The Los Angeles Clippers are currently in China, getting ready to play the Miami Heat in two exhibition games. The first game will take place in Beijing on Thursday and then Sunday in Shanghai. However, this trip will be about more than just two preseason games against the defending NBA champions.
No matter what sport you play at any level, chemistry is usually always a key to success. Teams always need to find that special bond with each other, especially at the professional level with so many egos on a single team. The Clippers added seven new players to their roster this off-season, adding depth to an already competitive team. So what better way is there to mesh these new guys together then to travel 6,257 miles across the world and spend a week in China? There isn’t a better way.
This is where the players will get to know each other better than ever, away from home, away from all of their distractions. These guys can’t just go home to their families after practice, instead they will be going somewhere together as a team, whether it’s out to dinner or back to the hotel, every minute will be spent with teammates. The team already took a trip together to see the historic Great Wall of China, which looks like a long enough walk to bond for a lifetime.
These team bonding trips across the world have worked out before, looking back at the 2007-2008 Boston Celtics team. It all started in the summer when the Celtics traded for Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett. That team took a trip to Rome together during the same summer and ended up winning 66 regular season games and the 2007-2008 NBA championship. In just their first season that Celtics team came together and won the ultimate prize. It’s hard not to look back and think that the trip to Rome didn’t play a huge role that season. Players from that Celtics team today will tell you that the trip to Rome formed a bond between them that couldn’t be broken.
I’m not saying the Clippers trip to China will win them an NBA championship, but they should be able to form a special bond and who knows how far that bond might take them.
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