It was clear to the players that when the final buzzer sounded three months ago, marking the end of the Western Conference Finals and the subsequent end of the Clippers season, the last five weeks of progress and achievement was not only a point of pride, but also the starting point of this group’s next journey.
It took less than a month after that night for the first images and videos of Clippers in workout gear, honing their skills, to appear on the internet. And with the Sept. 27 start of training camp date quickly approaching, gym hours are still being logged by returning Clippers and new acquisitions alike.
Of the former, videos and photographs showcasing Terance Mann, Reggie Jackson, and Paul George have made their rounds earlier in the off-season. Marcus Morris Sr. has also given fans sneak peeks of his shooting both in drills with twin brother Markieff Morris, as well as lighting up live scrimmages. While Mann has been working on building muscle and finishing through contact, Morris seems to be focusing on keeping his deadliest weapon sharp: bombing 3-point shots with complete disregard for any defender who might be trying to contest him.
Newer Clippers Brandon Boston Jr., Justise Winslow, and Eric Bledsoe have also been spotted in the gym, either running drills with famed NBA trainer Chris Johnson or in live scrimmages and 1-on-1s against other NBA professionals. Short clips that exhibit certain moves and counters these players have been practicing have been posted to Johnson’s Youtube page, and perusing these clips of our Clips making the most difficult moves look effortless has (admittedly) been a favorite hobby of mine these past few days.
Whether old or new, Clippers certainly seem eager to start the season and put their hard work these past few months to the test. With a few players on non-guaranteed deals (namely in the frontcourt), this figures to be a competitive training camp. Coaches and fans alike should be excited to see what the players, who finally get a chance to show off the fruits of their labor, have in store next week.
More news for Thursday:
- Bill Simmons released a new podcast yesterday with other media titans Zach Lowe and Jackie Macmullan — see what they have to say, among a smattering of other topics, about Kawhi Leonard, the Western Conference, and the Clippers this coming season.
- Yet another possible trade? Here’s another point guard the Clippers front office might look into trading for.
- ESPN just released the second segment of their player rankings for the 2021-22 season, including players from 50 to 26. See which ex-Clippers players made the cut.
- Boston’s TD Garden will require proof of vaccinations or negative COVID-19 tests from spectators. How will California stadiums navigate the pandemic in 2021?
- In case you haven’t heard, Clippers just officially broke ground on their new arena. The biggest non-sports headline: Steve Ballmer’s obsession with toilets?