2016-17 Clippers All-Star Running Blog
NEW ORLEANS – DeAndre Jordan took off for a flight immediately after the Clippers earned their fourth straight win, headed from Los Angeles to “The Big Easy,” with the Clippers’ center earning his first career All-Star nod.
Jordan is scheduled to participate in both his first Slam Dunk Contest and first All-Star Game this weekend, leaving no time to dawdle after a Wednesday night home game. His All-Star media circuit began Thursday afternoon in New Orleans, where an already memorable year full of personal accolades continues.
This honor for Jordan is just the latest in a series of firsts, after being named First Team All-NBA at the end of last season, then going to his first Olympics as a member of Team USA and now sharing this experience in New Orleans with plenty of his fellow Olympians.
Take a look behind the scenes each day here as Clippers.com updates its 2017 All-Star Running Blog, showing what Jordan’s days look like during his first All-Star experience in New Orleans.
4:40 p.m. – DeAndre Jordan arrives at The Ritz-Carlton to begin his media circuit, an hour and a half of taking photos, making faces and getting interviewed alongside his All-Star teammates. Immediately after entering the building, he gets tackled by Toronto’s Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan before saying hello to one of his closest friends on the All-Star Team, Kevin Durant.
4:47 p.m. – The photos start getting snapped of DeAndre Jordan, who first poses with Mardi Gras and New Orleans gear and taking slow-motions shots for the NBA’s Instagram. Jordan goes from station to station with green screens behind him, taking photos by himself and with props while answering a variety of questions, from pregame routines to playoff memories.
4:50 p.m. – One of his best photo ops comes while holding a picture of himself. The NBA unveiled #NBAAllStar emojis for every player there, including #DeAndreJordan. He had fun with that one, as he proceeded to take photos with signs, basketballs and a variety of backdrops.
5:04 p.m. – Now for some familiarity. Jordan often works before practices with Clippers consultant Kevin Garnett, who also hosts his show “Area 21.” The talented big men meets for an episode of Garnett’s show, discussing everything from the makeup of the team, to his summer decision, to his first All-Star experience and dunk content. When asked whether he enjoys trash talking more after a vicious dunk or a brilliant block, he says it’s the latter.
5:12 p.m. – As Jordan makes his way through the media circuit, he sees plenty of familiar faces, from Durant, Lowry and DeRozan, to the Lakers’ D’Angelo Russell and Brandon Ingram, to Utah’s Gordon Hayward and many more current athletes. He also bumps into a legend, taking a second to catch up with Julius “Dr. J” Erving.
5:15 p.m. – Jordan’s “Area 21” interview is just the first of many, as it’s now on to Lang Whitaker, Sekou Smith and an NBA.com interview, where Jordan’s asked about all his recent honors and the joys of using the break to vacation vs. the joys of using the break to play in an All-Star Game (Jordan had to cancel a Hawaii vacation after getting the exciting news). He’s asked if this is a make or break year and about the injuries the Clippers have had to fight through early this season. “Once we get back to full strength, I feel like we’ll be playing great basketball,” Jordan says. Then, it’s immediately on to an NBATV interview with Jared Greenberg and Howard Beck.
5:28 p.m. – Another familiar face is next for Jordan, who sits down with David Aldridge before going through a list of ABC and ESPN promotional videos.
5:40 p.m. – As Jordan gets to another ESPN interview room, he describes one of his favorite pregame rituals. “I like to take a nice long nap,” Jordan said. “I’m a growing boy.” Chicken, by the way, is one of his favorite foods to eat before a game.
5:44 p.m. – Jordan continues to go room to room in The Ritz-Carlton as his NBA interviews continue. The question he gets most is about being a first-team All-Star, to which he often responds that he’s excited, emotional and humbled by the honor. The next most asked question is about his first slam dunk competition.
“It's going to be fun regardless,” Jordan said. “But to have your name go down in history for something you watched as a kid, being a big guy we don't get a lot of love…So, I'm excited to do it.” One of the off-the-court questions he’s asked is what job he’s have if he weren’t a basketball player. Jordan, who showed up in a beige jacket, round glasses and a Kiss T-shirt, fittingly says he’d be a rock star.
5:55 p.m. – Finally, the interviews are over. Well, sort of. Jordan has one last interview set up with a kid reporter, which mostly requires him coming up with ways to dunk apples into peanut butter, before his media circuit concludes. That, by the way, he says might have been his favorite station.
6 p.m. – Jordan calls it a day for his media responsibilities, and it’s off to the Smoothie King Center, where he goes through dunk contest rehearsals in preparation for his first event Saturday night.
11:30 a.m. – The Western Conference All-Stars start to arrive for their media availability. Podiums surround the walls of two rooms, as Jordan makes his way to his station, where questions range from his opinions on other All-Stars, to the best-dressed guy in the league (he lists himself, then teammate J.J. Redick), to questions about his upcoming dunk contest. After answering questions for 30 minutes, Jordan’s off to the NBA Cares All-Star Day of Service.
