Monday, September 20, 2010

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Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro is just eight days away from opening up his first training camp in charge of the club. On Tuesday, Sept. 28 the Clippers will have two separate practices, a morning and evening session as the season officially gets under way.

“I’m excited,” Del Negro said. “We have so many positives here. L.A. is a world-class city. We have a great practice facility, loyal fans and we play in arguably the best arena in the country. Every year is different and every team is different, but I think this is a new direction - with the practice facility, getting Blake Griffin back healthy and adding some quality players to the roster this summer while still giving us flexibility moving forward.”

Clippers assistant coach Marc Iavaroni is also ready for training camp to begin. “I'm excited for camp. I'm excited to get to know the players better and help them develop and to continue the process.”

Check out the Clippers 2010-11 schedule here


After taking over as Clippers head coach on July 7, Vinny Del Negro wasted little time putting a high-quality coaching staff in place, bringing together an exciting group of established basketball minds with extensive NBA experience. As the season nears, LAC x 3 will get to know each of the Clippers new assistant coaches. Today, the focus is on Marc Iavaroni, who brings 13-years of NBA coaching experience to Los Angeles. A former star at the University of Virginia who enjoyed a seven-year NBA career that included an NBA title with Philadelphia in 1983, Iavaroni served as an assistant coach last season in Toronto and was the head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies from 2007-2009.

Marc Iavaroni is no stranger to the Los Angeles area. "I got married in Santa Monica, and my wife and I have a lot of good memories here," he said.

Still, until now, his visits to Los Angeles have only been brief trips. When he was a player in the NBA, he would come to Los Angeles often.

"Playing the Lakers was a lot of fun while I was in the NBA, and now that I live here, the city is great. It has been a treat." he said.

But with training camp and the season right around the corner, Iavaroni is focused primarily on getting ready for the campaign. After spending last year as an assistant coach to Jay Triano in Toronto, he said it was refreshing to see the players’ commitment during their off-season workouts.

"I like it here because there are so many young kids on the team who have been in the gym every day. Consistently since August, guys like Willie Warren, [Eric] Bledsoe, [Al-Farouq] Aminu, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan have all been in every day. Chris [Kaman] has been here almost every day—and now we've got other guys like Ryan Gomes and [Brian Cook]," he said. "So to me it's been encouraging that guys are in here playing all the time."

--Daniel Savitzky contributed to this report.

For more information on Marc Iavaroni and the rest of the Clippers assistant coaches, click here

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Happy Birthday wishes to Clippers rookie forward Al –Farouq Aminu. The eighth overall selection of the 2010 NBA Draft turns 20 on Tuesday, Sept. 21.

A Georgia native, Aminu was an Honorable Mention AP All-American and Second Team All-ACC performer at Wake Forest last season, and is looking forward to celebrating his first birthday as an NBA player.

“My dad is in town, so I will probably relax with him” Aminu said. “I will go out to eat with him, so that should be fun, but nothing too big.”

When Aminu was growing up, birthdays were a bit of a bigger deal, because his two brothers were also born in September.

“My little brother’s birthday is on the 1st, and my older brother is on the 14th. So, we would all have a birthday party together. That would probably be the most fun time I can remember, celebrating all together as one with the neighborhood and everything.”

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