Clippers Offseason Workouts
D.J. Foster, Clippers.com
6/15/2011
Randy Foye

“Yeah, guys work out,” Randy Foye said. “But never as a team like this. These workouts have really been intense. We want to be ready.”


CLICK HERE for workout photos



There are certain benefits to spending your offseason in Los Angeles. You take one step out of the house and you’re greeted by perfect weather. There’s always somewhere to go – an event to visit, a new thing to check out. Your options are essentially limitless.

With the sun shining and the beach beckoning, you might be surprised where you can find the Los Angeles Clippers this summer.

Of all the places they could be, you can find the players working tirelessly in the gym. Running. Lifting. Drilling. A good portion of them do this every day, again and again, all on their own accord.

“A couple of guys have set the tone,” assistant coach Marc Iavaroni said. “They’ve said, ‘I want to start now. I don’t want to wait to get better and work on my skills.’ “

There’s no poking or prodding from the coaching staff; no “mandatory” label slapped in front of the word “workouts.” The players are here because they want to be here.

This isn’t exactly standard operating procedure in the NBA. The phrase “Gone Fishin’” has been popularized for a reason. Typically when the season’s done, so are the players.

There aren’t many people out there better equipped than Marc Iavaroni to put what the Clippers are currently doing in proper perspective. He’s been on both sides of the lines – as a player for seven seasons and as a coach for 14. He’s an NBA lifer to be sure, but has he ever seen a team workout like this in the offseason?

Blake Griffin

This offseason for the Clippers doesn’t have to be defined by “Veteran X” or the draft or anything else -- it can be defined by a group of guys putting in the work when no one else was watching.


CLICK HERE for workout photos

“Not this early, not this devoted,” Iavaroni said. “It is unique.”

Iavaroni, who has fulfilled a big role in the workouts, isn’t alone in his assessment. Veteran guard Randy Foye has played for multiple teams – ones where the weather isn’t so good – but all of this is new to him as well.

“Yeah, guys work out,” Foye said. “But never as a team like this. These workouts have really been intense. We want to be ready.”

It’s the team aspect of the equation that may prove most critical. While Clippers teams in the past have had to wait for everything to gel, this current group is working right now, nice and early, to ensure there isn’t that adaptation process that usually amounts to losses. The word “chemistry” feels less like a buzzword and more like a very tangible thing when you realize these guys are spending their own free time working out together like they have this offseason. Working out has become a collective effort.

“Your stars can drive the car for you,” Foye said. “But it takes a whole team to make the engine run.”

Largely spearheaded by the efforts of Blake Griffin, he of hill sprinting fame, the Clippers have further developed the work ethic that began to define them last season. Even as the season was lost they never quit, never stopped playing hard, and never stopped working to get better. With an uncertain offseason awaiting every team, the Clippers have carried over the work ethic displayed last season to this summer pretty seamlessly.

The highlight plays last year are what brought most people in, but it would have all been empty filler had it not been backed by an undeniable desire to improve. Talent will always be the common denominator for playoff caliber teams, but what’s often lost in the shuffle is that talent is only one piece of the puzzle. It’s a big piece, sure, but champions never coast on that alone.

The guys on this team get that. And that’s why they’re at the training center, sharpening their skills, even when they don’t have to be.

This offseason for the Clippers doesn’t have to be defined by “Veteran X” or the draft or anything else -- it can be defined by a group of guys putting in the work when no one else was watching.


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