FRIDAY FIVE: MEDIA DAY
The annual onset of Media Day is almost regularly a combination of excitement and optimism, an opportunity to introduce new players and in some cases a whole new look. The Clippers’ 2013 event was no different. From the first team gathering of the 2013-14 season to the unveiling of the #BackinBlue uniform campaign, Media Day was full of things to talk about. In the inaugural edition of Clippers.com’s Friday Five segment we highlight the five best things about Media Day:
5. First Day of School Feeling: There is always a sense of Media Day being like the first day of school. Players have fresh haircuts, new shoes, new jersey numbers or a new outlook on the coming season. In his opening statement before fielding questions Jamal Crawford exemplified that feeling. “This is an exciting time, obviously. Trying to build off the success we had last session and I think this year we definitely will take the next step.”
4. National Signing Day: Perhaps unknown to most, Media Day will generate more autographs from a team’s players than almost any other event of the year… combined. Every member of the roster, including superstars Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, sign various pieces of memorabilia, including basketballs, photos, ball caps, court replicas and more. Some of it goes up for charity auction, while other pieces are used as prizes for season ticket holders. Griffin, for example, said he uses the most abbreviated of his “three” signatures to help sign as many items as possible.
3. The New Guys: Media Day is also the first appearance of the year as a group for all of the newcomers. While guys like Darren Collison, Jared Dudley and J.J. Redick were introduced via a press conference in July, they still have not been all in one place with eight other new faces on the Clippers’ training camp roster. Collison, Dudley, Redick, Antawn Jamison, Byron Mullens and rookie Reggie Bullock all spoke to the media, including a press conference with Dudley, Redick and Mullens all at the dais at the same time.
2. #BackinBlue: Every year a few teams unveil a new look, whether it be an entirely new brand (like the Phoenix Suns or New Orleans Pelicans this year) or alternate uniform. On Monday the Clippers unveiled their “Back in Blue” pride short-sleeved uniforms which harken back to the days of the Buffalo Braves and San Diego Clippers. Players wore their white home uniforms for a portion of the event before switching to the baby blue uniforms shortly thereafter. The jerseys would have likely stolen the show if it weren’t for No. 1.
1. Blake, DeAndre and Chris: Head Coach Doc Rivers has not shied away from calling the trio of Griffin, Paul and DeAndre Jordan the Clippers’ Big 3. They are the longest tenured members of the team, only full-time returning starters and are all expected to be leaders this season. In helping drive the point home, Jordan, Griffin and Paul appeared at the dais together immediately after Rivers spoke. They fielded questions, sometimes each answering and playing off one another. The joint press conference likely sets the tone for many more “Big 3” appearances in the near future.