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From Russia with Lag

It's hard to look at the Clippers Moscow training camp at this point and not view it as a big mistake.  

The NBA 'allowed' them to start camp 2 days early, but a 14 hour flight to Moscow and a 14 hour flight back erased those days from the get go.  Then there is the jet lag to deal with on both ends (Tim Thomas sat out Monday's practice due to back spasms brought on by the long flight).  And the myriad community service appearances in Moscow.  And finally, according to Joe Stevens in the LB Press Telegram, the Moscow traffic.

Instead of using their Russian trip for two-a-day practices, the Clippers found themselves snarled in traffic, adjusting to the 11-hour time difference and partaking in various public-relations events sponsored by the NBA.

The plan was to have two-a-day practices during the Moscow portion of camp.  However, they were unable to do so because of the aforementioned problems, which were exacerbated by the location of the NBA-sanctioned hotel, over an hour from their practice facility, as reported by Art Thompson III in Monday's OC Register.  

...Coach Mike Dunleavy's planned workout schedule had to be restructured because of travel logistics. What originally was to be three days of two-a-day practices became one session each day because the gym site was an hour bus ride from the Clippers' NBA-sanctioned hotel.

"One day it took us an hour and 50 minutes to get there because of the traffic," Dunleavy said. "Consequently, we're not as sharp as I'd like us to be at this point, and I don't think our conditioning is as good as it should be.

Now, I ask you, where does Maccabi Tel Aviv stay when they have a game against CSKA Moscow?  Could the NBA's advance team not find a closer hotel, or at least accurately inform the Clippers of the traffic problems?  To plan to have two-a-days, and then not be able to because of logistics, is a little amateurish, dontcha think?

And now the Clippers are prohibited by league rules from practicing twice daily.  So those practices are simply lost.

And what is the perceived benefit to the Clippers?  Bonding is I guess the biggie.  But this is a team with a maximum of 4 new faces that will actually be on the roster, and 10 of their top 11 players from last season returning.  They were plenty bound already.

I know that Stern wants to promote the brand overseas, but the Clippers should have just said 'No' to this one.  Too much pain, no real gain.