As the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers get ready to face off at the Staples Center on Monday in NBA preseason action, the media surge continues to build around this surprising and formidable new Clippers team.
The additions in the past week of stars Chauncey Billups and superstar Chris Paul have suddenly turned the team into a contender. Without a single minute of gameplay having been recorded outside of team practices, many pundits are now proclaiming the Clippers to be the powerhouse team of Los Angeles.
According to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, the resident homegrown superstar of the Clippers, Blake Griffin, is excited about his new teammates and eager to learn all he can from them.
"Those two are going to make it easier on me not only on the court but off the court as well," Griffin said. "Teaching me things they've learned over the past 800 years or however long they've played."
The difference that the new additions will make on Griffin and the other young players on the Clippers is impossible to ignore.
"They're competitive. They've won. They're tough. They know what it's like," Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said of the impact Billups and Paul have already had on Griffin.
A couple of weeks ago, Monday's exhibition game might have drawn interest from Lakers fans and casual fans interested to see what sort of highlight reel moves Griffin would display. Now it has turned into something else entirely. Many NBA fans will be paying attention to this one to see whether the new Clippers will present themselves as a dominating team straight out of the box, or something else entirely.