Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan Over Non-Trade
VIDEO OF THE DAY - DeAndre Jordan
HOOPSWORLD caught up with Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan at Team USA's minicamp in Las Vegas.Watch More Video Here
Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan is representing the franchise as part of the USA Basketball Men’s National Team, spending the week in Las Vegas for their minicamp. This is Jordan’s second stint with Team USA after a 2007 appearance in Serbia in the Under 19 World Championships.
This summer has already been a learning experience for Jordan after the Clippers attempted to trade their young center to the Boston Celtics for veteran Kevin Garnett.
NBA commissioner David Stern blocked the trade because of entanglements with the Clippers’ pursuit of Doc Rivers. Ultimately Rivers joined the Clippers, Garnett was dealt to the Brooklyn Nets and Jordan is still in L.A.
“Boston is cold, man,” Jordan said. “It’s not really something I’m concerned about. If you get traded, you get traded — it just means someone else wants you.”
The Celtics released Rivers from his contract with a first-round pick coming from the Clippers as compensation. As part of the agreement, Boston and Los Angeles cannot make any player transactions together until July of 2014, but it’s a moot point given Garnett’s departure to the Nets.
“At the end of the day, I’ll still be playing basketball — something I love to do,” Jordan said. “There’s no hard feelings or anything like that.”
It would appear Jordan will stick in Los Angeles, playing alongside Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and a deep Clippers’ roster.
“I know everybody who is on our roster is excited,” Jordan said. “Doc is ready to have a real practice with us.”
Last year was Jordan’s first season starting all 82 games, and he averaged 8.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in just 24.5 minutes.
Rivers has stressed to the media that he needs Jordan and Griffin to truly anchor the team’s defense.
“I don’t want to be Defensive Player of the Year just one time,” Jordan said of his goals. “I want it to be a multiple-award [year] for me but ultimately, you want to be playing in June and competing for a championship.”
Will Jordan’s 38.6 percent mark at the free-throw line get in the way moving forward?
The Clippers have added a lot of talent over the offseason including J.J. Redick, Darren Collison, Jared Dudley, Byron Mullens and rookie Reggie Bullock. Matt Barnes, Ryan Hollins and Paul all re-signed in early July.
If the team can stay healthy, with Rivers’ leadership, they could be a true contender in the Western Conference. The Clippers have been a playoff team for the last two years but suffered a setback in the first round with a loss to the Memphis Grizzlies
“I think the pain of last year and the year before that — it just builds motivation,” Jordan said. “We’re all veterans now. We’re ready.”