Ty Lue talks a lot about the “next man up” mentality. The Clippers have never been truly whole in his tenure as head coach, and the injuries and absences have really piled up in the last month, but that’s no excuse not to go out and perform. The next player or coach on the bench — or off the 10-day scrap heap — simply has to fill in and get the job done.
Over the weekend, that next man up principle extended itself to another branch of the Clippers organization: the broadcast team. Jim Jackson and Mike Fratello were both unavailable for Saturday’s contest against Memphis. That meant Kristina Pink, who normally does sideline reporting for the team, was bumped to the analyst chair.
Prior to the game, Pink was hoping the temporary change would go unnoticed, but Lue felt compelled to let everyone know during his pregame media availability.
Pink was nervous, and deservedly so. Although she’s a veteran on sideline for the Clippers and NFL games, and she has hosted pregame and postgame shows, she said this was her first time on the call in-game. She got confirmation Friday that the job was hers, and Lue told her that filling in was right in line with what everyone else on the Clippers has had to do during the recent omicron outbreak. Brian Shaw stepped into the head coaching job; Dahntay Jones, a player development coach, was acting defensive coordinator for a spell; Amir Coffey has had to start at shooting guard.
It’s next man up, or in this case, next woman up.
Despite a subpar performance from the Clippers, Pink drew rave reviews for her outing. She shared fun anecdotes about the players, like Marcus Morris Sr. switching to a pescatarian diet in recent weeks to slim down, or Ivica Zubac only allowing his wife to cut his hair after he grew it out during quarantine.
Should the opportunity present itself again, the Clippers know they have a game contributor on the sideline to sit in alongside Brian Sieman. And Pink was back at her full-time gig on Sunday, stepping on the court to report against the Hawks and unfortunately paying the price for an ice water bath that Terance Mann and Reggie Jackson delivered to Amir Coffey. Not to worry, though, as Pink confirmed that she was fine after the fall.
The spirit of resilience extends throughout this organization, and Pink is the latest example. Perhaps she can step in for Eric Smith or DJ Dense one of these days. She is up for any challenge.
More news for Monday:
- Reggie Jackson is oddly excited about the team’s current grueling schedule.
- Robert Flom explains all the ways Amir Coffey has improved this season.
- Law Murray remembers the Clippers tenure of Lou Williams.
- This was a useful perspective on the Kyrie Irving saga.
- John Hollinger identifies some under-the-radar players to keep an eye on.
- An interesting application of the health and safety protocols: The Pelicans had a game in Toronto Sunday, but elected to keep Josh Hart at home, because he had a close contact test positive. Hart had tested negative, but given the incubation period of the virus, they didn’t want to risk him testing positive in Canada.
- Welcome back, Klay Thompson.
- RIP Bob Saget.
Folks may not remember this — but Bob Saget was once named head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers.— Rex Chapman (@RexChapman) January 10, 2022
And there’s footage. Here he is in 1991 with Danny Manning, Winston Garland, and Ron Harper. The legendary Marv Albert broke the news.
RIP, Bob. https://t.co/0HBsP3G1JS