out. Rebounding is a skill that usually translates well from college to the NBA, and Hayward is a guy who just seems to have a nose for the ball. If you don’t get a body on him, he’ll fly to the rim every single time, and from there he’s pretty solid with putbacks and tip-ins. Hayward should be able to hold his own on the defensive glass, as he’s had plenty of experience at Butler with covering bigger, stronger power forwards and keeping them off the boards. There are concerns that Hayward might not be athletic enough to grab boards at the NBA level, but his recent combine performances proved that shouldn’t be an issue. Hayward registered a no-step vertical of 30.5 inches, a number that bested both John Wall and Evan Turner. He’s not going to soar over the competition, but Hayward is a quick straight up and down jumper who can pull down rebounds in a crowd.

Passing
Part of what makes Hayward such a versatile player is his passing ability. Hayward’s best attribute in this regard is his ability to make really good dump-off passes to the baseline once the defense draws to his penetration. His ability to work high-low action and make good post entry passes is a plus as well. Like most players not named Steve Nash, Hayward gets himself into a ton of trouble when he leaves his feet to pass, which he does far too often. When Hayward stays under control with his dribble and stays on the ground, he’s an excellent distributor.

Scoring
Hayward draws a ton of contact on his drives, but he struggles finishing through contact against defenses that are already set and waiting for him, as we witnessed against Duke in the title game. Help should be quicker to arrive on the pro level and Hayward will absolutely have to bulk up to finish among the trees, if he can even get by his guy to find himself in that position. The upside is that he’s good moving without the ball, making good cuts and reading his defender very well coming off screens. With the right coach, Hayward can be utilized well as a shooter on a second unit.

Defense
Parents of young basketball players take note — have your kid play tennis at a young age. Hayward was a budding tennis star as a youngster, and non-coincidentally he’s actually pretty solid on his feet defensively. He shows decent lateral quickness and he never gives up on the play if someone gets around him. He’s not a stopper and he’s not a liability, but he’s passable and will only improve as he bulks up a bit. Most importantly, and something you can’t really teach, Hayward plays hard on the defensive end and really focuses on being solid. He was a big reason why Butler was so good defensively the last two seasons.

Best Case Player Analogy: Hedo Turkoglu
What made Turkoglu so valuable in Orlando was his playmaking ability as the ball handler on pick and rolls and his outside shooting. When people look at Hayward, they hope that his ballhandling, distributing, and shooting abilities could help him morph into a similar player. More likely than not Hayward will be a role player and a complementary piece, but if he were given some time and enough opportunities there’s a chance he could do a lot of the things Turkoglu can. He’ll need to work on getting lower on his drives and becoming a more consistent outside shooter, but the foundation is there. Keep in mind that it took Turkoglu six seasons in the league to become a regular starter. It’s not difficult to see Hayward following a similar path.

Worst Case Player Analogy: Jiri Welsch
Tall, with a decent handle and the ability to occasionally hit threes. That was the book on Jiri Welsch. Unfortunately Welsch was mostly terrible at everything else, couldn’t cover anyone and didn’t really bring a whole lot to the table other than being a point-forward type novelty. Here’s the thing — scouts, GM’s, coaches… they all love the idea of a point-forward. Everyone wants their shot at a Toni Kukoc type guy, but very rarely do those guys come around. Hayward is garnering interest as a point-forward type, which in of itself should serve as a warning.

Who he’s not: Adam Morrison
Detractors of Hayward will bring up Adam Morrison’s name in the next few weeks, but those comparisons are way off-base. Morrison was a terrible athlete in college but an incredible high-volume scorer who took and regularly made shots with guys drenched all over him. He had absolutely maximized his athletic ability, and once the athletes were far superior to him in the pros, it took away his ability to rise up over anyone and get off his shot. Hayward isn’t nearly as one-dimensional or as limited athletically as Morrison. Morrison was a scorer while Hayward is very versatile, good at a lot of things but not great at anything.

How he fits
Hayward doesn’t project to be a top offensive option for any team, including the Clippers, so it’s important to look at him in the context of a role player. One of Hayward’s biggest strengths is his rebounding, something that could definitely be used on the wing considering Eric Gordon’s height deficiencies. Hayward is intriguing as the ball-handler on a 3/4 or 3/5 pick and roll with Griffin and Kaman, although his inability to really blow by people and turn the corner may hamper the potential for great things there. Hayward would make the most sense on the Clippers as a guy who could hide out in the right corner and stretch the defense, or drive to the middle of the defense with his left hand and work his in-between game should the defense closeout quickly.

How you feel about Hayward at pick 8 is likely proportional to how you feel about Hayward as a shooter. If you think he’s a knockdown, dead-eye distance shooter, you probably like him at pick 8. But if you think his sophomore campaign was more than just a prolonged shooting slump, you’re probably hoping the Clippers look elsewhere.

