Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers confessed that his approach to training camp is to “take a group of guys and turn them into a team.” After a long NBA season, players clean out their lockers and go back to the business of being fathers, husbands, and your not-so-average everyday citizens.
Of course, each player leaves their respective facility with a common goal in mind for the upcoming season, but as the weeks pass, the responsibilities and influences of family and friends brings into perspective the conflict between the man and the the basketball player.
The offseason is also an opportunity for individuals to develop aspects of their game that will make them better players. Many in the league work with personal trainers, competing against the rest of the league behind closed doors. By summer’s end, the common goal of the team turns into individual stats and contracts. Training camp is the offseason reminder that basketball is a team sport, regardless of highlights and commercials that endorse the name on the back of the jersey.
This season, the Clippers’ new head coach moved the team to their old stomping grounds. Rivers is running training camp in San Diego, the original home of the Clippers organization. Moving the team away from their northern influences is not just an attempt by Rivers to nurture a family atmosphere among his players, it allows last year’s Clippers to familiarize themselves with a new coach and the many offseason acquisitions made this past summer — in a city that they can call their own.
ChristopherBrown is an NBA writer for RantSports.com Follow him on Twitter @whatrockschris. Like him on Facebook.