Since helping UCLA to three straight Final Fours, Darren Collison has embarked on what is turning into a bit of a journeyman’s career. He’s played for four teams in five seasons, and transitioned from being a starter in Indiana to a capable backup in Dallas and Los Angeles.
But even though he’ll be a free agent again this summer — opting out of $1.9 million — he insists he wants to stay in his hometown.
Collison talked a bit this week about his first season with the Clippers, the current state of UCLA basketball, as well as his basketball camp for middle schoolers starting June 23.
How did your first season with the Clippers go?
I think as far as the team, we expected to go deeper. We expected to win it all. That didn’t quite go well. It’s stuck with us even now. I think it’s going to be a motivating factor even now. we understood the road that we came from. we felt like we were right there.
My intention is to stick with the Clippers. They’re a good team. Good teams like San Antonio and Miami have stuck with the same core. I’d love to stay for three to four years, but there has to be a mutual agreement.
How does this summer of free agency for you compare to last year’s?
Last year, it was just putting myself in a position where I could find myself again as a player mentally. I’ve been through a lot. The previous season with Dallas, I still had a good season, but mentally I just felt like I needed to be a part of a team that was going to try to win it all. That was my intention. To try and be a part of a team that was going to win a championship.
This year, it’s pretty much the same thing. It’s just my value went up. I understand that. But I don’t want it to affect my decision with the Clippers. Continue reading