LOS ANGELES, CA– A week before the 2015-2016 NBA regular season begins, the L.A. Clippers treated their fans to a rare open to the public practice at The Galen Center on the campus of USC in downtown Los Angeles. The crowd draped in assorted Clippers attire watched as All-Star Blake Griffin & co. put on a show. These types of fan appreciation events have come with the arrival of Head Coach and President Doc Rivers.
“These things are good,” said Rivers. Anytime the fans get to see the players outside of their norm, which means on the floor playing, they get closer. Fans are who make us, and I try to get my players to understand that.”
The Clippers have had a busy pre-season, which included a trip to China to twice play the Charlotte Hornets. Although the practice was more exhibition than execution, Rivers still used it as an opportunity to address mistakes made in the game before, a 130-95 victory over the Golden State Warriors.
Children led “Let’s go Clippers” chants as DeAndre Jordan finished three-man-weaves with ferocious dunks, and Jamal Crawford dazzled with his trademark playground one-on-one play. Blake Griffin swished in a couple of corner three-pointers, something opposing defenses hopes he leaves in the Trojan’s arena.
The night was special for Rivers who has successfully carved out Clippers visibility from within the Hollywood sized purple-and-gold shadow of the Los Angeles Lakers.
“I walk down the street now and I see a Clipper jersey there, and there, and another there,” said Rivers. “I tell you it’s great. It is great being a Clipper.”