posted by Dena | June 28 @ 4:18 pm
After weeks of planning and hour upon hour of setting up tables and "Clipper-izing" Hollywood Billiards, the doors finally opened at 3:30 pm for the Clippers' 2007 Draft Party. Within 15 minutes more than 100 members of Clipper Nation arrived. I know that because the first 100 fans received a 2006-07 team photo and Clippers T-shirt, and they were long gone by 3:45! It's about 4:18 and we've easily seen more than 200 people all decked out in red, white & blue walk through the front doors. The anticipation of the Clippers' No. 14 pick is killer.
The 54 TVs, 40 or more of them big screens, will be playing all NBA Draft in HDTV all the time. We're just about ready to get to the picks. Who will go No. 1? I've got a hunch... No. 2's a pretty easy guess as well. But you never know... I saw one team in 2003 pass over Carmelo, D-Wade and Chris Bosh with the No. 2 pick (I'm not naming any names).
The Draft is almost under way so I'd better get going for now... especially because I need to put money down on the black and red autographed EB42 right shoe. Right now a guy named Matt has the starting bid of $100. The size 16 1/2 shoe will be mine. Oh yes, it will be mine!
P.S. If you haven't seen it yet, watch the video of Shaun Livingston throwing out the first pitch to Mike Liberthal (pictured at right) at Dodgers Stadium on June 15th. Shaun used to be a pitcher in high school, so his pitch actually crossed the plate! Go Shaun. Shaun told Petros Papadakis and Matt “Money” Smith "It was bananas," during an interview last week on AM 570 KLAC. It's really great to see the guy back out there, walking, feeling loose and in higher spirits. Can't wait until he returns mid-season!
P.P.S. 2006 Clippers draft pick Paul Davis is rumored to show up any minute.
Easy as 1, 2, 3
posted by Dena | June 28 @ 4:51 pm
Charlie Arviso, recently promoted from Clippers Group Sales Manager to Business Development Manager is convinced there's going to be a big 12-team trade between the teams who have a top 10 pick, but he's not sure who. The biggest surprise he says will be the color of somebody's suit. But nothing can ever compare to Karl Malone's suit in the 1985 draft. Two words: Pink Tie.
I also just got a visit from Lorne Currie, former coach of the LA City Wildcats, where draft prospect Nick Young (USC) used to play back in the day. "Nick was a very hard worker and came to practice every day," Currie said. It was so much fun seeing him develop and grow into a pure young player." Currie's son Brian played with Nick back around 2000 or 2001, and the two couldn't be prouder of of him. Brian Currie's even at Nick's draft party right now.
Paul Davis just came by wearing jeans, a black T-Shirt and a sports coat. We tried to take some pictures of him, but he's so tall that the lights in the bar were directly behind him and his head looks like it's glowing.
Charlie just gave me an update on my EB42 shoe: A guy named Ray is in the lead with $125.
Back to the draft... Greg Oden went No. 1 in a matter of milliseconds. Seattle didn't wait long to select their No. 2 pick. "With the second pick in the NBA Draft, the Seattle Super Sonics select Kevin Durant." Is anybody really surprised? Atlanta took Al Horford with the No. 3 pick. Now things are going to start getting interesting. Check back with ya after Charlie's blockbuster 12-team trade goes down.
P.S. Lorne wants me to tell you all to watch out for his son in the 2010 NBA Draft.
posted by Dena | June 28 @ 5:16 pm
So it's not quite the 12-team blockbuster deal like Charlie suggested, but right before we broke to commercial the trade talks began. Looks like No. 5 pick Jeff Green will be shipped off to Seattle for Ray Allen. As a Clippers fan, I'm thrilled at the idea of watching our guys take on Durant and Green for four games each season. As a basketball fan (and a female), I'm disappointed we'll be losing Ray Allen to the East Coast. That means one, MAYBE two games against the Clips each year.
The Bucks got lucky; that trade made Yi Jianlian from China available. Not sure that's going to last. I smell another trade... Minnesota just grabbed Corey Brewer. Charlotte's up next. So far there haven't been too many surprises. That's going to be a fun transition - Florida sunshine to Minnesota winters. Good luck Corey!
Bye Bye Law
posted by Dena | June 28 @ 5:45 pm
There goes Acie Law IV... it's a shame really. Mostly because he'll have to wear the new Atlanta uniforms. Clippers season ticket holder Nir Bezalel was disappointed. He wanted Law because we "need a point guard and somebody who can help Cassell." Bezalel hopes that Nick Young is still available when it comes time to pick No. 14.
Does anybody else think Steven A. Smith sometimes talks just so he can make gestures with his hands? It almost looked like he was going to knock out Mark Jackson a minute ago.
