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2016 Los Angeles Clippers Gameday 1

THE VETS ARE HERE per game in 11.6 minutes per game last season with the Warriors. That came after averaging a career-high 10.4 points in 15.9 minutes per game two seasons ago. Speights said he feels there’s more to his game than everyone sees, and he thinks he’ll have an opportunity to show that with the Clippers. He also hopes his championship mentality after winning a title with the Warriors can help a Clippers team looking to get over the hump, and he’s excited about the looks he’ll get from the Clippers’ many capable passers, calling Chris Paul “the best passing point guard in the league.” “It’s going to be fun playing with these guys,” Speights said. “Can’t wait.” FEELING FAMILIAR Building relationships across the NBA becomes inevitable after 11 years in the league. That’s part of why Felton already knows he’ll feel comfortable in his new surroundings. “I’m excited to be here,” Felton said. “It’s been a lot of years of battling in the STAPLES Center versus the Clippers and listening to the fans here. Just excited to be on the right side of it. This is probably one of the most exciting teams in the NBA right now, so like I said, I’m happy to be a part of it, happy to be a part of the fan base here.” All of the Clippers’ free agent signings have suited up for multiple NBA teams. In Felton’s case, he’s played for five different teams in his career, including three seasons with the Knicks, two of which were under the helm of Clippers assistant coach Mike Woodson, who was the head coach in New York at the time. That just adds to the familiarity in his otherwise new surroundings. “He’s funny,” Felton said. “He’s going to say what he wants to say, but at the same time, he’s going to go to bat for you. He’s a great guy, a great father figure. I think all these coaches are, so just to be here and be around him again and be a part of Clipper Nation is going to be exciting.” On the players’ side, it’ll be a reunion with Jamal Crawford, as the two played together during the 2011-12 season in Portland. Crawford said Felton’s leadership will make an immediate impact, and he knows from that time together how good Felton is in any situation. After working primarily with the twos and threes in training camp, he took advantage of a start in the Clippers’ second preseason game, scoring 17 points in a win. “He can start; he can come off the bench,” Crawford explained. “He can play off the ball; he can play on the ball. He’s just a winner. You need guys like that in the locker room.” Beyond the level of familiarity Felton has with the Clippers, he also feels their pick-and-roll system fits him perfectly. And knowing how close his new team is to realizing its goals, Felton thought the fit made sense for him this summer. “I just know when I come in, I’m going to be comfortable,” Felton said. “Just understanding and knowing I’m going to be in a comfortable situation, and then on top of that, this is L.A., what can you complain about?” Felton arrives in Los Angeles after averaging 9.5 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game last year in Dallas, playing in 80 regular season matchups before thriving in the playoffs, starting in four of five games and averaging 15 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game. The veteran guard said as the years go by, winning becomes more and more important to a player. He wants that taste of the postseason, and he knows he can get it in his move to the Clippers. Now that he’s here, he’s cool with any role it takes to get there. “I’m going to bring it every night,” Felton said. “On both ends.” That also goes for Brandon Bass, who knows firsthand what it’s like to go deep in the playoffs while playing for Rivers, as he played for the coach in Boston when the Celtics went to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2011-12. That’s the closest Bass has gotten to a title. After reuniting with Chris Paul for the first time since their days together in New Orleans, where they were both drafted in 2005, he feels this is his next best chance. “I felt like Doc is the guy that you know can get this team to that next level, get a championship,” Bass said. “You know, it’s all about winning, willing to fill any role that it’ll take for the team to win.” SOMETHING SPECIAL For Anderson – who, like Felton and Bass – has been in the league since 2005, this year’s also about moving forward in a new environment. Raymond Felton Brice Johnson Diamond Stone From going undrafted, to getting a taste of the NBA before bouncing around the D-League and Europe, to eventually becoming a mainstay back in the league in 2012, Anderson’s gone just about everything a player can in the league. But little could prepare him for last year with the Wizards, when ankle and hamstring issues limited the forward, who had played at least 65 games each of the previous three seasons, to just 13 games. “Last season was real tough, because I’d never been hurt like that before,” Anderson said. “I’ve always played at least 50-plus games, so it was difficult for me. But you go through everything, you go through things to get through things. It was tough, but I’m just happy to be through it, be done with it, move on from it, learn from it.” And he’ll get to do all of that now with the Clippers, signing with the team who was after him from the start. Anderson knew the Clippers were interested once free agency began, but there was plenty of unknown at the time regarding the cap situation. No matter which players returned to the Clippers and which newcomers agreed to deals, they wouldn’t be able to afford much, and at the time he wasn’t thinking about a minimum deal. But last year’s health issues worried some teams, though he insists he’s over those problems after a frustrating year that limited him to five points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game. Following ankle surgery, Anderson didn’t play his first game with the Wizards until Feb. 24. The 6-6 wing, who holds career averages of 7.8 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game, was brought in to Washington to help replace Paul Pierce. Now, the veteran forward has a chance to get past that trying season as a teammate of Pierce’s. “I turned down a lot of offers because they weren’t the best fit for me,” Anderson said. “The Clippers were actually the strongest team from Day 1…They were the most loyal, the most consistent, and I just feel more comfortable with these guys.” The talent on the team doesn’t hurt, either. “I see something special,” Anderson said, “and I just want to be a part of it.” 52 | CLIPPERS GAMETIME MAGAZINE


2016 Los Angeles Clippers Gameday 1
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