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Clippers hire Jerry West

Clippers hire Jerry West

The L.A. Clippers yesterday (Monday, June 19) announced the hiring of Jerry West, who will serve as a consultant for the team. West brings many accolades to the Clippers, including being named a two-time NBA Executive of the Year (1995, 2004), and is an eight-time NBA Champion (1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988, 2000, 2015, 2017).

“For them to want me to come here and maybe think I can help, I am really flattered,” West said. “I am sold on the ownership here. I think they want to establish their own identity in this town, and that is what to me is most important. Establish their own identity and ability to win at the very highest level.”

“When I took the job as president of this organization, one of the things I said we’re going to do is be world class in everything,” President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Doc Rivers said. “Our organization has to be world class. We want our team to be the best in service as well. Today is a great step for us.”

“This just another great example of the commitment that Steve Ballmer has allowed the organization, Doc Rivers and me to add someone like Jerry West,” Clippers Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Lawrence Frank said. “What Jerry has done is unmatched in NBA history, and he will bring great value. It is just another example of Steve’s investment in our entire infrastructure.”

West, 79, is a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, a 14-time NBA All-Star and a Gold Medal Olympian. He is one of three players in NBA history to play at least 14 seasons in the league and be selected as a member of the All-Star team every year. Additionally, he ranks 24th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list (25,192 points) and guided the Lakers to nine trips to the NBA Finals and one NBA Championship (1972) as a player. Overall, he averaged 27.0 points, 6.7 assists and 5.8 rebounds during his 14-year NBA career.

Following his playing career, West spent a successful three-year period as the head coach of the Lakers (1976-79, .589 winning percentage) and a brief three-year tenure as a consultant (1979-82, two NBA titles) with the team before transitioning full-time into the front office, where he spent a total of 18 years with the Lakers as General Manager/Executive VP of Basketball Operations. During his tenure at the helm of Basketball Operations in Los Angeles, the Lakers captured four NBA Championships (1985, 1987, 1988, 2000) and appeared in the playoffs in 17 of 18 seasons. West then transitioned to Memphis from 2002-2007, when he led the Grizzlies, who had previously never made the playoffs, to three consecutive post-season appearances (2004, 2005, 2006) as the team’s President of Basketball Operations. Most recently, West served as an Executive Board member for the Golden State Warriors, where he assisted the team’s ownership group and represented the organization in a wide variety of team-related functions in his role with the club. During his time with the Warriors, West saw the team win two NBA Championships (2015, 2017) and three Western Conference Championships (2015, 2016, 2017).

clippers

The L.A. Clippers and the City of Inglewood announced today that they have entered into a three-year Exclusive Negotiating Agreement (ENA) that will allow the Clippers to explore building a new state-of-the-art basketball arena, training facilities and team offices in Inglewood, Calif. Under the ENA, which was unanimously approved Thursday morning by the Inglewood City Council, the Clippers will consider a 20-acre site located south of Century Boulevard at Prairie Avenue and directly across the street from the future football stadium and entertainment district being developed by The Kroenke Group.

The ENA establishes a three-year timeframe during which the L.A. Clippers will develop the details of its proposed basketball facility. The City of Inglewood will conduct an environmental review including an evaluation of the proposed facility’s construction and operational impacts.

The Clippers have called STAPLES Center, located in downtown Los Angeles, home since 1999. The team’s current lease with Anschutz Entertainment Group, the owners of STAPLES Center, will expire at the end of the 2023-2024 NBA season.

“Today’s announcement is consistent with what Steve Ballmer and the Clippers leadership have said for years – we want to be regarded as the best. That requires setting the highest bar for our performance in every aspect of our business,” stated Gillian Zucker, L.A. Clippers President of Business Operations. “To accomplish this goal, we must have options for the future.”

“This agreement serves as an example of the team’s commitment to providing Clipper Nation with the best game experience in the NBA,” Zucker said. “It is another step in the journey toward building a championship culture that will deliver positive results for Clippers players, fans and the greater Los Angeles community.”

“The Clippers applaud the energy and vision that Mayor Butts has for his city,” added Zucker. “His tenacity was instrumental in getting this Exclusive Negotiating Agreement across the finish line.”

The new arena would be 100 percent privately funded and privately capitalized. No public dollars will be used for this project.

