Clippers tickets….

The Clippers, like many teams around the NBA in this down economy, have had to get a bit more creative in the packaging of their tickets these days. What does that mean for the average fan?

Seats to some of the best games left on the home schedule and autographs from some of the players …

The packages include the Clippers’ contests vs. the Lakers on January 21, the Boston Celtics on February 25, the Cleveland Cavaliers on March 10 and the Portland Trail Blazers on April 11.

RISING STAR HOLIDAY PACKAGE – $250
Two tickets in the upper level corners for each game.
A private autograph session with rookies DeAndre Jordan and Mike Taylor.

STARTING LINEUP HOLIDAY PACKAGE – $400
Two tickets in the upper level center for each game.
A private autograph session with the choice of two (2) of the following players:

Marcus Camby, Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman, Zach Randolph and Al Thornton.

SILVER ANNIVERSARY HOLIDAY PACKAGE – $800
Two lower level seats in the end zone for each game.
A Limited Edition 25th Year Anniversary Official Cap, woven in black and autographed in silver by Clippers guard Baron Davis.
A private autograph session with your choice of three (3) of the following players:

Marcus Camby, Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman, Zach Randolph and Al Thornton.

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Mobley officially retires

Former Clipper Cuttino Mobley announced his retirement Thursday afternoon at a press conference in New York after being diagnosed with the potentially fatal heart condition hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. He, and the four clubs he’d previously played for, had believed his heart condition was merely a benign condition called an enlarged heart, also known as an athletic heart. But a recent series of tests following his trade from the Clippers to the Knicks on November 21 revealed the more serious condition.

It’s not known if his previous condition had worsened since his September physical with the Clippers, or if the more serious condition had gone undetected in the past.

According to the New York Times:

Mobley made his decision after visiting three highly regarded medical specialists, including Dr. Barry J. Maron, a leading expert on HCM who is based in Minneapolis. Mobley had been aware that he had an enlarged heart, also referred to as an athletic heart, which can be a benign condition.

“The specialists I’ve seen made it clear that my heart condition has gotten worse, and I couldn’t continue to play professional basketball without putting my health and life in serious danger,” Mobley said in an afternoon news conference at the Knicks’ training center here. “As much as I want to keep playing in the N.B.A., I have no choice but to follow the advice of my doctors and step away from the league.”

Mobley’s most recent physical examination with the Clippers, in September, showed he had an irregular heartbeat, an indication of his enlarged heart. But the Knicks’ director of player care, Dr. Lisa Callahan, was concerned by what she saw in Mobley’s test results here and ordered a magnetic resonance imaging test.

“Getting the M.R.I. basically saved my life,” Mobley said.

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Mobley to retire?

According to several reports out of New York, and the Associated Press, it’s looking like Cuttino Mobley could retire as soon as today.

It’s a rather shocking turn of events, and final footnote to the Zach Randolph trade. But it sounds as if this trade could indeed have saved Mobley’s life.

I don’t believe that the Knicks are pushing Mobley to do this, though I’m not close enough to them to know for sure.

From what I understand, the Knicks had the option to just dump Mobley and allow him to return to the Clippers, as Antonio McDyess did recently with the Pistons, and chose not to. In other words, they did want him so there’d be no reason to force him to retire just to clear a roster spot.

We should have more information on Thursday. Mobley has not publicly spoken about his heart condition since the trade. But this was obviously an agonizing decision for him.

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Baron Davis featured in this week’s Sports Illustrated

In this week’s Sports Illustrated, L. Jon Wertheim writes on Baron Davis’s use of the NBA as a platform to work as a social activist, movie producer and entrepreneur.

Wertheim writes: “When you’ve been involved in a successful presidential campaign, produced an Oscar-worthy documentary and include among your goals for 2009 brokering a truce among Bloods, Crips and Latino gangs, it’s easy to see how tossing a ball into a basket against, say, the Milwaukee Bucks could seem somewhat trifling. And while Davis won’t cop to it, there is a sense in some corners that his extracurricular activities have exacted a price on his basketball.”

Says Davis: “Basketball saved my life, it really did. I owe everything to this game. I could never be one of those players who signs a big contract and then doesn’t want to play. People look at all the things I have going on and say it’s a distraction. But, you know, they’re hobbies. Basketball is my stage, and the failing just makes you hungrier.”

It’s on page 48, if you’re curious to read more…

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Flagrant Fouls

Just got word from the league office that both flagrant fouls from last night’s game have been reviewed –as all flagrant fouls are — and there will be no further punishment to the players involved.

