Thursday morning, just past 11:00 Pacific time, superstar point guard Chris Paul arrived at the Los Angeles Clippers practice facility, located in the Playa Vista neighborhood of West LA, four miles north of Los Angeles International Airport.
The scene was captured via the above ifollosports.com original video.
Exactly one week after the NBA vetoed a trade that would have sent Paul from the league owned New Orleans Hornets to the Los Angeles Lakers (three-team trade also involved the Houston Rockets), Paul has made his way to LA’s other franchise, in exchange for guard Eric Gordon, forward Al-Farouq Aminu, center Chris Kaman and a Minnesota Timberwolves 2012 first round draft choice. The Clippers acquired this pick in a 2005 trade that sent Marko Jaric to Minnesota in exchange for Sam Cassell.
Paul arrived at Clippers camp in a black Chevrolet Suburban, with a vanity plate that read STELR1, a reference to infamous Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
Optimism in and around the notoriously downtrodden Clippers sits at an all-time high, as the franchise is now able to pair Paul with defending Rookie of the Year, slam dunk champion and budding superstar Blake Griffin.
The same cannot be said for the NBA’s most glamorous franchise, whose base of operation is located a seven-mile drive south on The 405 freeway.
After the initial Paul deal collapsed, the 16-time world champion Lakers were left to deal with the bruised egos of bedrock players Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol. Gasol appears to have calmed down, but an inconsolable Odom was later traded to the defending champion Dallas Mavericks.
Take a look at video of a distraught Odom driving away from the Lakers’ El Segundo (CA) facility, the morning after the proposed transaction was reported in the media.
When combining Kobe Bryant and the Lakers’ never-ending soap opera storyline, with a suddenly upstart and exciting Clippers roster, NBA life in Los Angeles should be nothing less than interesting during the upcoming season.
Stay tuned to ifollosports.com for the latest behind the scenes news regarding these dual tenants of Staples Center, as well as the visiting clubs that will stop through LA to take on these highly intriguing basketball teams.