Under the exclusive negotiating agreement, the L.A. Clippers are responsible for the costs to plan, entitle and develop the proposed facility. Within 24 hours of signing the ENA, the L.A. Clippers will pay the City of Inglewood $1.5 million, which will fund the City’s administrative costs. If additional funding is required, the Clippers will provide the necessary resources.

Clippers may build their own arena in Inglewood

The Staples Center is home to both the Lakers and Clippers, but the latter squad would reportedly enjoy a home of their own.

According to the LA Times, “Inglewood’s City Council will vote Thursday on an exclusive negotiating agreement with a Clippers-controlled company to use city-owned land to build an arena for the team, according to a copy of the agreement.”

More from the Times: The 22 acres where the 18,000- to 20,000-seat arena would be built are across the street from the 298-acre site where Rams owner Stan Kroenke is building a stadium that will house his team and the Chargers.

Vander Blue wins D-League MVP award

Vander Blue wins D-League MVP award

Los Angeles D-Fenders guard Vander Blue has been named the 2016-17 NBA Development League Most Valuable Player in a vote by the league’s 22 head coaches, it was announced today.

Blue (6-4, 200) played in 47 games (46 starts) for the D-Fenders this season, averaging 24.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.6 steals per game while finishing as the league’s third-leading scorer. The former Marquette standout led Los Angeles to a Western Conference-best 34-16 record on the season before becoming the first player in team history to win the league’s top individual honor.

An NBA D-League All-Star in each of his three seasons with the D-Fenders, Blue scored in double figures in all but one of his contests this season, hitting the 20-point mark 39 times throughout the 2016-17 campaign. He was named the NBA D-League Player of the Week on December 26 and January 30.

Blue’s latest season adds to what has been a record-breaking career ­as he leads the D-Fenders in all-time points and rebounds. Blue’s 4,058 career point total ranks third in D-League history, and his 22.5 scoring average is good for the second-best career average in the league. He set league records in single-game free throws made (23) and attempted (27) this season, also finishing the year with a new league record in makes from the charity stripe (363).

Blake Griffin injury update

Blake Griffin injury update

The L.A. Clippers announced that forward Blake Griffin will miss the remainder of the 2017 NBA Playoffs with an injury to the plantar plate of his right big toe suffered during the Clippers’ 111-106 win over the Utah Jazz in Game 3 of their Western Conference First Round Playoff series.

Griffin will be re-evaluated upon the team’s return to Los Angeles and will see foot and ankle specialist Dr. Richard Ferkel.

Griffin averaged 21.6 points, 8.6 rebounds and 4.9 assists in 61 regular season games in 2016-17, and averaged 25.0 points per game in the first two games of the Clippers’ Playoff series vs. the Jazz.

Yet another Blake Griffin injury, at the worst possible time. The Clippers will be without their star power forward for the remainder of the playoffs. Here’s the LA Times reporting:

Blake Griffin out for remainder of NBA playoffs

This season will finish similar to the last, with a sidelined Blake Griffin on the bench in street clothes.

Only this isn’t the same old story for the Clippers.

The most critical offseason in the franchise’s history has come early, courtesy of news that Griffin will miss the remainder of the playoffs because of damage to the plantar plate on his big right toe.

Chris Paul and Doc Rivers promised the Clippers will be ready to take on Utah Jazz in Game 4 of their opening-round playoff series Sunday, but this is something more far-reaching than that.

The Clippers are staring ahead into the unknown.

Indiana Pacers forward Paul George and LA Clippers guard Chris Paul today were named the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month, respectively, for games played in April.

George averaged an NBA-high 32.8 points and added 8.2 rebounds and 4.5 assists as the Pacers went 5-1 in April to clinch a playoff spot for the sixth time in seven seasons. He scored at least 30 points in four of six games, including a season-high 43 points in a 135-130 double-overtime loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on April 2. The 26-year-old forward shot 54.8 percent from the field and 42.4 percent from three-point range for the month. He also finished third in the NBA in steals with 2.17 per game. George and the Pacers will visit the Cavaliers on Saturday, April 15 for Game 1 of a first-round postseason series (3 p.m. ET, ABC).