Zach Randolph was assessed a flagrant foul for his hard foul on Orlando center Dwight Howard. Orlando’s Brian Cook was assessed a flagrant foul for his hard foul on Clippers guard Baron Davis.

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Clippers president Andy Roeser speaks on Dunleavy’s status

The loss to the lowly Clippers on Saturday proved to be the final blow in the case against Minnesota coach Randy Wittman, who was summarily fired on Monday.

Almost as quickly, questions about which NBA coach would be next to be dismissed found a focus on Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy, who saw his team fall to a dreadful 4-17 with a 95-88 loss to Orlando Monday night at Staples Center.

But before anything began swirling, or spinning, Clippers president Andy Roeser put a sharp end to that discussion, publicly affirming Dunleavy’s standing with the club.

“It’s always darkest before the dawn,” Roeser said after the loss on Monday night. “We like our players and as hard as it is to say, we just need to be a little patient until it all comes together.”

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Kaman will miss more time

It looks like the Clippers will have to wait a little longer to see how their new frontline of Chris Kaman, Marcus Camby and Zach Randolph will be able to play together.

Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said Monday that Kaman will be out longer than the team had first expected, possibly a few more weeks in addition to the two weeks he’s already missed with a strained left arch.

“It seems like it’s going to be a little slower,” Dunleavy said. “Basically what it is, is you have a partially torn tendon in your foot. It shows up on the MRI, you see the healing process and when it’s all healed he’ll be ready to go.”

Dunleavy had initially hoped Kaman might be ready for Monday’s game against Orlando. Then that was pushed back to Friday’s game in Portland. Now he’s not even putting a timetable on it.

Kaman saw another doctor on Sunday and determined the foot was taking longer to heal than expected.

“Hopefully in a couple more weeks I’ll start playing,” Kaman said. “I don’t really know when. I just want to keep doing my rehab and staying on top of everything. It’s still a little sore, but it’s better than it was.

“I’d been testing it a little bit and it wasn’t where it needed to be. I’m going to wait until it heals and I’m not going to come back any sooner because I don’t want it to linger the rest of the year.”

Kaman has been out since November 26th.

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We’re back … and trying something new

Hey,

Sorry to have been away a few days. I don’t travel with the Clippers on the road so there isn’t as much new content to bring you.

I was thinking this might be a new cool feature for the blog. Stole the idea from Brian Dohn over at our UCLA blog

Anyway, I’m going to be hosting live in-game chats during all games now. I’ll be on most of the time, but when I’m up against it on deadline I’ll have to duck out. But this is mostly for you guys, so let’s see how much interest there is, starting with tonight.


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Cuttino Mobley update

It is still too early to call which way this thing is going to go, but the latest reports out of New York confirm what I’d begun to suspect: that Cuttino Mobley’s heart condition — which briefly held up the Zach Randolph trade — is a lot more serious than previously believed.

The trade, in effect, might have been the best thing for Mobley if the condition he has, believed to be an enlarged heart, has actually worsened since his last physical with the Clippers before training camp began this September.

Because of their experience with Eddy Curry the Knicks are among the most cautious and knowledgeable teams in these matters in the NBA. At first, I like many others in the league, assumed they were just being cautious with Mobley as well. Especially when they tried to get some extra compensation from the Clippers during the 24-hour delay.

But since that time, Mobley has been seeing specialists all around the country trying to determine if it’s safe for him to continue his career.

Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy and many of the guys on the team have been sending Mobley text messages throughout the process, just checking in on him.

So far, nobody, not even Mobley, knows what the end result will be or whether Mobley will be able to continue his career.

“He’s just trying to see what’s the best for him health-wise,” teammate and former Clipper Tim Thomas told the New York Times. “I told him, ‘Your health is more important than anything else.’ He played 11 years, made some good money. If he’s not able to play, it’s just time to invest and move on.”

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Are the Warriors already regretting signing Maggette?

Interesting article by Chris Mannix over at SI.com

Five games, five Golden State losses and a more than 2:1 turnover-to-assist ratio. Maggette’s selfish play hasn’t gone unnoticed by other players. According to sources, after the final buzzer against Boston, Celtics forward Kevin Garnett turned to Maggette and shouted, “Way to get your numbers.”
“He just puts his head down and goes to the basket,” an Eastern Conference scout said. “He doesn’t even look to pass.”
Word from team sources is that the Warriors are already regretting signing Maggette to a five-year, $50 million deal last offseason. When Monta Ellis returns to the lineup early next year, Golden State will have to figure out how to spread the wealth among three players (Ellis, Jamal Crawford and Maggette) who aren’t very good at spreading it.

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