Good people -- let it never be said that Clipperblog doesn't have its sources.  Friend of Clipperblog, Luke, files this report from Staples:

So I happened to be inside the Clippers locker room last night after they beat the Trailblazers (I'm doing a little story about them for my day job). Anyway, standing around with these immensely tall, immensely naked dudes, I was struck by something...

The Clippers players like each other more than ANY members of any pro sports team I have ever seen. I mean, I was in the locker room with the Steelers after they won the Superbowl this year, and they didn't like each other this much.

I'm not saying this means the Clippers are going to the finals or anything... but it has to mean something.

Things that jumped out:

  • Cuttino Mobley refuses to address Daniel Ewing by his real name... instead he calls him Patrick Ewing. All the time. This seems to crack Sam Cassell up.
  • Ewing and Livingston are clearly the young kids of the team, cause they stick together and try to crack jokes about how old Cat and Cassell are. Livingston insists that Cassell has been shrinking over his 56 year career. Cassell has no discernable ego... this is a major departure from most NBA athletes. Also, unlike most NBA athletes I've been around, Cassell says 'excuse me' to reporters when he bumps into them on the way to the shower.
  • Apparently deodorant is really pricey these days... because Ewing, Livingston, and Radmanovic were all sharing THE SAME can of spray. And weirdly enough it was a baby blue can of Sure. Isn't that for girls?
  • If you think Chris Kaman looks goofy out on the court, wait'll you see him standing naked but for a tiny tiny towel. Even so, you get the idea that he'd be the first to point out how silly he looks.... and so it's okay. He and Cassell seem to really get along, constantly yelling stuff to each other across the locker room for no reason.
  • Mike Dunleavy also says 'excuse me' to reporters, even when they are blocking the door to his office and really shouldn't be there.
  • Vlad Radmanovic is a very stylish guy, but for some reason like to wear like these snakeskin dress-shoes that have heels. This makes him about 8'8 standing there. He's also very pleasant to be around.
  • Say what you want about Vin Baker (and I have as a Sonic fan)... but the dude is trim. He lost like a whole Nate Robinson at some point. He attributes this to "chicken and fish man... chicken and fish... and don't eat big meals late at night". Words to live by.

Again, I can't overstate this... I have been around hundreds of pro athletes in my time as a reporter... and I'd say probably about 14 of them (total) seemed like remotely decent human beings... every single Clipper I spoke with or observed last night was nice, polite, jokey, posed for pictures with kids, signed autographs, said 'thank you' when people complimented them... They basically renewed my faith in pro athletes... A faith that will likely be dashed in a couple of weeks when I go to SF to do a story on Barry Bonds.