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RALCH
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Re: L.A. Clippers 09/10: Paul Pierce es de los Clippers

por RALCH » 02 Jun 2010, 13:15

¿cómo que Paul Pierce es de los Clippers? ¿podríais explicarme un poco más ésto? xD

Mr. Cátering
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Re: L.A. Clippers 09/10: Paul Pierce es de los Clippers

por Mr. Cátering » 02 Jun 2010, 13:42

RALCH escribió:¿cómo que Paul Pierce es de los Clippers? ¿podríais explicarme un poco más ésto? xD

Es una coña por la final, por el hecho de que Pierce es nativo de Los Ángeles.

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alexbohemia
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Re: L.A. Clippers 09/10: Paul Pierce es de los Clippers

por alexbohemia » 02 Jun 2010, 14:54

Paul Pierce es de los Clippers. Grande Mr. Cátering. :D

Una pregunta, crack, ¿que se dice en la prensa de LA sobre la eleccion que hareis con vuestro pick 8?

Os podrian caer buenos prospects como Greg Monroe o Al-Farouq Aminu... ¿entre que jugadores estara la eleccion segun la prensa de LA y los medios Clippers?


Gracias y un saludo.

Mr. Cátering
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Re: L.A. Clippers 09/10: Paul Pierce es de los Clippers

por Mr. Cátering » 02 Jun 2010, 22:07

Lebron fue entrevistado por Larry King para su programa de la CNN, y éste le preguntó por la posibilidad de ir a los Clippers:

KING: … How about the Clippers, which would put you in the same city as Kobe, in the same arena as Kobe, with a team with some nice young players?

JAMES: With some really good players. And I think everyone in Clipperland is looking forward to Blade Griffin coming back…

KING: Right.

JAMES: — and being healthy. I mean, Chris Kaman, they’ve got some really good players, Baron Davis. Some really nice, solid pieces that, you know, if they add a free agent here or a free agent there, it could be a really good team.

KING: And if one of these free agents was you and one was Bosh, would L.A. appeal to you?

JAMES: It’s a great city. It’s a great city. But at the same time, like I said, it’s not always about the city. It’s about winning. And I mean if you put me and Bosh on the same team, if you put me and Dwayne Wade on the same team or a lot of these — me and Joe Johnson or — or a lot of these guys, a lot of teams would be much better. You know, the Cavs would be much better…


alexbohemia escribió:Paul Pierce es de los Clippers. Grande Mr. Cátering. :D

Una pregunta, crack, ¿que se dice en la prensa de LA sobre la eleccion que hareis con vuestro pick 8?

Os podrian caer buenos prospects como Greg Monroe o Al-Farouq Aminu... ¿entre que jugadores estara la eleccion segun la prensa de LA y los medios Clippers?


Gracias y un saludo.

Aminu y últimamente Hayward. Wes Johnson queda ya en el olvido (se da por hecho que no llegará), y Monroe gusta, pero claro, el juego interior está más que cubierto (Griffin, Kaman, Deandre, Big Sofo, y a ver que pasa con Gooden, Outlaw y Craig Smith, de los cuales me imagino que sólo quedará uno). Lo que lamenta Olshey es que Vesely renunciara a presentarse, porque era el jugador que de verdad le gustaba, y de haberse presentado no había dudas de que el checo sería el jugador elegido.

Mr. Cátering
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Re: L.A. Clippers 09/10: Paul Pierce es de los Clippers

por Mr. Cátering » 03 Jun 2010, 00:05

Jugadores que van a hacer los workouts:

Paul George
Gordon Hayward
Lazar Hayward
Xavier Henry
Scottie Reynolds
Marquez Haynes

Mi favorito en negrita.

Mr. Cátering
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Re: L.A. Clippers 09/10: Paul Pierce es de los Clippers

por Mr. Cátering » 05 Jun 2010, 11:20

D.J. Foster hablando de los elogios de Lebron al equipo:

Pardon the eternal optimism, but LeBron James’ commenting on the Clippers in a positive manner on national television can only be considered a good thing. Maybe it’s a case of hearing what you want to hear, but LeBron’s saying the Clippers have some “really good players” and some “nice solid pieces” is a great endorsement from the most influential free agent the NBA has ever seen.

LeBron could have left it at the obvious; that Los Angeles was a nice city with even nicer weather. Maybe he could have gently mentioned shaky ownership, or that the Clippers losing tradition has equated to just two winning seasons in 26 years in Los Angeles. Frankly, he could have laughed at the question and no one would have thought him worse for it. No one really expects LeBron to give the Clippers a whole lot of thought come July 1.

But instead of doing that, LeBron made sure to mention Blake Griffin, Chris Kaman and Baron Davis by name. LeBron is held in such high esteem that even the mention of the Clippers’ core group makes them seem more appealing. Let’s face it, most media conversations about Los Angeles’ other team begin and end with the old familiar line, “It’s the Clippers.” LeBron’s remarks didn’t, and even that alone means something.

When LeBron declares that it’s about winning later on in the interview, you have to wonder if he really means that. If it’s just about the other four guys on the court with him, and if it’s just about the best chance at a ring, it’s hard not to consider the Clippers’ core one of the most appealing out of all the suitors this summer. Most likely LeBron still isn’t coming to L.A., but by holding up the illusion that he just might be considering it, the Clippers come out of LeBron’s interview with a little more shine than they did going in.

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