Mailbag: Jeff Ayres Named D-League All-Star
LOS ANGELES – Jeff Ayres found out the good news from his D-League trainer Friday afternoon.
Ayres, who’s currently playing on a 10-day contract with the Clippers, was one of eight current NBA players to be named to the D-League All-Star Team after averaging 16.3 points and 9.5 rebounds per game in 23 games with the Idaho Stampede this year.
He said when his trainer gave him the congratulations, at first Ayres didn’t know what he was talking about.
“He said he got an email and it said it on there, so he sent me a screenshot,” said Ayres, who was excited about the news. “I was like, ‘Oh dang!’”
The 2016 NBA D-League All-Stars were selected by a vote of the league’s 19 head coaches, and players were eligible to be selected if they competed in at least half of their team’s games through Jan. 24. They must be on an active D-League roster at the time of the game to compete, and if they’re not, the league will replace any ineligible players before the game.
Ayres said he was joking with a couple of his D-League teammates about the possibility a couple weeks ago, but it never actually crossed his mind, though if he has it his way, he’ll still be with the Clippers when the game occurs.
“When I read (the news) today, it said that you have to be on a D-League roster at the time of the game, when the game comes,” Ayres said. “If I sign my second 10-day right after this one, I won’t be able to go.”
That’s still news Ayres is waiting on. In the meantime, Ayres answered Clippers fans’ questions in this week’s edition of the mailbag, which were submitted on Facebook and Twitter using “#LACmailbag” after the question.
(Note: Questions may be edited for grammar, brevity or clarity.)
Alfredo Lopez: Without the minutes, what can you bring to this solid Clippers team that can get you a long-term contract? #LACmailbag
JA – “I feel like the best thing is to be a great teammate. Don’t be a nuisance, for sure. Don’t make it seem like the world’s over because you’re not playing. Figure out how you can do something. Ask how you can get in the game, or if it’s still out of your hands, what else can you do? Talk to guys during a timeout, if you see something they messed up on or they didn’t see that I saw or advice on a play, whatever you can do, be the first one out the timeout. If a guy starts getting irritated, calm some dudes down; if guys aren’t playing up, hype them up and pick them up. There’s all kinds of things you can do that don’t have to be about getting rebounds or putting the ball in the hole.”
Ethan Holden: What was it like joining a new team? #LACmailbag
JA – “It’s a little scary and intimidating at first, especially coming onto a team that has a lot of big names, big guys on this team. To come in there and be the new guy, it’s a little intimidating at first. But, while I don’t have personal relationships with everybody, I know everybody and everybody kind of knows me. I know Lance (Stephenson), have some familiarity with Lance (from Indiana), and these guys were really welcoming. When I met them in Toronto, nobody was like, ‘Who’s the new guy?’ Everybody was like, ‘What’s up, Jeff, welcome to the team.’ Doc (Rivers) was the same way. For me, that was really cool. It made the transition a lot easier.”
ClippersB23 (@ClippersB23): I know No. 11 was taken, but what made you choose No. 19? It reminds me of one of my favorite Clippers ever, Sam Cassell. #LACmailbag
JA – “That’s my daughter’s birthday, May 19. She’s a little over 2 ½. I have two kids, also an 18-month old son, who was born May 12.”
Andres (@OnDreeezy): How can you make this team better? #LACmailbag
JA – “I can bring definitely a hard work ethic, championship mentality, a little bit of experience. Guys like Paul (Pierce) and Doc, they know what it takes to win, and I can bring that mentality and mindset to the team; be vocal; be a leader. I’m not like a young guy anymore, so I can speak my mind, whatever I see in a game, the locker room, wherever, just try to make an impact however I can on the team. It doesn’t always have to be in the game.”
Austin Dail (@Dail13A): What’s it like to learn from DeAndre Jordan and the guys around you? #LACmailbag
JA – “Guys have been helping me a little bit on picking up plays. For the most part, it’s just been awesome to learn everybody. It’s so different when you play against everybody and all you know is their moves they like to do during a game and their tendencies. When you get to come and see everybody’s personalities and how everybody interacts with each other, you see a different level of the team than you do looking outside in as an opponent. It’s been awesome just to learn how everybody is. It’s been fun.”