Who Are These LA Clippers? (Staples Center)
There's one team from LA in the NBA playoffs, the Los Angeles Clippers now they made history. Monday night, come back from thirty one point deficit to beat the number one seed, Golden State Warriors in Oakland. Now, the clippers are team. Look, honestly, how many people in LA besides clipper fans really paying attention to him. So we decided to do with the rivalry leaving podcast is go to staple center and before game three interview, the people who know the team people that are covering the team people that are around them on a daily basis. What did we learn? This clipper squad is one that we should be keeping an eye on. I feel bad that I wasn't paying attention earlier. This clipper squad sounds like a lot of fun. It's time for the arrive. Early leeway podcast. I'm your host bet. The Durant this podcast coming to you from staple center. It's Friday April nineteenth. Now before we go and talk to members of the media or some players track down somebody. We wanted to find out what the coach is going to say about his team. So Doc Rivers meets with the media five forty five. We went into the press conference room. We asked him doc who are the two thousand nineteen clippers. I don't know just resilient tough-minded group. More talented than they get credit for. I really do think to a man, they're more talented. You know, maybe no superstar. But when you add them all up as a group, they're pretty special special group for me to coach. Sure Bill Plassey how long have you been columnists a reporter on the Elliott foreseen thirty one years thirty one years, and this clippers organization since they've been here. It's been organization plane backseat to the Lakers. We get that winter stand that. But it just seems like this year's team is fun to watch fund the cover to be around this, especially in contrast with the Lakers, all the clippers would hate to even mentioned the Lakers. They went their own identity. That's I'm trying to get a new building. But this year, they're definitely the fun team. There more together. It's like a college atmosphere here, it's like a collegiate team plant. I hesitate to say this is about now because we've seen this before. Lob city was really fun lost sit. He was really off city should have gone to the ups. It was the best NBA for one year. And you got. Houston, Houston, lobster is really good. This is about preparing for next year. They don't need to show L A fans, frankly, they need to show the rest of the NBA that they can be a great destination for free agents this summer, and then the LA fans will come you. Bring choir landed here you bring Kevin Durant in here. Then the fans will come. I'll be interested to see how much the ratio offend goes day fans to clipper fans because generally state fans Phyllis place, upper clippers they do they you know, when you're winning and yeah, the hop layer lift curry and Klay Tom bright young kids are impressionable may like going after Wright's somebody has to ask you Bill for the clippers like who are they how would you describe them? They're a team of kids and veterans who play together like no teams played here in this town in a long time. I mean, their determination soul cliches. But it's all true. They always come at you. There were let Lewis, and that's the first thing bomber Sony. Bought this team is we're going to be relentless their relentless. Thanks bill. Legendary voice of the. The clippers. Ralph Lawler in your final season calling clippers basketball's your forty th year. You see some good teams bad teams. But if somebody were asking scribe your squad, what would you tell them? Well, they're overachievers we spent maybe the better part of the previous six seven years being an underachieving team. The started off with a star superstars the big three guys. Paul refunding Jordan thought Timken a win a championship. Never got past the second round, whoever you're kind of ended in disappointment this year. Nobody specs it anything. And so every win has been cause for celebration the forty eight wins in a season unimaginable, lying Vegas. They might win thirty five. So it's just been an entirely different atmosphere. Very cooperative guys. Very coach -able guys doc hasn't had this much fun since his rookie year is the head coach twenty years ago. And it's been my favorite season of all time all times. Absolutely. Wow. Yeah. They seem like a fun group to watch him be around. But for you to say time some great characters that you've seen over the years. Also, I've had a lot of fun. I've enjoyed all of the previous forty. We won thirteen games lost sixty nine one year. And I loved every one of those games so same gutters is really pretty short Inari because this has been an extraordinary group. They are fun to watch. They work hard every day. They're all terrific is off the court as well. As on the court. The very gracious to my wife and me and ruled enough to be their great grandparents by and large. So it's a very special group. They seem like it's a group that knows that they're not gonna get attention. No than not many people is on them. But they're just going to go out there and fight for you. What's been fun is everybody thought that why do they want to get the first round of the playoffs? They just gonna get swept by Golden State. Well, they were fighting for fourth fifth and sixth place before finally settling number eight. And then it wasn't on. All we gotta play Golden State. It was all boy, we're gonna. Play the champs. Let's get rid of them quick. And then we don't have to worry about in the rest of the way. And they're