Soon and very soon, DeAndre Jordan will hoop it up for the Los Angeles Clippers, a sight that almost wasn’t. But on Friday, September 25 at the Los Angeles Clippers Playa Vista training facility, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan were poised and posed for the 2015-16 season.
In case you didn’t know, the LA Clippers are deep, very deep. With the signing of newcomers Paul Pierce, Lance Stephenson, Josh Smith, Wesley Johnson, Pablo Prigioni, and Cole Aldrich, coupled with sixth man of the year, Jamal Crawford, and Austin Rivers, you have what Smith calls, the “bench mob.” The “bench mob” will join Blake, Paul, and Jordan to complete a team that should easily compete for the Western championship and ultimately the national championship. “This is clearly the most talent that we’ve had since I’ve been here,” said head coach and president of basketball operations, Doc Rivers. “We’re deep, we’re multi-positional, and we just have to figure out how we’re going to use it all.”
The talent of this team was not lost on Blake Griffin or Chris Paul. “I’m excited about the depth of our team,” Paul said. We’ve got, I think, a great locker room as far as veteran leadership, guys that have been through a lot of different things in our league, a lot of guys who have improved, just like ourselves. And it all starts tomorrow,” he said. “That’s the time to build and cultivate all that.” Griffin agreed, saying, “We have so many guys who can make plays,” he said. “We have guys that can shoot the basketball, we have guys with experience, and we have guys that can finish. That will all come together over the course of training camp and throughout the season.
Togetherness was also on the mind of new Clipper, Paul Pierce. Pierce made it clear that he expects to win a championship now that he’s back home. “It’s great to be home, to be back with Doc,” Pierce said. “There’s nothing I would like better than riding down Manchester Avenue holding a championship trophy.”
Pierce spent 15 years with the Boston Celtics, winning a national championship in 2008. He signed a three-year-deal with the Clippers and admits that father time is catching up with him. The 37 year-old small forward said that “this year, if we win a championship…I’ll probably be done with basketball.”
The Clippers began training camp on Saturday, September 26 at UC Irvine. Prior to camp, the Clippers signed former UCLA forward, Luc Mbah a Moute to training contract on Friday, September 25.
The Clippers will play in an exhibition game on October 2 at the Staples Center. They will play the Dallas Mavericks in the home opener on October 29. When asked about the prospect of playing the Mavericks in Dallas on November 11, Jordan said, “it will be like any other road game.”
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