The Clippers just finished a five-day training camp in San Diego filled with team bonding and plenty of basketball, a week-long stint that has the team feeling refreshed and excited for the start of the season.
When asked if anything about this camp stood out to Ty Lue, who is entering his fifth season as a head coach, Lue quickly shot that down: not really, he said.
But maybe the Clippers didn’t need a special San Diego sojourn to provide a magical boost heading into the season. Maybe they just needed a normal week to hang out and get to know one another on and off the court. It’s the kind of outing that couldn’t have happened a year ago, and one that makes the team appreciate the slow return to normal that has taken place over the past few months.
“Doing all the regular things that you normally do, when you’re an NBA player, I think that kind of gives you peace of mind,” Lue said after practice Sunday. “Even though there’s still a lot of stuff going in the world with the coronavirus and the COVID — our guys still feel like at least we can come to the gym, we can work out, we can go home, see our families, we don’t have to be in the bubble, and that’s the best thing about it.”
The Clippers came back from camp a little bit more tight-knit and a little more confident in the road ahead — no one more so than Luke Kennard, who won a couple of fishing and golfing competitions to give another morale boost as he prepares for a larger role this year (though Lue says the scores need to be checked for the Clippers golf invitational). Lue’s making an effort to get in shape with his guys, a process that has left him sorer than usual and noting that he belongs on the preseason injury report tonight along with the six other Clippers.
It’s been a perfectly routine start to the season, and that’s fine for the Clippers. They’re just going about their business, doing their work, exactly the way they want it.
More news for Monday:
- Kawhi Leonard’s ACL recovery is reportedly going well and he is “ahead of schedule”. Combined with Leonard’s comments at media day, that augurs well for Leonard’s return this season.
- Terance Mann has signed an apparel deal with Anta. Anta’s NBA roster now includes Mann, Klay Thompson, Gordon Hayward, Alex Caruso, Precious Achiuwa, Kevon Looney, and Hamidou Diallo.
- Speaking of Mann, Law Murray got into how Mann can provide a blueprint for Justise Winslow to follow.
- Law Murray also broke down the big man battle in Clippers training camp.
- The NBA got a new ball supplier, replacing Spalding with Wilson, but Marc Stein reports that it has been smooth sailing thus far.
- Here’s a video explaining the points of emphasis for NBA referees during the 2021-22 season.