As many of you know, I was at the Chris Paul introductory press conference the Los Angeles Clippers held yesterday. If you were watching on Prime Ticket, you heard me ask as question. Did you also see me? The ClipperWidow (she transitioned from wife to widow before the first game this year because of the crazy compressed run up to the season) saw 'horse racing' saved on the DVR and deleted it before I got home, not realizing that it was in fact the press conference, so I don't know if I got any screen time or not.
I should have written about it last night, but frankly I was tired. It's been quite a week. Besides, everyone else in the world is writing about the Clippers and Chris Paul, so I'm unable to fulfill my usual role as "the only one who cares."
You've seen the quotes in other stories, you've seen the tweets, you've seen the video clips, you may have even watched it all live. Here's what I can tell you from being there:
- It was a big deal. By far the biggest media event in my history with the Clippers, which undoubtedly makes it the biggest media event in the history of the franchise. As Eric Pincus tweeted yesterday, the Clippers are going to have to get more media parking at their facility in Playa Vista, since it's no longer just me and him showing up occasionally.
- Paul is very good in front of a microphone. He opened his remarks with an homage to New Orleans, which was nice, particularly after the way the trade has gone down. He spoke enthusiastically about the Clippers organization and seemed sincere.
- I had to feel a little sorry for Andy Roeser in the process. Since Neil Olshey is a relative newcomer, and very new in his current role, Roeser was the de facto spokesman for the "bad old days." When he was asked a question, it was invariably some variation on this there: "Andy, you've been here for a long time, how does this feel after all those years of sucking and being a joke?" To his credit, he fielded the questions graciously.
- The most amazing thing to me was that the word "championship" was uttered many, many times yesterday, without irony, and without guffaws from the gathered media. (I actually had intended to count the number of times it was said, but since it's not on my DVR anymore, I can't. Anyone who has it still care to volunteer to make a count of the "C" word?) A week ago, Mo Williams guaranteed that the Clippers would make the playoffs and was met with eye rolls. Now, the organization is actively talking about competing for a Championship in the near future and everyone accepts it as a realistic possibility. Anyone still wondering if this was a good trade for the team need look no further than that.