Archive for the ‘Los Angeles Clippers’ Category

deandre-jordan-chris-paul-blake-griffin-huddle

What’s a team to do when there are rumors circulating that there is locker room strife which is threatening to destroy their franchise-best season? Fake a locker room quarrel, obviously.

From the Los Angeles Daily News:

Clippers center DeAndre Jordan shouted across the locker room Sunday to Chris Paul.

“I don’t like you, Chris,” Jordan yelled out.

Paul didn’t flinch.

“I don’t care,” Paul answered.

Meanwhile, Clippers forward Blake Griffin turned to Jordan, whose locker is near his, and snipped:

“Get out of my way DeAndre. Move,” Griffin shouted.

Jordan didn’t back down.

“I don’t like you, Blake Griffin,” Jordan screamed.

Finally, all three players shared a hearty laugh.

Turns out it was all in fun.

Total gotcha moment. One second you think the Clippers are earnestly fighting while specifically using the first names of their adversaries like anyone who’s ever been in a war of words does, the next they’re all heartily laughing at how much they fooled you in to thinking they hate each other. In the business, this is called “the Caan-Affleck” after the Scott Caan and Casey Affleck characters in the “Ocean’s Eleven” franchise, and it’s brilliant.

And while you might be thinking that the Clippers didn’t fool anyone with their fake fight, remember that the Caan-Affleck is typically used as a diversion. And considering the Clippers are just a week removed from having the internet simultaneously destroy their defense and title hopes before two wins against teams that are a combined 28 games below .500, it couldn’t have come at a better time. Instead of worrying about if the Clippers’ schemes make them cannon fodder in the playoffs or if their offense needs to be more than just Chris Paul doing everything while Blake Griffin sometimes cares about being in the paint, now basketball fans will be launching a full forensic investigation in to whether or not this team likes each other.

That’s the beauty of a Caan-Affleck — it makes you worry about one thing while another way worse thing is happening somewhere else. I have a hard time believing Vinny Del Negro came up with this ruse, but I’d love to pluck a strand of that beautiful, lustrous hair to run some DNA tests, just to make sure. We’ll get to the bottom of this one, Andy Garcia. You and me.

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The Brooklyn Nets clinched a postseason appearance with a Sixers loss to the Nuggets last week, likely to end up somewhere between the four and six seed in the Eastern Conference playoff picture. This is a meaningful thing for the franchise for several reasons — it’s a success to brag about in their first season since moving to Brooklyn, it’s the franchise’s first postseason cameo of any duration since 2007, and it gets Mikhail Prokhorov one step closer to not having to get married in two years. But for us watching at home, generally uninterested in Brook Lopez set shots and Deron Williams mini-dramas, this is really only good for one reason: Another postseason with Reggie Evans.

Reggie is undoubtedly one of the NBA’s greatest supporting characters. He’s got a ridiculous beard, a weirdly shaped skulll, and a giggly smile that makes it look he’s never more than a minute removed from having farted in front of his coaches and having gotten away with it. And contrary to most players, scoring probably doesn’t make the list of his five favorite things to do on a basketball court — at absolute best, it’s a very distant fifth behind rebounding, setting screens, trash-talking opponents and flopping. He always seems to play his way into big minutes wherever he goes, but he never stays anywhere long. Since being traded to Denver halfway through his fourth season with the Sonics, he’s played for five different teams, and none of them for more than two seasons.

Yet for a guy who probably wouldn’t get his own chapter (and might not even show up in the index) when the history books are written about early 21st century basketball, Reggie Evans has managed to have a surprisingly large impact on a variety of playoff series over the years. This year will mark his sixth time playing in the playoffs, and for his fifth different franchise, and he always seems to leave his mark. He was an unexpected catalyst in the scare the Sixers put into the Pistons in the first round of the ’08 playoffs, posting double-doubles in the first two games and getting the “REG-GIE! REG-GIE!” chant from the Philly faithful, even giving the crowd the ol’ Allen Iverson hand-to-ear “Let me hear it!!” gesture. And he was a huge factor in the Clippers’ seven-game series win over the Grizzlies last year, averaging about nine boards a game off the bench and even finishing a close Game 7 on the floor as future-of-the-franchise forward Blake Griffin rode the pine.

But of course, the most memorable postseason moment from Reggie was not one that can be measured on the stat sheet. It came in Game 4 of the Denver Nuggets’ 2006 first round series against the Los Angeles Clippers, where, when tussling with Clippers big man Chris Kaman for a rebound — and rebound-tussling is the area of the game where something like 85 percent of Reggie’s impact is felt — Evans found time to surreptitiously grab a handful of Kaman’s testicles, enraging the young center in to pushing Evans to the ground, and giving the “Inside the NBA” guys something to chortle about after the game. (Ernie: “He got caught with his hand in the cookie jar, and…” Charles: “Ernie, I don’t know where you get your cookies at…”)

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deandre-jordan-dunk-face

Remember DeAndre Jordan’s dunk? Remember DeAndre Jordan’s subsequent dunk face? Me too, to both of those questions.