exciting win on Monday night as filling as it was which just one step towards a four they have to win. And that's all they've ever thought about since the series began is let's win four one down three goal raw. Thank you very much for your time and the forty years covering the clippers. My pleasure. Believe me the man who knows the clippers inside and out with them. Every single day says training camp every game every practice ever shoot around. The he's the thirteenth member of the crew. Even though he's not on payroll. But nobody better the talk to you about these clippers are beat reporter, and you gripe now, Andrew I'm not gonna lie. I don't read all your game stories. I read your features. But not the game stories at times, you're covering the clippers for the first time. What's it been like for your season? I mean that thirty one point comeback the other night in game to kind of was like with this whole seasons. Been like, no one really expected a whole lot of them. All of a sudden they kind of come out of nowhere. That's been the whole vibe since Hawaii. Training camp. I mean, I remember a road trip where they came back from twenty points down or more three times in the span of about eight days. So that's kind of character this group. So it's good to be the writer for this group because you never quite know which way game is going. Some of the players that you know, after thirty one point comeback. We'll usually do journalism as you kinda. Right. The story as the game is going along. What I've learned with this group is if you write your first beer for graphs, you might have to rewrite that comes back so good and very bad for you. Because you're you're enters now if somebody asked you, hey, what do you do for work? What do you tell them? I am on plane, and I stare into a laptop pretty much all my days, then you telling you over the clippers and they say, oh, yeah. Do they have LeBron James? I've heard that so many times in my stay you have really. Yes. Yes. And it's unfortunate because it seems like it's a really good team that to be around. They seem like good guys. It's really fast any because this team is kind of going for the anti Laker in terms of Fave said named a point saying we don't want to appeal to the glitzy side of Los Angeles. We want to appeal to the blue collar side, grinder, exactly. And that's the whole roster is kind of the anti LeBron in that respect. This is a team that I'm Beth while I'm watching the seem like they're fun. Group to be around with. And I'm not asking you to name names right now. And a lot of people listening for now. Probably like, I don't really know who they are if they walk by me, and I'm not knocking them. Mommy, fun of that. But it's just the identity of blue-collar grab lunch pill. Let's go out there and smack you around trying to ball look at their starting lineup. He had Patrick Beverley who bounced around from Greece to Russia to Ukraine before he came to the NBA where he made it in two twenty thirteen guys like Garrett temple. Je Michael Green who basically had to take the long way to having stable NBA careers. That's kind of the makeup of this group, and it's worked because either a lot of them are free agents this summer they've kind of taken the approach that a rising tides lift all boats, if they show value they win that's going to help with their value. So these it's funny to see these guys now who came in pretty anonymous to a lot of fans a lot of kinda come around for my inbox. That's what I'm gauging it on the emails. I I love this group. I defy with this group because they kind of feel like me, I I wasn't given anything. And I think it's kinda one over a certain segment of fan. So who are they they are team that loves bucking expectations. I mean in Hawaii and training camp. They were saying the same things we were hearing yesterday after their thirty one point comeback. They're they we thought we could do this just like in September. There's no we think we're going to be a playoff team like their intensity. Their belief has not really wavered all year. Even though a lot of people are slow to realize the capability of seem, so they they really kind of revel in the fact that it took people for five months to kind of realize what his team's all about Andrew graph. Well, we know who you are. You're that guy. I'm not guy that guy. Thank you. Evasion. Give points. Now, let's go into the clippers locker room with visa zoo box. Now, tell me who are these clippers provide who. Place over hard don't care about anything basketball plan for chatter play as hard as they can you're Rockin number forty your seven foot one you play for the Lakers. Now, you're on the clippers team. What's the attitude like, what's the culture like full race? You know, it's a that's all I have wanted to be in a winning franchise and play with the guys who play for your cheddar who play hard. And whose main goes to win legendary broadcaster Jim hill joins us Jim week ago. We were at the Lakers last game of the season. Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Wait a minute. What did you say? We wear at the Lakers last game of the season where we know we're talking about playoff team. And I'm talking about the clippers and the reason I'm bringing this up going back a week. What is this the twilight zone? Jim you keep it in perspective. The difference. And the contrast in the two organizations right now is just night in days. It feels like when you walk into the building. There's an energy an excitement that the clippers are providing for the fans. Do you feel that I would say the Lakers are corporate the clippers hip hop. What you're talking about? No that that may be the way that a lot of people are interpreting the atmosphere around the two clubs. But right now, all the all the tension should be on what the clippers have done. And hopefully what they can do. The Lakers are the Lakers. And if you if you understand the history of the Lakers, you know, every three four five years something happens to stir conversation and thought I've learned a long time ago things you have no control over don't worry about it. And the clippers are team right now their opponent the warriors in the first one of the playoffs. But they seem like a team. They don't matter. Let's just come up there and ball they seem like a fun team. Yeah. They are. They care about. Each other. They have a lot of fun with each other on and off the floor. Doc rivers. This should be coach of the year. This is one of the best jobs he's ever done. Of course. Sure. The war is going to be angry when they come on the floor. They going to be seeking revenge. Kevin Durant may think he's gonna shoot shoot about twenty five or thirty times in the first half, the clippers don't care. They really don't don't care, man. They've got that or about him about you know, what you gotta deal with us instead of us dealing with. You seem like they're grinders just gonna come out there, and work pack the Lynch pill. Let's get going don't they? Well, you know, when you have the kind of work ethic that they have when you don't have a quote unquote, superstar like a lot of teams have you tried to depend on everyone shares in on the blame. And everyone shares in on the victory. So it's a wonderful job that doc has done this year. Of course, the bomber who has more money than any owner anywhere gives them that confidence that when you see him on the sidelines yelling and screaming going horse. He likes what he sees? It's gonna be fun. Who are these guys there guys right now that have the attention of the basketball world because of not because they won one game. But how they won that one game where they won that one game. And who they won that one game against now. Golden State is gonna come back angry. I'll tell you what let me put it this way if they gonna thirty one again, they're not gonna take the starters out. There's not going to be any of that junk tonight, you can believe that Jim hill always thinks your time arosh Markazi, what's your title, a sports columnist? But I feel like a lot of fun stuff better do e sports which you love going to legal legends and overwatch league. You're a man of Los Angeles. You know, what a Lakers championship means? You know, what a dodger dog, but you know, what? Memories. But that's locked up. In LA bashing them. But it's the clippers angels play second fiddle to the other teams. And when you're watching a clipper team in a playoff this year, two thousand nineteen I'm watching at home. I'm like, wow this team looks on. I'm be completely honest is my first game of the year. And I think for a lot of people it's their first game of the year. But when you talk to the clipper players, they get that attitude of cool, you're here. What's not in the past? With other teams you show up in playoff time. Oh, now, you wanna talk to this team doesn't seem to have a chip on the shoulder at all. Yeah. Here's the thing with the clippers. It's that I cover them during the lob city years despite their success, they have not been able to penetrate, the market of Los Angeles because as you know, you got to win championships. So you gotta get to the finals or at least get the conference finals, and they haven't been able to do that. And again, this team might not do that they probably won't do that. But the fact that they had a thirty one point comeback. They made history. That's the team that you can kind of get behind and support Nelson. Listen, dear Nago against the warriors. Exactly. That's what we know Clinton. They know enough talked to people with the team they're not going to convert Laker fan. If you're a Laker fan, you're a Laker fan. But they wanna recruit the kids, and they're hoping that people forget if you're ten years old, right? Well, you only know the clippers is like the best team of Los Angeles. Remember the Lakers. Right. Yeah. So the Lakers are in a position where they gotta watch out here. Because all of a sudden, they get to max guys. And all of a sudden, it's the clippers like you were raising the next generation of to be clipper fans, they're not necessarily the parents. Now, would you would you allow your son to clear, here's the thing? I'll complain oh my son is now fourteen he is a warriors fan because Steph curry and Klay were coming up and he's the best player. And who are you watching on TV? So he's also a Laker fan. But he also realizes I'm watching the teams in the playoffs. I'm getting text messages from him about Dame Lillard from him about Westbrook. And the basketball fans are watching this and what we do in April may and June. We're watching hoops and the clippers of the night opened up. Some is I'm not saying we're going to convert people. But the reason we brought the podcast to the staple center. We were like, wait a minute. There's a little bit of buzz generating who are these guys. And for the people that we talked to everybody involved said that these are good, and we haven't even mentioned their names yet because we don't know who they, but they're fun to watch your the fourth team in the history of the league that has won more than thirty five games. No all-star. No current also. Store your former all star. There's no one on this team achieved any level