Tag: Blake Griffin

Clippers Lance Stephenson Press Conference

Lance Stephenson: Clippers ‘missing that guy that’s tough and doesn’t bow down to no one’


The Clippers have been pretty good the last four seasons, going 40-26, 56-26, 57-25 and 56-26 the last four seasons. But they’ve also won only one, zero, one and one playoff series in that span.

What do they need to get over the hump?

Newly acquired Clippers guard Lance Stephenson, via Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times:

“They’re just missing that guy that’s tough and doesn’t bow down to no one,” Stephenson said of the Clippers.

I suppose Stephenson thinks he’s that guy.

But I don’t think the Clippers had a huge need for that guy. Matt Barnes, traded for Stephenson, was pretty tough. So is Chris Paul. Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan have made huge gains in that area.

The Clippers need a better bench. More to the point, they need Stephenson to play closer to his final season with the Pacers than his lone season with the Hornets. If he does, he’ll provide a huge boost as a reserve.

Stephenson’s toughness is a nice asset and a big part of who he is. But his productivity is questionable – and that’s what the Clippers really need.

The could also use someone who doesn’t alienate his new teammates by saying they aren’t tough enough. I’m not sure Stephenson is off to the best start.

If he plays well, though, I’m sure everyone will forgive and forget.

Glen Davis says Doc Rivers has changed as a coach, DeAndre Jordan should get more touches

Glen Davis

Big Baby is still available.

Glen Davis is still out there on the free agent market, the Clippers and Bucks have reportedly had conversations with him. Or, he could just go play overseas.

But with no imminent deal, he was very honest when he appeared on the “Gio and Jones” show on CBS Sports Radio in the morning, with Gregg Giannotti and Brian Jones. He talked about Donald Sterling and playing for the Clippers, but maybe the most interesting thing is how Doc Rivers has had to coach Clippers differently than he did the Celtics.

“I think he’s changed as a coach. In Boston, I think when you have players like Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, so experienced and understanding of policing. He has to do more coaching with these guys, with Blake (Griffin) and DeAndre (Jordan) and Chris (Paul). Kind of walk them through the process of understanding championship basketball. You got to kind of change your tone and the way you talk to these younger guys. So he’s changed for the betterment of the team so he can get everybody on the same page.”

Is Davis saying anything here we didn’t already know? Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan (as well as the rest of the Clippers) are talented but inexperienced. Rivers was hired in part to take them to the next level, and he has to play to their personalities rather than what Boston needed. Coaching is not one size fits all.

Which brings us to when Davis discussed the Jordan/Paul dynamic, and why Jordan was unhappy enough with the Clippers to agree to play for Dallas (before changing his mind).

It was a false reality,” Davis said of the reports of a CP3/Jordan feud. “It was like they had problems, but they didn’t have problems. We can hang out, have a good time off the court, it just some players rub each other the wrong way. I think that’s what it was and they never really talked about it until DeAndre said ‘I’m going to go to Dallas….’

“I thought D’Andre needed more attention, because he’s a guy who dominates on both sides of the ball. He doesn’t have no plays run for him, and he gets every rebound, how about we give him some confidence? Throw him a couple bones down there and see if he can get us a bucket. He can’t shoot free throws, but he’s getting people in the bonus, he’s making things happen out there. So you gotta show him some love because he’s a vital player.”

Davis said the Paul/Jordan dynamic was part of the problem in the Houston series, when it all started to come to a head as the Clippers blew a 3-1 series lead and were eliminated.

It’s one of the things the Clippers need to sort out if they are ging to be serious title contenders next season. On paper, they fixed the depth problem, but chemistry remains the question. And it’s one the Clippers can’t answer until the playoffs.

Michael Jordan and Nike plan first-ever all-Jordan Brand store in Chicago

Michael Jordan

30 years after getting his own shoe with Nike, Michael Jordan is getting his own store. After the wild success of the Air Jordan line of sneakers, Jordan’s name has been spun off into its own separate brand under the Nike umbrella, which counts Russell Westbrook, Blake Griffin and Carmelo Anthony among its endorsers. Now, for the first time ever, Jordan Brand is going to have its own store, separate from the rest of the Nike family. This location in Chicago will exclusively sell Jordan products.

From ESPN.com’s Scoop Jackson and Darren Rovell:

“I’ve been on these guys [at Nike] for some time, [saying] ‘We need to do a Jordan Brand store, and we need to do it in Chicago first,'” Michael Jordan told ESPN.com.

In the past year, a partnership between Nike and Footaction yielded Flight 23 stores in New York, in Las Vegas and two in suburban Chicago. But the new downtown location, named after its address, 32 South State Street, is the first that won’t be a co-branded location. It will be all Jordan.

The idea behind the store is not only to offer a wider selection of Jordan-branded product but also to tell the Jordan story and become part of the community. A space above the store can be used for Jordan-sponsored athletes or as a promotional space.

Chicago obviously seems like the ideal location for a flagship store for Jordan. Even though he’s now the owner of the Charlotte Hornets, he still has deep ties to the city of Chicago, where he won six NBA championships and became arguably the greatest player of all time.