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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!

L.A. Clippers Foundation partner with Vision To Learn

From the Clippers Communications Department

The L.A. Clippers Foundation and Vision To Learn, a non-profit provider of free eye exams and free glasses to students in low-income communities, announced today a partnership to meet the vision needs of all students in the Inglewood School District.

The L.A. Clippers Foundation and Vision To Learn program will launch in January with a distribution of glasses at Inglewood High School, and will provide vision services to all 12,000 students in the 20 Inglewood elementary, middle and high schools. Every student will receive an eye screening by school nurses and Rotary Club volunteers; those who fail the screening will receive a free eye exam and free glasses from Vision To Learn.

A Clippers-branded Mobile Eye Clinic will be created for the screenings at the Inglewood schools. Screenings began in November and glasses distribution will be completed for all Inglewood students by the end of the current school year.

During tonight’s Clippers vs. Bucks game at STAPLES Center, Vision To Learn students will participate in a special on-court presentation and the Clippers Mobile Eye Clinic is set to be displayed.

About Vision To Learn

Founded in 2012 in Los Angeles, Vision To Learn provides children with free eye exams and free glasses by bringing its mobile eye clinics to schools and to other neighborhood youth and community organizations. Kids’ vision issues often go undetected, with as many as one in five children lacking the ability to see clearly. Students with impaired vision can struggle to read a book, study math, see the board, or even participate in class – all of which can result in poor grades and adversely affect academic achievement. Vision To Learn alters these outcomes by coordinating screenings for children, and supplying those in need with eye exams and glasses – an age-old yet critical tool for success. Vision To Learn solves a problem affecting as many as 1.5 million children nationwide who lack the glasses they need to see the board, read a book, study math or participate in class. Kids in low-income communities and minorities are disproportionately affected. More than 89% of kids served by Vision To Learn live in poverty and 87% are kids of color.

OUR CALLING: CLIPPERS FOUNDATION

Every day, we’ll make a positive difference to a child in L.A.

To meet this commitment, the L.A. Clippers Foundation will first understand their educational environments, from classroom to playground to living room, in communities across Southern California.

The greatest resource of the Clippers Foundation is inspiration, channeled from our players, organization and Clipper Nation. Our greatest tool is investment, through singular grants that set a new benchmark in actual funds and true transparency. Our greatest gift is mobilizing contribution and commitment from everyone we call Partner, including colleagues, corporate sponsors and the community at large.

In every way, our mission is to inspire a child to make a positive difference in their L.A.

For more information on the Clippers Foundation, visit www.clippers.com/Foundation

Mavericks Get The Beats By Dre

DeAndre Jordan made it clear at Los Angeles Clippers Media Day that he would not be distracted by the spectacle of playing the Dallas Mavericks.

“They’re just another Western Conference team we have to beat,” said the 7’1 defensive stalwart. “My only motivation is to win a championship, anything else I’m not concerned about.”

The Clippers played their home opener at Staples Center against the spurned Mavericks team and their owner Mark Cuban, who apparently still has hurt feelings after Jordan rejected his offer to join him in Dallas.

“Look, the Clippers are the Clippers,” said Cuban prior to the game. “You can change the players, you can change the owner, but the Clippers are who they’ve been for the last 30 years.”

One can understand Cuban’s incessant aggravation. The very fact that he scheduled a meeting with Jordan caused Tyson Chandler to bolt for the Phoenix Suns. Chandler was the final piece that solidified the 2011 Dallas Mavericks’ championship defense. Cuban gambled on bringing in Jordan, promising that he’d be the franchise player, but in the end lost out on both big men.

Cuban has had bad luck in getting his man in the past. He similarly failed in snagging Marcin Gortat in 2009 after the Orlando Magic matched the five-year, $34-million offer sheet, despite having All-Star center Dwight Howard. The Shark Tank star couldn’t convince an aging Steve Nash to come in, instead choosing to take less money to play with the L.A. Lakers.

The Clippers drew first blood in the new rivalry, easily disposing of the Mavericks 104-88. Jordan had 15 points and 4 blocked shots in less than 30 minutes. He acknowledged the emotion surrounding the game. But not because the Mavericks were in the house.

“It’s definitely an emotional game,” he explained. “The emotions were high obviously because it was our home opener. We wanted to give the fans what they missed.”

He also gave Mark Cuban and the Mavericks plenty of what they missed.

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.”

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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.”

 

 

Clippers Begin Training Camp Reloaded

PLAYA VISTA, Calif. –The Clippers began training camp after an intriguing summer, which included salvaging the services of DeAndre Jordan, while adding those of key free agents Lance Stephenson and Paul Pierce. After suffering a disappointing second-round exit from the 2015 playoffs at the hands of the Houston Rockets, Head Coach Doc Rivers believes this installment of the Clippers may be his best.

“I thought we made a push last year, we just didn’t get there,” explained Rivers to Jim Hill of CBS in Los Angeles. “This is clearly the most talent we’ve had since I’ve been here and it’s not even close. We’re deep at multiple positions, and that was our goal this summer, getting players who can play at different positions out on the floor.”

