Even though the Clippers might be used to traveling eastwards, the first trip of the season certainly is a special one. NBA Europe Live has brought them all the way to Moscow in the heart of the former Soviet Union. From Sept. 30 to Oct. 8, Elton Brand and Co. will stage their training camp in the famous Russian capital. They also take on European giants BC Khimki (October 6) and CSKA Moscow (October 7) in the Universal Sports Hall before flying home one day later.
More Europe Live Player Blogs: Shawn Marion | Rodney Carney
Veteran guard Sam Cassell will be blogging from camp on a daily basis from Europe.
A Good Experience
MOSCOW, Oct. 7
-- posted by Sam Cassell on October 7, 2006, 3:28 p.m. ET
First game we won, second game we got spanked, but it was a good experience for us. The whole four days in training camp and that. Everyone is not typically comfortable with the offense right now, the new guys, some of the old guys.
You have to give CSKA credit. They played really well and they deserved to win the game.
Same Game... Sorta
MOSCOW, Oct. 5
-- posted by Sam Cassell on October 5, 2006, 7:58 a.m. ET
I am still living. I might get a shave today. Same old training camp here.
We've got a game tomorrow. It will be different. It is different from the way they call it in the States. But it all comes down to a game of basketball. We will see what happens. They call a lot of travelling - in the NBA they don´t call it. We'll see.
The time will tell how popular in Russia I am. I will see by the applause or the boos I get when we play Friday. I see then. I'm looking forward to it.
Dance, Dance Revolution
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE Images
MOSCOW, Oct. 4 -- posted by Sam Cassell on October 4, 2006, 3:11 p.m. ET
The visit to the orphanage was nice. It was nice. Their culture is great - we did some Russian dancing. The coach really did terrible. He has got a bad knee.
MOSCOW, Oct. 3
-- posted by Sam Cassell on October 3, 2006, 7:17 a.m. ET
I'm living! I'm getting better. I'm getting adjusted. I love the city of Moscow.
I just want to tell my fans that they, if they have the chance, need to experience Moscow. The whole Russian culture - I won't forget this. It is a hell of an experience.
I still need a shave. I shaved my head but I still haven't shaved my face yet. A bit sloppy but I focus right now.
We're cleaning a lot of things up but it is coming.
This arena is pretty and neat so we are going to enjoy playing here.
Next season the pressure is definitely on us and we will see how we respond to pressure. Our teammates have to step up and keep working hard.
It is true that pressure is new to us. Let´s see how we will respond. We need to make the proper adjustments and the proper moves to make this team successful. But I don't feel pressure - I love pressure.
So Far, So Good
MOSCOW, Oct. 2
-- posted by Sam Cassell on October 2, 2006, 7:07 a.m. ET
It's the second day in Russia. I want to tell my friends at home I had a pretty good day in practice. I am still living, still living, but I need a haircut and a shave. The weather is better than what we expected to be. It is not that cold.
Moscow is a great place. Moscow is like Vegas and Miami all rolled up in one. It's a nice place.
I am not a big fan of training camp but it is something that is required of my job. We're trying to get something accomplished here as a team. We're trying to get the focus for what we have to do back at home in the States in the long NBA season. It starts here. We have to get it done. Each day in practice we need to take another step. We had a social practice yesterday, today practice was much better. We'll see each night how we do and take it from there.
I am the leader of this group so my job is to make sure everybody is doing what they need to do on the basketball court.
You can the expect the Sam old Sam Cassell this season - consistent and clutch!
Call Me 'Rocky'
MOSCOW, Oct. 1
-- posted by Sam Cassell on October 1, 2006, 11:47 a.m. ET
To all my fans in America - I am still alive and fighting strong!
We´ve come to Russia to play two outstanding ball clubs. We´re here, and we definitely want to show up. We´re here to win. We´re not here just to enjoy the country of Russia. It is a business trip - this is training camp.
Moscow is amazing but you can´t tour Russia and two weeks later you get cut from the basketball team. You have to see it as your job. I will enjoy some of the sights of this country but I won´t be out during the whole tour.
It was kind of rough today. We are all jet-lagged. I got about five hours of sleep last night so I think I get adjusted to the time change.
Today was tough. We have to pick it up tomorrow at practice. We have some things to accomplish while we are here and we´ll be getting it done.
By the time we got off the plane they started to ask Yarik about Russia. I haven´t really talked to him yet but I know a lot of the guys have been teasing him about phrases and how to say hello or thank you or something.
It is not my first time playing against European teams. It´s like the third or fourth time. I´ve been to Paris a lot of years ago. And Barcelona, Madrid - I´ve been to places.
More: NBA.com's Johannes Berendt blogs from Moscow