MEET THE NEWEST CLIPPER – RYAN HOLLINS
Veteran forward Ryan Hollins returned to Los Angeles this week when he signed as a free agent with his hometown Clippers. A standout at John Muir High School in Pasadena who went on to play at UCLA, Hollins was a key member of the Boston Celtics team that took the eventual NBA Champion Miami Heat to seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals. Now, Hollins is excited to be back in L.A. and ready to be a part of a talented Clippers squad. Hollins writes a blog for Fox Sports West.com called Two Hands, Seven Feet, and can be read here: http://www.foxsportswest.com/pages/hollins
Clipper fans can follow Hollins on Twitter: Follow @TheRyanHollins
Having grown up in the Los Angeles area and playing collegiately at UCLA, what are your emotions now that you get to play in your hometown as a professional?
Ryan Hollins: “It is huge to be able to come home and wear the Clippers jersey in front of your friends and family. You kind of grow up in it, and see the tradition of basketball in Los Angeles and know what it means. There is always something special about playing in front of your home town.”
Los Angeles is known as a city with a great basketball tradition with so many great players coming out of the region and making an impact in the NBA. How does it feel to be a part of that group?
RH: “It puts you in an elite club. It has always been something in my mind, wondering what it would be like as a pro to come home. And I feel like this is the right time in my career to be able to take advantage of this opportunity. I have been around long enough to understand just the opportunity to be here is amazing.”
Last season, you appeared in the NBA Playoffs for the second time in your career and played in 17 games, averaging 10.0 minutes for the Celtics as they went to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. What did you learn from that experience and how will that help you with the Clippers?
RH: “It was huge. I am not just coming in here to wear a jersey, I want a championship. I know how it felt like last year, and I know how hard it is to get to that level. [The Clippers are] deep. We’ve got all the pieces in place. I just want to come in and play my role, but that experience last year kind of left a bad taste in my mouth, a hunger. At the same time I see what it is like to play at that level, I see what it takes.”
After six seasons in the NBA, what do you think you will be able to bring to the 2012-13 Clippers team?
RH: “I can bring experience. I am going to come in and bring the little things that are needed to help us win. Whatever it takes. One minute, two minute, 15 minutes, whatever coach needs of me. It is really cut and dry right now. At this point, you come in, you put in your work and we will win and move on. We will come together as a team. We have great veteran leadership, so coming into that role and doing my job and filling a void is what I look forward to doing.”
What do you want to tell Clippers fans that they can expect from your game this season?
RH: “Fans can expect a lot of hard work. I will be the hardest playing guy on the floor. They will see energy and effort running he floor and blocking shots. I will be all over the place. I’m the ultimate team player, I love our team, I love to win. I am a competitor and I am loyal to my team. I am here. I am here to stay and I can’t wait to be a part of it this team and what is going on.”