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Los Angeles Clippers: Deeper Than Hoops

The Clippers have kept their integrity and mystery for this up coming year; winning and losing an equal number of games during the pre-season. But what we can expect from them, simply put, is major support and camaraderie. As DeAndre Jordan was thrown off my question of Paul Pierce’s retirement at The Clippers Media Day, Chris Paul let it be known that they all are family who keep each other accountable and even though they wish for Pierce to go out on top, others are being well groomed in the process.

New forward recruit Brice Johnson from little Cordova, South Carolina, was said to have herniated a disk during a 104-98 pre-season victory over the Toronto Raptors. A hard win for a rookie. As Brice and I exchanged memories of our home state, we briefly discussed his adjustment to the life as a professional basketball player in Los Angeles. He immediately exclaimed that the traffic was enough alone for him to get used to.

While new recruits are just being broken in, legends are retiring. Paul Pierce, who has been playing the game since he was 9, is cherishing the last moments he has with his team.

“Hopefully, we can win a championship and I can pretty much go on top,” Pierce states during Media Day. “Once I’m done I’m done with it. I’ve been playing for 31 years. So it’s been an honor to play 19 years in the NBA.”

“We’re going to be one of the best teams in the league”, stated J.J. Redickas he welcomes the new players to the game, and naming Austin Rivers in particular as one of the “core players” of this years season. Happy to be called out by “The Core” as a leader and taking responsibility for his own group, Austin expressed his own excitement to be a better player than he was last year by adding to his game and helping the team win.

“There is a different feel,” proclaimed Austin. “I feel like we have a more mature group as a whole and we’re close and communicating better. We have a really good team this year and I honestly believe we have a really good shot this season despite what anybody thinks, and that’s all that really matters.”

No performance is too small. Even The Clippers’bench was fired up to support the team and with great respect, held high esteem for each other’s roles.

“I think this group is talented enough to win a championship,” said Paul Pierce.

I’m one to agree. With God and unity like the one THIS TEAM HAS, how could you fail? It’s all net from here on out!

Paul Pierce Interview: 2016 Los Angeles Clippers Media Day

Paul Pierce represents the last of the hoopers who came from the under-appreciated 90’s era of Los Angeles County basketball.

Many stars emerged during that period, and Schea Cotton was one of the brightest. He was LeBron before LeBron, having the physicality to match his high baseball I.Q., and projected to make the NBA while still in junior high. Fans watched him dominate his contemporaries, and corporations gifted him products in hopes he’d one day endorse them as an NBA player.

Since his dream of making it to the NBA fell short, some of his peers in the basketball fraternity do not treat him with the respect of an originator.

RunTheTriangle.com spoke exclusively with Schea Cotton in the series Higher about his riveting story, and the one person that is too busy being Inglewood to be Hollywood, Cotton’s former K-Swiss Pacers teammate, Paul Pierce.

“That’s my dude, P-Squared,” said Cotton.
“They try to floss on me and be Hollywood when they see me in the city, I have a lot of respect and adoration for Paul because he’s kept it 100 all the way through with me.”

Similar to the hip-hop genre, the New York boroughs and parks are considered somewhat of a blacktop Mecca. But Los Angeles and its suburbs like Inglewood and Compton have birthed perennial all-stars, leading to the Venice Beach and Drew League’s tournaments increasing in notoriety and media attention. Nobody wants to miss the next big thing out of So-Cal.

Pierce and Cotton represent the legacies of the championship basketball pedigree in Los Angeles. Cotton ran pickup games with Magic Johnson at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion. He and Paul Pierce met along the basketball circuit, and they would go on to battle each other for years in amateur tournaments.

What few know is that the assembling
2007-2008 Boston Celtics by current Clippers Head Coach Doc Rivers was not the first time Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett were teammates. They joined forces in the 90’s during a Las Vegas tournament to successfully dethrone Cotton.

The 2016 Los Angels Clippers Media Day was the last of Pierce’s storied career. Watch as he uses the moment to reveal the truth about Schea Cotton and his appearance in the biographic documentary “Manchild” The Schea Cotton Story: A Dream Deferred.

Clippers’ Chris Paul Racks Up Assists With New Program

LOS ANGELES, CA– The Chris Paul Family Foundation, Jordan Brand WINGS, and State Farm teamed up to launch the “Exist to Assist” community program.

Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chirs Paul is a master at making others better on the basketball court, but this play is designed to assist communities in need across the country. The program aims to “demonstrate the power of being a good neighbor, and to inspire others to do good in their communities, by getting hands on with custom-built service projects for each community it engages.”

“At State Farm we often talk about being a good neighbor,” said Patty Morris, Director of Brand Content at State Farm. “We believe that’s  not defined solely by our proximity, but by our actions.”

Dozens of students packed the Brotherhood Crusade community center located across from historic Leimert Park in Los Angeles for the program launch. The center raises funds and resources for charitable initiatives, and provides job training, teen counseling, after-school and sports activities, need-based scholarships and more.

Paul arrived a few minutes late, something to which he used as a teachable moment.

“You guys don’t be like me,” Paul jokingly exclaimed to the laughter of the children. “My old coach told me if you can’t be on time, be early. I apologize because your time is just as important as mine.”

RunTheTriangle.com

Chris Paul speaks with students at the Brotherhood Crusade community center.

Although the new state of the art equipment upgrade to the Brotherhood Crusade’s technology center will serve as a valuable resource to the students, a humble lesson in time management from a superstar like Paul may have the most indelible effect.

“I remember working in an after school program like Brotherhood Crusade.” said Paul. “It’s so important to have these resources and spaces for the community. That’s why we’re working with State Farm and WINGS to find opportunities  to make a real difference through the Exist to Assist program.”

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Chris Paul addresses the media at the Exist to Assist launch.

The ribbon was cut on the new technology center, and the students happily accessed  the new computers, complete with flat-screen monitors and lighting quick internet. Paul, who had his family with him, patiently took photos and signed autographs with the kids, all while dishing out words of wisdom. The all-star believes his success stems from having the type of help his foundation, Jordan Brand WINGS, and State Farm have partnered to give.

“I had my parents, uncles, aunts, cousins, friends, coaches, teachers. Everyone played a role in helping  me get to where I am today,” said Paul. “When we do this it’s not for any notoriety or to have the kids tell me thank you, but to provide them with an extra tool in their bag to achieve what they want.”