of great success thing. I'm Beverly then Ila Gillan Ari. These are names that if you go down Los Angeles, maybe they made her rings hard clipping. So there's a part of this team that like you go against the grain, right? Like, you don't always have to like the most popular celebrity the most popular team. So they're against the grain. That's why this clipper fan base has really embraced this team. There's no superstars on those team. There's no expectation. They're just having some fun, and they are a fun team to watch. How do they build off of this? They way the build off this building a foundation, you know, how the Lakers are kind of in disarray. Who's going to be the president who's going to be the coach what's happening? Steve bommer. He's in place, Jerry, West Lawrence, Frank. They're in place. Doc rivers. He's in place just signed a contract extension stability. And then you have to max contracts into be honest. We both know they might even hype on this. No one's gonna care. If you go to the clippers that's music to the ears of Leonard Cohen, I wanna talk to the media. So if you tell Colli you could play and when you're done, you might have six people at your press conference. Maybe exactly I covered this team when they had Chris Paul Blake Griffin. Laundry Jordan, and they were one of the top five teams in the league. It was me Brad Turner. Then Wiki was like me and like six other people and that was at the height of the clipper run. So that's music that years of quiet, Leonard way, I can go to Los Angeles and win and not do media suite where do I sign? Well, we'll talk about them on the early. Do that just know if you sign an LA, you're getting on the podcast interview. We may Bardia in the locker room get you. Appreciate it. Thanks, Don McLean. And you're calling the game. I was Ralph Lawler on prime ticket. You see this team all year long? If somebody had to ask you the scribe them. How would you best describe these clippers together you don't come back from thirty one down? If you're not together as a team and you play for each other. And to me that's been the biggest narrative with this team all years with all the stuff that's happened at the trade deadline all these new players, and they've always stayed together. And they play for each other, which isn't that common in the NBA? And so when you get a group of no all stars. But really good players that come together. You can do what they did on Monday night. You play UCLA in the NBA. You train a lot of NBA players now as a hit ready to come to the league. Not too often to hear somebody say together about a team especially in two thousand nineteen they so different. It starts at the top your ownership, and then it trickles down through the front office. And then it gets to the. Coach, and then it gets to your locker room. And I think docs, leadership has always been there. I think he's the perfect coach for a group like this. He gets the players to believe in themselves and play together. Again. That's not that common in the league. A lot of guys are out there for themselves trying to get their numbers to get a contract. This group is playing for stuff individually. There's still a lot of guys on this roster that how things to prove. But they've all come together. And it just speaks to the leadership doc in the veteran leadership in the locker room. How hard is it for the guys to put that be five where they say I want to get mine. I gotta get my numbers. I dunno where on the play next year. Even if it's in the league, we have a collective effort, especially when the going up against the warriors. Let me tell you something smart players understand this that if you really just out here to make money, which a lot of guys are you'll make more money on winning teams. So if you think you want to get a better contract, you'll get a better contract by being on a winning team a team that you watch the place the right way that plays hard the place together. All these guys understand that to get what they want individually. It's better if you do it collectively. It sounds like it's a fun team to be around. Yeah. Listen, even the common fan that comes twice a year. Here it jumps off the page. How hard these guys play in how selfish they are you go to Rina's across the country. It's not like that every night. And I can't remember night there. Maybe he's been a quarter or a half. Or you're like man, they just don't have it tonight, which isn't unusual in the eighty two game schedule. But if you're here every night watching this team, you marvel at how hard they play thanks time. You welcome clippers radio play by play voice. Brian Stephen you've been in LA more than a decade. How would you describe this team? My favorite, really simple. It's not even close second. This whole season has been unbelievable the grit. This is what the bomber talked about. When he took over the team five years to be tough minded, this is that team. You can see it in all the comebacks that. They've had the guys themselves are awesome to deal with. And there's a belief that borders on cockiness without superstars they're going to win every game that they play. This is by far and away my favorite team my favorite season that we've ever been a part of. And I think that does say a lot because we've had some fun time here going back with Chris and Blakeney Andrei Ralph Lawler said that favor team, you're saying other people we've talked to what about them. What do like the common fan not know about that? You guys are saying this you look back at that era that I mentioned with Kristen Blake. We loved him as clipper fans in