12:50 p.m. – Jordan shows up with a group of Western Conference All-Stars including DeMarcus Cousins, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson to help build a new playground at William Hart Elementary School for the 10th NBA Cares All-Star Day of Service, which began in New Orleans in 2008 after Hurricane Katrina.
1:05 p.m. – A rainy day in New Orleans doesn’t stop the All-Stars from helping out. Wearing NBA Cares ponchos, they head outside to get to work, where Jordan and Cousins team up to build a bench. Cousins took the drill, since Jordan said the only experience he has building was the time he helped put together his bunk bed. While the duo may not win any awards for their craftsmanship, the result was a working table.
1:25 p.m. – With his work outside done, Jordan takes pictures and signs autographs for the kids at the school. He enters a classroom, where he gets to work on a coloring book. As for whether Jordan’s more of an artist or handyman? “Definitely better at coloring,” Jordan said.
10:30 a.m. – The All-Stars head to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, where family photos get snapped before the Western Conference All-Stars take the court to practice for 40 minutes before answering questions from the media for 15 minutes. By noon, the West All-Stars practice time is done for the day, and it’s on to dunk preparation for Jordan.
“It’s exciting,” said Jordan, who admitted there were also some nerves heading into the night of the slam dunk contest. “This is my first one, but I’m just having so much fun with it, enjoying the experience. It’s easy when you’re around these guys.”
12 p.m. – Even after leaving New Orleans, Chris Paul never forgot about the city he called home for years. Paul returned to New Orleans to give back during All-Star Weekend, spending Saturday afternoon at an NBA Cares and State Farm YMCA event, donating a new technology lab and holding a basketball clinic for kids.
6 p.m. – All-Star Saturday night begins for Jordan, who arrives at the Smoothie King Center to get ready for the slam dunk festivities. The Taco Bell Skills Competition, JBL Three-Point Competition and Verizon Slam Dunk Contest all take place Saturday night. The slam dunk participants all take photos, get prepared and hit the floor at 7:15 p.m. for slam dunk warmups.
8:30 p.m. – After Kristaps Porzingis takes the skills competition and Eric Gordon captures the 3-point title, it’s on to the third and final event, with Jordan starting out the dunk contest by jumping over DJ Khaled’s DJ table and snagging the ball from Khaled’s hands on the way up, slamming it down. Jordan earned a score of 41 on his first dunk and a score of 42 on his second, completing a between-the-legs 360. Indiana’s Glenn Robinson III and Phoenix’s Derrick Jones Jr. advanced to the final, with Robinson taking it.
“Just being able to come out, this being my first event, it was cool, man,” Jordan said. “I got to see some really cool dunks, and congratulations to Glenn.”
Now, it’s all about the main event in Sunday night’s All-Star Game.
“I’m super excited for tomorrow,” Jordan said. “Now that I got one event knocked out, I’m not as nervous about tomorrow as I was before. I’m just going to come out and have fun for it.”
4:30 p.m. – The All-Stars finally get a morning to relax, then it’s off to the weekend’s main event. For Jordan, it’s a return to Smoothie King Center a night after participating in All-Star Saturday. Both were firsts for Jordan, who’s enjoying everything about his first All-Star selection.
5:20 p.m. – Before the game gets going, the participants go through an introduction rehearsal, then take their team photos.
6:10 p.m. – After getting dressed up in their uniforms (which, for Jordan, means putting on the Western Conference All-Star jersey for the first time), it’s on to the court for shootaround.
7 p.m. – All-Star introductions take place, and then it’s time for the real thing. Jordan checks in for the first time in the second quarter and finishes with six points and three rebounds in 13 minutes, with his only two misses coming on 3-point attempts. Jordan joked before the weekend about wanting to be in the 3-point contest to show off his shooting skills, but he at least got to take a couple shots behind the arc in the real game.
10:15 p.m. – Jordan goes through his final media availability of All-Star Weekend after the game, with his first comments mentioning those 3-point shots. “I’m really upset that I didn’t hit any of my 3s,” Jordan said. “The one in the first half I thought was going down. The second half, I thought I got fouled. But no, it was a great time, great experience. I’m happy that we won. We’ve got to work on our defense a little bit.”
The West won, 192-182, led by MVP Anthony Davis and his All-Star record 52 points in front of his home crowd. Soon, it’s back to Los Angeles for Jordan and getting some rest as the Clippers’ center prepares for the rest of the regular season. When he gets back on the court, it’ll be as an All-Star for the first time in his career.
“It was so much fun,” Jordan said. “I’ve always seen these things on TV but never had a chance to be a part of it and experience it in person. It was super cool.”