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Clippings: The Clippers will open their practice facility this week

Individual workouts will begin Wednesday or Thursday, according to Doc Rivers.

LA Clippers v Golden State Warriors Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

Doc Rivers has created a mantra for the Clippers during the league shutdown: “win the wait”. The idea is that the team can’t control if and when this NBA season will resume, but in the interim, they can do their best to stay in shape and maintain their mental health. As Rivers said on the “Hoops, Adjacent” podcast last week, “They can delay us, but they can’t deny us.”

The Clippers have been keeping in touch with regular Zoom sessions, including some with celebrity guests. Each player was sent a small personal gym to conduct their workouts at home. Rivers said that Kawhi Leonard and Paul George have been keeping tabs on players regarding their conditioning, and coaches frequently check in with the players to talk about their non-basketball lives. Rivers’ concerns about the rookies alone make the entire podcast worth listening to.

The wait is entering a new phase for the Clippers this week, as they plan to begin individual workouts at the team practice facility this Wednesday or Thursday. Although the league rules originally prevented first-row assistants from working out with players, the Clippers petitioned to allow Sam Cassell at the workouts, and that request has been granted. Having Cassell available is particularly important because assistant coach Armond Hill will not be available for workouts. Hill, an assistant to Rivers since 2004 in Boston, is 67 years old, and the Clippers are keeping him away from the facility for now.

“Armond would be such a great teacher,” Rivers said. “He would be one of the guys that’s doing it. But he’s not going to do it. And he’s upset. He wants to go work. And I said, ‘well, I understand that. But we’re not going to let you do it. We just can’t. I can’t live with that.’”

Rivers understands the safety concerns at play with the NBA’s return before a vaccine is available. He also, like so many of us, is eager for the Clippers to finish out what was such a promising season, and he believes in the power of sports to bring some sense of normalcy back to the general public.

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