Paul led the Clippers to a 5-0 month behind averages of 21.2 points, 9.8 assists (fourth in the NBA) and 5.0 rebounds, helping LA clinch the fourth seed in the Western Conference and secure home-court advantage against the Utah Jazz in the first round of the playoffs. The 31-year-old guard shot 54.4 percent from the field and 52.6 percent from three-point range and went 22-for-22 from the free throw line in April. He finished with 19 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in a 98-87 road win against the San Antonio Spurs on April 8. The Clippers, who have made the playoffs a franchise-record six consecutive seasons since acquiring Paul, will host the Jazz in Game 1 on April 15 (10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).

Here is a recap of April for George and Paul:

Paul George, Indiana Pacers
April 4 vs. Toronto: Notched 35 points, 10 rebounds and three assists in a 108-90 victory against the Raptors.
April 6 vs. Milwaukee: Finished with 23 points, 10 rebounds and five steals in a 104-89 win over the Bucks.
April 12 vs. Atlanta: Made five three-pointers on his way to 32 points and added 11 rebounds in a 104-86 victory over the Hawks.

Chris Paul, LA Clippers
April 1 vs. L.A. Lakers: Recorded 29 points, 12 assists and four rebounds in a 115-104 win against the Lakers.
April 5 vs. Dallas: Registered 22 points, 11 assists and three rebounds in a 112-101 win over the Mavericks.
April 10 vs. Houston: Contributed 19 points, nine assists, five rebounds and four steals in a 125-96 victory against the Rockets.

Other nominees for the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month were Boston’s Isaiah Thomas, Chicago’s Jimmy Butler, Cleveland’s LeBron James, Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Houston’s James Harden, the Clippers’ Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns, Portland’s Damian Lillard, Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan and Utah’s Gordon Hayward.

The Indiana Pacers’ Nate McMillan and the LA Clippers’ Doc Rivers today were named the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Coaches of the Month, respectively, for games played in April.

McMillan guided the Pacers to a 5-1 record during April, tied for the best mark in the Eastern Conference. Indiana closed the month and the regular season with five consecutive victories to secure the seventh playoff seed in the East. For the month, the Pacers ranked third in the NBA in scoring (115.5 ppg) and fourth in field goal percentage (50.1) and point differential (plus-11.7). Indiana’s only defeat was a 135-130 double-overtime loss to its first-round postseason opponent, the Cleveland Cavaliers. Game 1 of the series is Saturday, April 15 at 3 p.m. ET on ABC.

Behind Rivers, the Clippers went 5-0 in April to finish as the NBA’s only undefeated team for the month and extend their regular-season-ending winning streak to seven games. LA outscored its opponents by a league-best 16.4 points per game and led the NBA in field goal percentage (51.5). On the final day of the regular season, the Clippers defeated the Sacramento Kings 115-95 to clinch the fourth playoff seed in the Western Conference. The Clippers will host the Utah Jazz in Game 1 of their first-round series on April 15 at 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Other nominees for the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Coaches of the Month were Boston’s Brad Stevens, Chicago’s Fred Hoiberg, Denver’s Michael Malone, Golden State’s Steve Kerr, the Los Angeles Lakers’ Luke Walton, Miami’s Erik Spoelstra, Portland’s Terry Stotts, Toronto’s Dwane Casey and Utah’s Quin Snyder.

The Clippers are hot lately, winning eight of their last ten games. And power forward Blake Griffin has put up some monster games this past week. Here’s the OC Register reporting:

Blake Griffin putting up monster games lately

Before DeAndre Jordan disappeared into the night Wednesday following another Clippers victory, he passed Blake Griffin in the hall to the team’s postgame interview room.

“Yo, Beast!” Jordan exclaimed.

“That’s what we call him,” Chris Paul had said moments earlier.

It’s a moniker Griffin has lived up to over his past three games, averaging 33 points on 73 percent shooting while scoring more than 30 points in three consecutive appearances for the first time since February of 2014.

“He’s just been crazy aggressive,” Paul said. “Crazy efficient. … So we are going to keep feeding him.”

Here’s the OC Register reporting on the Clippers, who are currently the 5th seed in the Western conference:

Doc Rivers called the March schedule “one of the hardest months I’ve ever seen,” with 18 games, five sets of back-to-backs and four one-game trips.

For better or worse, the Clippers survived it.

Now, they get to play their final five games over 13 days, giving them ample time for rest and practice.

