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Clippers Media Day 2014: Focus on taking next step

The Los Angeles Clippers held their Media Day event today at their training facility in Playa Del Rey, California. Some of the topics touched on by the Clippers were their expectations for this coming season, playing under new owner Steve Balmer and there was even some discussion about hair plugs.

Here is a short summary of some of the more interesting answers from today’s event:

Doc Rivers

On playing without the distractions of Donald Sterling

“Last year, obviously, it was a strange playoffs where there are very few basketball questions. I don’t think ive ever encountered a playoff like that.  I know for 3 or 4 games I don’t think there was one basketball question asked. So, it’ll be nice for all of us that we can focus on just being basketball players and I can focus on just being a basketball coach ”

On this season being a “Put up or Shut Up” season

“We’re serious about winning, so is Oklahoma, so is Golden State and the Spurs, but we have our goals, that is for sure” Rivers added. “Our goal is the same as last year to be honest. So we know what we want to do, so, we’re going to go after it. ”

On addressing the teams need for size up front

“We wanted to solidify, with more size and we’ve done that; bringing Baby [Glen Davis] back and adding Spencer [Hawes.] I think we’re set there, better than we were at the beginning of last year. Last year, at the beginning of the year when we subbed out Blake and DJ we struggled a little bit. This year I think we are so much better there. ”

On losing Darren Collison and adding Jordan Farmar

“We anticipated losing DC [Darren Collison] and I think getting Jordan was just absolutely wonderful for us. We kind of addressed that area.”

Signing contract extension signed with new owner, Steve Ballmer

“When I signed here I didn’t want to do more than 3 years, for a lot of reasons, I think we don’t need to go into those, but there were reasons for that. And now with the new ownership you just felt like that’s something you want to be a part of and I wanted to and he wanted that as well and so we did it.”

On the notion that the Donald Sterling distraction was a factor in losing to Oklahoma City

“We didn’t use it as a reason why we lost. We lost because Oklahoma beat us, we didn’t execute in game 5 and 6, but, the controversy had nothing to do with that, and we wouldn’t allow that to be a reason why we lost and I think that was a good thing.”

Expectation of DeAndre Jordan this season

“I want him to be the best defensive player in the league like he was last year.”

Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan

 

Regarding Steve Ballmer

Jordan: 

“Steve is a great guy. He’s really hard core. He’s really spirited. You can tell he really cares about the game, he cares about us as player and he only wants to make this organization move forward and take those steps to be a championship organization and I think he’s doing the right things.”

What parts of your game have you worked on?

Griffin: 

“Did a lot of work with my shooting coach. Did a lot of work facing up. Lot of work in the post. Lot of work in pick and pop. So, really just those main areas where I get most of my offense. Also, this time watched more film than I ever have before just to kind of break down things and try to see things from a different perspective.”

Jamal Crawford, JJ Redick and Matt Barnes

 

Motivation for this season

Barnes: 

“…use the loss as motivation and just knowing that this is our time and that we have to really seize the moment, so to speak, and really take advantage of what we have here. Arguable the most talented team from top to bottom in the league. The best coach in the league and it’s our time to shine.”

How is your current health?

Barnes: 

“I feel great. 100% healthy and 100% ready.”

Redick: 

“I felt last September when I came to training camp I was in the best shape of my life and my hope for this summer was to get back to that point and I’m back to that point. I’ve been practicing my dunk shots. At the end of last season I couldn’t even come close to dunking a basketball so I feel like my strength in my right leg is healed so I feel goo.

Crawford: 

“Calf is good.”

Steve Ballmer’s enthusiasm

Barnes: 

“His enthusiasm and love for the game is going to be amazing. I’ve talked to him a few times, seen him around and just his excitement and his face gets all red and his hands get all sweaty. From an owner you don’t see that every day and I think it’s kind of refreshing to have someone that shares that enthusiasm and passion about winning as you do.”

Sense of urgency to win a championship now

Redick: 

“There’s absolutely a sense of urgency. Things can change very quickly in this league. Whether it’s one trade, one injury and to be quite frank, we’re all getting older.” Redick added. “You never know how many opportunities you’re going to have like this to be on a team that has a legitimate chance to win a championship.”

Thoughts on hair loss and hair plugs

 

You can view the interviews of the Clippers participants on Media Day in its entirety on Clippers.com.

 

Photos and videos from Media Day:

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Photo: Raining3s.com
Photo: Raining3s.com

#ClippersMediaDay at the @laclippers Training Center with #TheBeast980 Great Monday meeting the team and LA's media!

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Talking about hair lines lol #clippersmediaday #clippers

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Writer & NBA fan who’s been hooked since the days of Magic v Bird. Love basketball debates without it ending in a knife fight. My BBall nickname: “Todo El Dia” (All Day.) Hit me up on Twitter @fullcourtfern or Instagram: @raining3sdotcom