And so does Under Armour, who is seizing on this opportunity to make a bunch of us look like idiots while trying to win a prize. It’s brilliant, really.

To participate people have to upload their best impersonation of DeAndre’s post dunk reaction to Instagram and tag it #DeAndreDunkface. This Tuesday Under Armour will select a grand prize winner who will get a paid trip to Los Angeles, two tickets to Clippers home game, UA gear and meet and greet with DeAndre. Fans can enter once a day and should use #DeAndreDunkFace.

Yes, this is a VERY good idea. I mean, obviously.

my-deandre-face

So yeah, do this immediately and share the results in the comments. You can upload it to Instagram to if you want, but mostly I just want to see your beautiful DeAndre faces. The sillier the better.

Oh, and there are some pretty slick t-shirts created for the occasion as well. Those are after the jump.

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This dunk is awesome, no doubt about that. But amazingly, it might not even be the best part of this clip.

No, that honor either goes to the segment from 14 seconds to 18 seconds where we see a bunch of kids reacting like they just found a Playboy and then a quick cut to a bunch of grownups acting the exact same way, or to this face:

deandre-jordan-dunk-face

Pretty much the right reaction and maybe the best dunk reaction face since Stephon Marbury. Sorry for your entire body and soul, Brandon Knight.

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If you’ve watched any amount of NBA in the last few months, chances are pretty good that in between game action, you’ve seen a whole lot of one very tall man in a red tracksuit traveling back in time to give younger versions of himself some valuable career and fashion advice, set to period pop hits of the time. That very tall man is of course All-Star Clippers forward Blake Griffin, and the context is the recent KIA series featuring Blake “time traveling” in his Kia Optima to ride mechanical convenience store steeds and make fun of jean shorts. The campaign has turned into a favorite for many an NBA fan, due to its absurd humor, impressive eye for detail, and above all else, Blake’s bone-dry sense of humor and impeccable comedic timing.

The man most responsible for the ads is probably Colin Jeffery, Executive Creative Director of the David & Goliath agency, behind not only this Blake campaign, but also the “UVO, Play Funk” Blake ads you might remember from last season, and such other campaigns like the “This or That” Kia Soul ads with the hamsters set to Black Sheep’s “The Choice is Yours.” But the time travel campaign might be Jeffery’s greatest work, and certainly one of the most creative and legitimately funny ad campagins of recent years.

I talked with Jeffery for a bit to ask him some questions I had about some of the ads’ finer points, to satisfy my own curiosity, if nothing else. (And check out Kevin Arnovitz’s fine article on the campaign on the TrueHoop network for a look at some of the commercial’s more technical aspects.)

TBJ: So what was the genesis moment for the ads? How did the time travel idea come about?

Jeffery: Well, this is obviously the second campaign we worked on, with Kia Optima teaming up with Blake Griffin. We really worked off the same strategy for both. When Kia signed Blake Griffin, the idea was that he’s this kind of new-age sportsman, he’s got this kind of Challenger vibe to him. He kind of burst onto the scene. He handles himself very differently [than other players] both on and off the courts. He’s kind of this clean-cut guy, with Oklahoma roots … and his game, he’s got this flair and energy to his game, and Kia sees themselves as similar — exploded onto the scene, had a rapid growth rate. From the outset, we saw this as an opportunity to do things differently with these two brands, since they both do things differently.

The genesis comes from strategy “Not your average mid-size sedan, not your average spokesman.” We challenged ourselves creatively and internally to come up with a spokesman that doesn’t feel like your classic spokesman’s work. Usually with spokesmen, it’s a tenuous link back to the product, but in this case, they fit quite well, actually, They’re both kinda young, new brands.

The idea came about … we spent a lot of time with Blake, we’d kind of sit down and throw around ideas with him, see what resonates with him. He talks a lot about his childhood — he’s very close to his brother, and they were quite competitive as kids. He talks fondly of his childhood, and we kinda got into that a bit. He has a lot of regrets, and one of them, he said “Yeah, I wore jean shorts a lot! I really regret it! If I could go back…’” And then we talked about the gym he and his brother used to work out in together, I kinda jotted that one down, and then the scripts just kinda came along from there. It just seemed like an unexpected way to use the spokesman, to go back in time, and creatively there was a lot we could do with that.

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Remember the zany, zipup Air Jordan XX8 that Russell Westbrook debuted back in December? Well, they come out this weekend, in honor of both the All-Star Game and Michael Jordan’s 50th birthday. This is the official Jordan Brand commercial for the shoe, which is pretty weird to see on a silent television in a Mexican restaurant in Houston.

Pretty fun to watch in the morning though. Especially because we get to see Westbrook in what I imagine has to be his ideal basketball uniform.

russell-westbrook-crazy-uniform-closeup russell-westbrook-crazy-uniformGood ad. Kind of reminds me of an update on the classic Nike Freestyle commercials from the dark ages, mixed with the score from “Inception” and a Battles music video. Which is to say, fairly crazy. Let’s hear what you think in the comments.

I guess not every dunk is highlight worthy.