“That’s going to be helpful for us just to practice,” the Clippers coach said. “Even though we won’t go long, we went a whole month without a practice (before Tuesday), so it will be nice to be able to get back on the floor and just work, and try to get our continuity.”

Justin Harper back with the D-Fenders

Justin Harper back with the D-Fenders

The Los Angeles D-Fenders have reacquired forward Justin Harper following the completion of his 10-day contract with the Philadelphia 76ers, it was announced today.

Harper (6-10, 225) appeared in three games after signing with the Sixers on March 3, averaging 4.0 points and 2.0 rebounds in 10.3 minutes per contest. In 37 games (all starts) with the D-Fenders this season, the two-time NBA D-League All-Star has averaged 16.2 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.4 assists. Additionally, Harper is shooting 49.1 percent from the field this season, including a 40.1 clip from three-point range.

Harper and the D-Fenders will be back on the court against the Iowa Energy at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 15, at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa.

Nick Young’s house burglarized

The celebrity burglary thiefstravaganza continues … this time, crooks struck the L.A. home of Lakers star Nick Young (again!) and made off with $500k in cash and jewelry after taking his entire safe!!!

Law enforcement sources confirm … Young’s Valley residence was hit in February when the bad guys entered through an unlocked door and pilfered the NBA star’s valuables.

We’re told crooks took roughly $30k in cash plus 3 gold chains, a custom ring and a locked safe containing other valuables.

– TMZ Sports

Vander Blue named D-League Performer of Week

Vander Blue of the Los Angeles D-Fenders today was named NBA Development League Performer of the Week for games played Monday, Jan. 23, through Sunday, Jan. 29.

Blue (6-4, Marquette) led Los Angeles to a 2-0 week, averaging 32.5 points (second in the league) on 45.0 percent shooting to go with 8.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals. On Jan. 26, with the D-Fenders trailing 119-112 with 2:25 to play, Blue connected on back-to-back three-pointers and added two free throws to secure a 125-120 victory over the Sioux Falls Skyforce. He finished the game with 37 points and seven rebounds. On Jan. 29, Blue tallied 28 points, nine rebounds and three steals in a 132-104 win over the Austin Spurs.

Blue, who has scored at least 30 points seven times this season, is averaging 25.5 points (third in the league), 4.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.6 steals. This is the second Performer of the Week award for Blue this season.

Other top performers considered included Canton’s Chris Evans and Eric Moreland, Delaware’s Shawn Long, Erie’s Kalin Lucas, Iowa’s Jarell Martin, Maine’s Jalen Jones and Ryan Kelly, Northern Arizona’s Elijah Millsap, Oklahoma City’s Daniel Hamilton, Rio Grande Valley’s Darius Morris, Santa Cruz’s Phil Pressey and Scott Wood and Texas’ C.J. Williams.

Chris Paul out 6-8 weeks with thumb injury

The L.A. Clippers announced today that guard Chris Paul will undergo surgery on Wednesday, Jan. 18 to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb. Dr. Steve Shin will perform the procedure.

Paul is expected to miss approximately six-to-eight weeks and will continue to undergo treatment and evaluation by the Clippers medical staff.

According to ESPN.com, “Paul was defending Russell Westbrook and sprained the thumb fighting over a screen set by Joffrey Lauvergne at the top of the 3-point line. The Clippers called a timeout shortly after, and Paul immediately walked off the court, kicking the bench as he exited. Paul could be seen on the TNT broadcast shaking his head at Clippers team trainer Jasen Powell as they walked through the players tunnel to the locker room.”

In 36 games this season, the Clippers are 26-9 with Paul in the lineup. The nine-time NBA All-Star is averaging 17.5. points, 9.7 assists and 5.3 rebounds this season and leads the NBA with 2.25 steals per game.

Lakers beat injured Clippers on Xmas Day

Lakers beat injured Clippers on Xmas Day

A win offers breathing room for the Los Angeles Lakers, and on Christmas Day, they got some.

Fittingly, Laker Nick Young hit the game’s last field goal. He is the only Laker who was also on the team in 2013, the last time the Lakers beat the Clippers before an 11-game losing streak — the longest such streak they’ve had to any team since the franchise moved to Los Angeles.

Below are five takeaways from last night’s 111-102 victory.

