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‘It’s a family here’: The 2019 LA Clippers Are a Family

Family is a word that defines the LA Clippers.

Every game, Patrick Beverley leads the LA Clippers in a huddle that ends with the word “family.”

“It’s something I’ve been preaching since the beginning of training camp,” Beverley said. “In order to win, it has to be like a family atmosphere. We’re family members. We’re not perfect, but we’re able to coach other, talk to each other, and pick each other up. We’re able to boost each others morale when playing like sh*t. Consistency comes from that.”

While it may seem like just an ordinary word used in a huddle, it’s much more than that. Family is a word that encapsulates the entity of the 2019 LA Clippers. How can a team without a single All-Star nomination compete for the 6th seed in the Western Conference? It’s because of hard work and effort. That same effort is catalyzed by the team’s belief in each other, and the belief that they are a family.

“We’re all playing for the same thing, everybody is playing together,” Montrezl Harrell said. We’re all tied together on a string, and trying to do one thing. That’s put ourselves in a position to get ourselves into the Playoffs, and make some noise. When we get into the Playoffs, it’s about just taking what we’ve been doing all season. Playing the right way, playing Clippers basketball, and playing with the right spirit.”

That identity that fuels the Clippers is not limited to just the players. The entire organization, from top to bottom, has to buy in, in order for the team to buy in. Every single person on this team has to practice what they preach. Every single person in the organization believes in their family, starting with head coach Doc Rivers.

“It means a lot, because that’s what we are,” Doc Rivers said. “Not just the players, all through the organization. We want our players to act like a family and get along, but the coaches and management have to do it first. They set the example. I see it with our players too. They lead first by example. Pat is the guy that pushes it, and he means it.”

What’s more amazing is that last month the LA Clippers lost six key players, including two big locker-room presences in Tobias Harris and Boban Marjanovic. Along with those departures, the Clippers added five new key players. It would seem like an impossible task for the team to keep the family together with a shake up this big, but that’s exactly what they did.

Upon his immediate arrival, Ivica Zubac was amazed at how selflessly the Clippers played for each other. “It just shows you how everyone is together. How much one player means to another,” Zubac said. That embrace was led by Patrick Beverley.

When people say Patrick Beverley is unstatable, it’s because he is. The impact he makes off the court can’t be seen, can’t be understood, until you hear statements from the locker room: Beverley is a culture setter. He’s here to lead by example, to lead the Clippers in a family huddle, and welcome any new player to the family.

“It’s a family here,” Beverley said. “We allow you to be yourself, allow you to play within our family. We’re gonna welcome you with open arms, respect what you do, and respect the craft you bring to the game. We’re here to relief the pressure off of whoever that superstar is that comes here.”

These are the statements that make the Clippers an appealing destination for a superstar free-agent. Yes, they are most likely playoff bound. Yes, the team is located in Los Angeles. But most importantly, the team is comprised of selfless individuals, willing to do whatever it takes to make life easier for each other. You aren’t joining just a team, you’re joining a family.