his clipper employees, but they were not likeable. I think on the outside looking in. They were kinda Groff they complained a little bit. I didn't have a problem with it. I got it. This team is absolutely positively the most likeable team. I think in the league all these guys are underdogs. These guys are G league bring ups there's guys that are bouncing around. You've got pit bulls. Like, Beverly you've got Lou Williams at thirty two playing his best basketball. Everyone forgot about Danilo Gallinari. And then you've got these young upstarts Shakeel L Zander Landry Shamet a young team. That's defying the odds for so many years the clippers were over hyped, and I get it like. In team is over hype. And they don't deliver. It's awful. It actually reduces your brand these guys are under hype and our overproducing, and I think that's one of the big reasons why everybody loves us you under hive. I appreciate it. Voice out there. My friend gave me the money later. Brian. Thank you, Brad. Brad turner. We saw you earlier with a billionaire. Steve bomber. He knows you. Right. Many billionaires. Clippers owner. What was he telling you come on? Give us all the details. Just general conversation. How much she loved the idea? They came back and won a game where they were down thirty one. He and I talked a little bit about their ninety him in B O Plaskitt steam Bill. When they want to be a why not think we know about that just it was a lot of conversation. But a lot of different things. He did have a funny thing. Brad. I'm glad we could do something. So he can win a story about basketball in April taking digs. I like it. I was finding Soham is. So because we liked like doing the podcast at staple center. Dr game three of the warriors and clippers in BT talking to different people around this arena. And when you go and ask them, what do you feel about the clippers? They it's a fun team. And it wasn't like they were making it up. It seems like this is a high school team. And they're all going for each other. And they are fun. My God, Pat. Beverley I've gotten to know him the last couple of years may here's a Odom doesn't take any mess. Anybody know Messmer Kevin Durant that the Williams is gonna be the coolest guys he really have not in a history of the NBA. Really man, Louis. Oh oku. Why why is he still cool? Because nothing bothers him. He's disobeys chill. He plays that he's chill. Yeah. He's talks. He knew he moves smooth. I mean, the do does does this thing, you know, is going left. He still goes left. He's still scores then he'll go, right? And you're going wait a minute ago. Right. He just gets it done in a smooth easy way. And we dust talk to the media. What does not often do regular season? He hasn't profound stuff to save small guy various more individual very intelligent knows the game basketball, you've covered a lot of great teams over the years of Showtime, Lakers. You've some bad teams over the years. This clipper team was one that number people paying ten you're gonna be a hardcore fan of pay attention this team this year. But now, it seems like you come back from thirty one St. against curry and Klay. Oh, we who are these fun when the season started it to-. A few guys were asking me what people projecting them to finish. And I kept saying anywhere between eight and ten in the west, maybe a playoff spot, most likely, not one the nice thing. I know they got as high as with third in. Wes on the ethic. One point I in a west we knew that wouldn't last was idea that they made it flaws. They'll plan the warriors anyone a game up at oracle that crazy arena. Those crazy fans being down thirty one. I've never seen that before you know, why? Because it's been. How about that? Who's the team that has no all stars the name recognition is really hard. But they don't seem like they have that chip on the shoulder of. Oh, you guys are against it's more. Okay. Cool. You want to jump on the Rhine come on? It was gonna be a fun one. Like they've really seem to embrace their attitude bedroom. Then that off anybody at anytime any moment. Do some tough dues map. Pat Beverley is from Chicago Lou wheel is from Atlanta. Montreal Sheraton, South Carolina. These guys are tough players in the vigil that rivers is from Chicago's inbred. And then he's telling them guys. Look, we can beat these guys. We can be anyone and we're not just happy to be here. That's not the deal. We want to win. Because if we lose games, we're gonna walk away. Saying man we lost this game. We didn't get to the second round of the playoffs. So they're a tough tough team funding and it back down to no one you back down, the nobody. But I try not to your well, I'm afraid of plastic by we all are. Best. Sounds like a team that's fun to root for a team that is building an organization as everything going the right way for them game. Four will be Sunday twelve thirty at Staples Center against the warriors. I will say this when you walk into the clippers locker room, you can feel that attitude. You can see what the other reporters we're talking about if they fun squat. Thanks everybody involved with the project. Dave wine was a producer. Mike Catt, Flint engineer Fidel Martinez, running all the social media Michigan's on checkout valley times social media pages. There sports section. I'm not gonna brag. But it's probably the best one around the interactive with the fans, and you can go and check out the video Roth Lawler for Ralph Lawler say this is his most entertaining season. He's on forty alone the hall of Famer where everybody involved on the ramp. Thanks for listening to the arrive early late podcast.