Gone is the erratic and inconsistent Matt Barnes, replaced by the less mercurial and more productive Lance Stephenson. Rivers noted that Stephenson’s multifaceted game coincided with his vision of a roster filled with players who aren’t limited to one specialty. 

“I put in a lot of work this summer by working on my condition and my jump-shot,” Stephenson said. “Just focussing on how I can be a better player, and what I can do to come in and help this team.”

Doc Rivers also convinced 18-year veteran and Inglewood native Paul Pierce to rejoin his former coach to make another title run. 

“I honestly thought the Clippers would win it all last year,” admitted Pierce. After helping a young Washington Wizards team experience playoff success, Pierce is ready to lend his championship pedigree to the Clippers.

“I believe I can bring an attitude,” said Pierce.”I think to win in this league you have to have a certain nastiness to you, a certain kind of attitude. I can really help in that department.” 

With the additions of forward Josh Smith and guard Pablo Prigioni, the Clippers bring in two players that contributed to their ousting last season. Smith, who has averaged 12 points and six rebounds over his career is an upgrade over Glen Davis and Hedo Turkoglu, despite criticisms of his defense and shot selection.  

But Doc Rivers isn’t yet ready to assess what he’s assembled.

“I don’t know what type of team we are, I’ll let them show me that,” he concluded. “We’ll see how these guys play and then I can tell you what our identity is.”

The Clippers continue their season of giving

Christmas came early for children at The Salvation Army’s Westwood Transitional Village in Los Angeles, as the Clippers teamed up with Fresh & Easy in conjunction with their Season of Giving Campaign and #ClippersGiveBack.

Players joined members of the U.S. Military, season ticket-holders and Fresh & Easy employees to spread holiday cheer. Reggie Bullock, Hedo Turkoglu, and CJ Wilcox passed out food baskets while posing for pictures alongside CEO of Fresh & Easy James W Keyes.

Families of veterans make up 40 percent of the residents and two thirds of the total population are children.

The NBA has a long history of honoring and working with our nation’s military through the NBA Cares Hoops for Troops Program. As part of the program, the NBA has joined together with the Department of Defense on this new “Commitment to Service” initiative built upon four pillars: Leadership, Transition, Community and Health.

Clippers Blake Griffin named Western Conference Player Of The Week

The National Basketball Association today announced that Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin has been named Western Conference Player of the Week for games played Monday, Nov. 24, through Sunday, Nov. 30. It marks the fifth time Griffin has achieved this honor in his career. LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers was the Eastern Conference winner.

Griffin helped the Clippers to a 4-0 week behind averages of 23.8 points (fourth in the Western Conference), 9.8 rebounds (seventh in the conference) and 5.0 assists. He posted at least 22 points in three of the four games played during the week. All four wins came on the road and helped cap off a franchise-best 6-1 road trip.

On Nov. 24 against Charlotte, the All-Star forward fell one assist shy of a triple-double, having finished with 22 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists in a 113-92 win. On Nov. 28, Griffin collected 30 points and 10 rebounds in a 102-85 win in Houston against the Rockets. Griffin is the only player in the NBA this season averaging at least 22 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Atlanta’s Jeff Teague, Chicago’s Jimmy Butler, Dallas’ Tyson Chandler, Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Houston’s James Harden, Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Paul, Memphis’ Marc Gasol, Miami’s Chris Bosh and Portland’s Wesley Matthews.

Vita Coco Named the ‘Official Coconut Water of the Los Angeles Clippers’

After watching LeBron James cramp up in Game 1 of the 2014 NBA Finals, many teams are paying closer attention to their players forms  of hydration.

That may explain why the Los Angeles Clippers have forged an innovative partnership which makes Vita Coco the Official Coconut Water of the Clippers organization.

“We’re proud to partner with The Los Angeles Clippers, the NBA’s most exciting franchise, on our first-ever pro team relationship”, says Jeff Rubenstein, Vita Coco’s Senior Vice President of Marketing.  “Los Angeles is one of Vita Coco’s fastest growing markets, and the Clippers provide a meaningful platform to educate basketball fans on Vita Coco’s natural hydration benefits while strengthening the brand’s increasing connection to the Los Angeles community.”

Vita Coco participated in the Clippers Feed the Community event in South Los Angeles on October 25. Head coach Doc Rivers and the entire Clippers roster distributed Vita Coco, non-perishable food, personal care items, school uniforms and shoes to 1,600 South Los Angeles families at the Salvation Army Siemon Family Youth & Community Center. Vita Coco will continue to play a role in select Clippers community initiatives throughout the 2014-15 season.

About Vita Coco:

Vita Coco is the country’s best-selling coconut water brand, sold at over 100,000 retailers nationwide, including Kroger, Safeway, Albertson’s, Walmart, Target, Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, 7-Eleven, Circle K, Whole Foods Market, Sprouts, Costco, Amazon,com and hundreds of airports, universities and other food service locations. For more information about Vita Coco visit www.vitacoco.com.