1. The L.A. Clippers were shorthanded, missing starters Blake Griffin and Chris Paul. Raymond Felton, the point guard who started, was battling a fever, and J.J. Redick left the game in the second half with an injury. But the Lakers have also been hurting for most of December. That led Young to offer this: “ A win is a win. Nobody cared when we were hurt and injured. Why should we?”

2. In the second quarter, Lakers rookie Brandon Ingram picked up a technical foul. That call seemed to energize him, and he was suddenly more aggressive and assertive offensively.

LA Times

Blake Griffin injury update

Blake Griffin injury update

L.A. Clippers forward Blake Griffin underwent a successful routine arthroscopic procedure on Tuesday, Dec. 20 to remove loose bodies from his right knee. The surgery was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache and assisted by Dr. Steve Shimoyama at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic.

Griffin is expected to miss approximately four-to-six weeks and will continue to undergo treatment and evaluation by the Clippers medical staff.

The five-time NBA All-Star has appeared in 26 games and is averaging 21.0 points, 8.9 rebounds and 4.6 assists this season.

Blake Griffin will have knee surgery, out 3-6 weeks

After playing just 35 games last season, Clippers forward Blake Griffin is hurt again.

Griffin will undergo a routine arthroscopic procedure on Tuesday, December 20 to remove loose bodies from his right knee.

Griffin is expected to miss approximately three-to-six weeks and will continue to undergo treatment and evaluation by the Clippers medical staff.

The five-time NBA All-Star has appeared in 26 games and is averaging 21.0 points, 8.9 rebounds and 4.6 assists this season

Report: Blake Griffin needs minor knee surgery

Clippers forward Blake Griffin is expected to undergo a minor knee surgery that will sideline him through the remainder of the month.

News of the surgery, which could allow for a January return, was first reported by Yahoo Sports.
Griffin played in the Clippers’ 117-110 loss to Washington on Sunday, scoring 26 points to go with seven rebounds and seven assists.

– OC Register

Quick Take: The Clippers have proven in the past that they can continue to play well while Blake Griffin is out. Still, it’s unfortunate that they need to go through this again. Hope Griffin recovers soon.

Hassan Whiteside clarifies comments about DeAndre Jordan

Hassan Whiteside added clarification to comments he recently made about Clippers center DeAndre Jordan.

The Miami Heat shot-blocking center took time pregame to clarify that he never meant any disrespect when he said a day earlier of Jordan, “He catches lobs. I shoot jumpers, catch lobs and block shots. I do a lot. He just catches lobs.”

Whiteside stressed Friday his point was that with Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and J.J. Redick alongside, Jordan had more leeway to focus on his All-NBA-level shot-blocking and rebounding.

“Definitely misconstrued,” Whiteside said in front of his locker. “First, I would never diss another big fella. I’m all for the big guys in the game. I was just saying on the offensive end, our roles are different. Obviously, he’s a top-three rebounder and one of the best defensive players in the game. I didn’t think I had to explain that, but I see I do. Quote me on that.”

– South Florida Sun Sentinel

Quick Take: Whether all in fun or actually serious, a little trash-talking never hurt anybody. It’s part of the game. Especially if there’s some truth to it. Anyway, this whole thing is no big deal. And it’s fun.

Luke Walton reflects on Craig Sager

Whenever Luke Walton turned on a nationally televised NBA game, the Lakers coach did not just tune in to watch a star player or scout an opponent. Walton also wanted to see sideline reporter Craig Sager.

“Part of the fun and entertainment of what we do is seeing Craig in his crazy suits. He was phenomenal at his job,” Walton said. “He brought something every night he was on TV.”

So it was no surprise when the Lakers and the NBA community were in mourning Thursday over the passing of Sager, 65, who had spent the past two years fighting cancer. All NBA teams will observe a moment of silence in Sager’s memory, including when the Lakers (10-18) play the Philadelphia 76ers (6-19) on Friday at Wells Fargo Center.

“I can’t imagine how hard that has got to be, to put on that face and come and do the job that you love knowing that you’re not at your best,” Walton said. “You’re still out there fighting that fight and not letting it beat you. He’s not just staying home all day. He’s out there still living his life as long as he can. It’s incredible. He’s a strong, strong man.”

– OC Register

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