Aviran Bar-Lev wants an Elton Brand bobblehead, and he ust let me know that my EB42 shoe is still occupied by that guy Ray at $125. His brother Edan said he might put down a bid for me if it's out of my price range. My price range is $12.
Paul Davis just sat down with me; he "just got done eating a lot of wings." I asked for his opinion on this year's draft. Guess what? It's a little less nerve racking for him than it was last year. But he's anxious to see who we're going to pick.
P.S. Paul Davis, if you didn't know, is 6-foot-11. I'm 4-foot-11. HILARIOUS.
Clipper Darrell's Happy
posted by Dena | June 28 @ 5:56 pm
New Orleans picked Julian Wright. That means we have Al Thornton and Nick Young available to us! Clipper Darrell's leading his usual "Let's Go Clippers" cheer and "U-S-C!" cheers on the upstairs level. It's starting to get rowdy and loud up in here...
Clippers Select Forward Al Thornton
posted by Dena | June 28 @ 6:01 pm
To be honest, I'm a little surprised we took Al Thorton. While he's an excellent forward, we definitely need a point guard! Maybe this will open up some room for a big signing or trade during Free Agency.
Paul Davis thinks he looks like a hard worker, and he's happy to see that he played all four years at FSU. "He'll probably be more ready to play than the other guys," he said.
Season ticket holders Cynthia and Phillip Hutchinson think there might be a trade in the works... maybe they're right.
But honestly, as surprised as I am, I'm thrilled with the pick. Thornton is an excellent player and can bring a lot to the team. In fact, I think they hadn't really considered him previously because they didn't think he'd still be available at this point in the draft. I'm happy with the selection. He was definitely the best available. Just goes to show you... you can't always listen to the media (me included!)!
Pst! I'm secretly hoping we'll snatch up Chauncey Billups from Detroit after July 1st... that doesn't mean it's going to happen. I'm just sayin'...
Mmmmm... Chicken Fingers
posted by Dena | June 28 @ 7:21 pm
Now that I've posted the press release and put together the Full Court E-newsletter (and if you're not already signed up, I suggest you sign up now. DO IT!) it's time to get some FOOD. FYI - chicken fingers are pretty tasty at Hollywood Billiards.
A few notes since I left you all...
- Portland is going to be SICK next season! Greg Oden AND Stevie Franchise? On the SAME TEAM? Are you kidding me? People, you MUST purchase tickets to see Portland play the Clippers in LA the very instant they go on sale in the fall! That's an order!
- How fun are the NBA 2K8 commercials with Durant and Gilbert Arenas (Commercial #1, Commercial #2, Commercial #3? Perhaps this is the beginning of another three-point shootout ...
- I really just can't wait to see the Transformers movie when it opens next week...
- The only real surprise pick I've seen so far is Golden State picking guard Marco Belinelli over forward/center Jason Smith. I thought they needed to go big, not small.
P.S. The silent auction is complete... and that Ray guy got my shoe. I blame Edan Bar-Lev for not following through on his promise to make up the difference. That shoe should have been mine...
Clippers Select Guard Jared Jordan
posted by Dena | June 28 @ 9:08 pm
Probably the biggest steal in this year's draft, the Clippers picked guard Jared Jordan with the No. 45 pick. I saw this guy during our pre-draft workouts last week, and I must say, he's pretty solid. I just hope this doesn't throw a wrench on my plan to lure Chauncey to LA...
Our Director of Player Personnel, Neil Olshey, is thrilled with both picks. “We are ecstatic. When we came into the draft we had two target guys, Al Thornton and Jared Jordan," he said during a press conference at STAPLES Center. " We didn’t think that either of them would be available when we did pick. We could not have come away with a better draft as far as we are concerned.
Things are wrapping up here in Hollywood. It was a solid turnout from the best fans in the NBA. There were hundreds of people here cheering on the Clippers, including the one and only Clipper Darrell. CD was representing the Clips' inside and out of the sports bar. He was head to toe in his red and blue striped suit and leading everybody in cheers inside, and parked right in front of the bar's entrance was his Clipper-ized car. If you haven't see the car yet, you're missing out. Jealous? You're jealous.
Special shout out to Jamie Lee and Joe Kelly and the rest of the Clippers staff for putting this rockin' party together for all the Clippers fans. It couldn't have happened without them. If you were here, make sure to send them a note to say thanks for their hard work.
Thanks to all of the kind fans who stopped by to see why I was so busy typing away on a little laptop in the bar. It probably helped that I was stationed right next to the auction, but even so... you're the best Clippers fans!
Information on the press conference introducing the new players coming soon on Clippers.com...
It's been fun! See you in Vegas Clipper Nation!
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