Los Angeles Clippers Have Leagues Top Locker Room
However, one aspect that can truly be overlooked heading into camp is the importance of a healthy locker room. With the veteran presence of Chauncey Billups, Grant Hill, Lamar Odom (mainly because he is back in his comfort zone) and Caron Butler, the Clippers youngsters (Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Eric Bledsoe) have the perfect mentors to guide them through the difficulties of a full 82-game schedule.
Billups is a former NBA Finals MVP. Odom has two championship rings. Butler and Hill have been well documented as great locker room guys. When teammates get along off the court and in the locker room, it is almost a foregone conclusion that the rapport generated will translate into a level of comfort on the court unparalleled.
Chris Paul is the unquestioned leader of this squad, but he is more than willing to defer to the older folk who have advanced to levels he has yet to reach. Chauncey has been a close friend and mentor of Paul's for quite some time and their relationship, especially into a second year together, will continue to take shape while those within the locker room follow suit.
Grant Hill, even at age 40, will be a nightly contributor on the court as much as off it. Most assumed he would take the opportunity to join Nash in LA with the Lakers, however, he spurned the more recognized brand name for the much-maligned Clipper franchise. If that doesn't scream "Times have changed," then nothing will.
Locker room presence has long been undervalued within the realm of traditional sports. However, great relationships amongst teammates and coaches breed inspired play on the court. The Clippers are poised for an even more successful year than last. LA is ready --> are you?