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Clippings: Terance Mann reflects on how the Clippers got to Orlando

As the team’s NBPA representative, Mann had a unique role during the hiatus.

Los Angeles Clippers v New Orleans Pelicans Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Terance Mann is a rookie on a veteran-laden Clippers roster, and he is probably the 13th man in the rotation at best (Joakim Noah may even battle him for that honor), but he holds an important position on the team. Mann is a Clippers’ representative for the National Basketball Players Association.

Player reps generally don’t have too many responsibilities, but this season was unlike any other. When the league hit pause in March, the NBPA was responsible for working with the NBA leadership to figure out a way to come back. The responsibility of representing the Clippers’ interests at these meetings fell on Mann.

I asked Mann Tuesday about how he came to be the rep for this team, and what sort of work that entailed while the league worked out a plan to resume the season.

“I got it, I think we were in Philly,” Mann said. “We had an NBPA meeting. Just being around all the time, the guys was just like, ‘Why don’t we just put Terance there.’ So I got it there. Then the process of voting to come here was a pretty long process. We talked about it probably on five different occasions on Zoom calls just to get everybody’s ideas about coming out here and stuff. Eventually we all got on the same page, wanted to win the championship.”

Setting aside the fact that Mann appears to have gotten the role as a form of rookie hazing (16 of the NBA player reps have less than three years of experience in the league), the first-year Clipper filled an important position. The Clippers collectively decided to come to Orlando instead of foregoing basketball in the interest of social justice — Lou Williams said last week that he didn’t opt out because the team wanted everyone to either play or not. When Mann says that everyone had to get on the same page, that took real work for the Clippers.

Mann may not have been the player fans expected on the court this season, but the hiatus forced him to take important steps in becoming a leader off the court. That experience should pay dividends down the line.

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