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Clippers Media Day -- Random Thoughts

As I've said in the past, Media Day is not exactly bursting with new information. There's a lot of smiling for the cameras, some on camera interview stuff, some pro forma scrums with the print guys.

The Clippers did release some information on injuries, and of course we found out who the camp guys who will soon enough be cut are. But that's about it. It's not about news, it's about smiling for the cameras -- which is fine. I'm not complaining, that's what it is. Kevin Arnovitz called it the first day of school where you see some friends for the first time in a few months -- seems about right.

Still, there are a few interesting tidbits that emerge. Here are some random items from my day in Playa Vista:

  • Vinny Del Negro used the word "balance" to describe the difference in the roster this season. I'm sort of partial to the word "coherence" to describe it, but I think we're talking about the same thing. There were too many redundancies last year, with a slew of small combo guards and four man rotation of bigs who couldn't score outside the paint (or just plain couldn't score in a couple cases). Lamar Odom as a playmaking big, Jamal Crawford and Grant Hill and Matt Barnes as options on the wing, these all address some basic flaws in last season's roster. There are plenty of risks still, but the roster makes more sense on paper.
  • Ronny Turiaf was like an excited tourist talking about his Olympic experience. The guy was collecting pins and hanging with other athletes and was truly thrilled to get to meet the likes of Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake. It was fun listening to him gush about it all.
  • I got a chance to introduce myself to Gary Sacks and speak to him one on one for a bit. He seems like a good guy, and gets bonus points for reading Clips Nation. (Of course he's going to say he reads Clips Nation, but he dropped a couple of references to prove it.) To hear the Clippers tell it, the off-season could not have gone much better for them. They had a plan for how they wanted to proceed, and basically they got everything they wanted. Now the pressure is on to perform.
  • I spoke to Sacks a bit about the challenges of building a team NOW, while also worrying about next season and the season after that. He knows he's got his work cut out for him going forward.
  • For those of you who always wonder why the Clippers don't just hire a shooting coach to teach DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin how to shoot free throws, well they did. Jordan and Griffin worked with Bob Tate Thate this summer on their shooting in general, their free throws specifically. DeAndre for one is certainly brimming with confidence. We'll see how it goes when he steps to the line in a regular season game.