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Saturday , Mar , 24 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Vinny Del Negro: I haven’t lost the Clippers

Expecting to go deep in the playoffs, the Clippers have lost eight of the past 12 games. An ESPN report before the game, citing an unnamed source, stated that Coach Vinny Del Negro had lost the team, but he refuted the report.

“When you are losing games everyone jumps on you,’’ Del Negro said. “If you can’t take the heat, you shouldn’t do the job. You have to win games and that’s what you are measured on. Players are frustrated and I’m frustrated. You are going to get knocked down sometimes, but you have to keep getting up.’’

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The players say they support Vinny Del Negro. And Vinny Del Negro says the players support him.

Here's the question: do you believe the Los Angeles Clippers?

It’s hard to take the Clipper players and coach seriously when they sit at fifth in the Western Conference with a 26-21 record.

Typically, five games over the Mendoza line and a potential playoff birth would make Clipper-nation weep with joy and have the NBA wondering if the league is in bizarro mode.

These aren’t those Clippers, the losers of years past. They have an inside-outside punch in Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, while the supporting cast has a primo talent in DeAndre Jordan and plenty of athletes.

Yet, the Clippers have underperformed and aren't the best team to call Staples Center home. Another run of poor games - they’ve won four of ten - and the Clippers would likely miss the playoffs because the Western Conference is so competitive.

So Del Negro is feeling the heat. Expectations, after all, were sky high when the Clippers acquired Paul in December.

Now coach and player must perform. Talk is cheap in the NBA.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Monday , Mar , 05 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Heat interested in Back-Up Big Man?

There’s a reason the Heat have continued to look to add a veteran big man to their roster. They attempted to sign both Kenyon Martin and Joel Przybilla but weren’t able to do so. A radio station in Miami reported the team worked out Rasheed Wallace last week. According to league executives, the Heat have been calling around to gauge demand for reserve big men as the trade deadline approaches.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Will the rich, the Miami Heat, get richer?

Reports indicate the reigning Eastern Conference champions are on the prowl for a reserve post. Chris Bosh is out the line-up and the Heat lost free agents Kenyon Martin and Joel Przybilla to the Clippers and Blazers.

Another big body would allow Bosh to man the more familiar high-post when he returns, while providing depth for an extended playoff run.

After all, the Heat will face a plethora of bigs come May and June during the NBA’s second-season. The question is who can they get before the quickly approaching trade deadline.  

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

 

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Monday , Mar , 05 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Baron Davis ‘stopped liking basketball’ with Clippers

And the other lowest point is when I played for the Clippers. … I just stopped liking basketball. And then you dribbling down the court and having the owner like cuss at you and call you an idiot. I didn’t even look forward to coming to the games, and if the owner [Donald Sterling] came to the game, I definitely was not gonna have a good game because it was just like, how do you play when the main heckler in the gym is the owner of the team, and he’s telling you how much he hates you and calling out your name?

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: I have little sympathy for Baron Davis, the talented but temperamental point guard for the New York Knicks.

After all, Davis had a choice, and choose the Los Angeles Clippers because they offered the most money - signing a five-year, $65 million pact as a free agent.

And Davis, being a Los Angeles native, knew the deal. He knew the Clippers were a second-rate outfit with owner Donald Sterling and a curse Cub fans can relate to.

Yet Davis took the money -and ran. He never tried to transcend his situation, showing up out-of-shape and feuding with coaches. In fact, Davis seemed more interested in pursuing a career in show biz producing movies than helping the Clippers.

Instead of blaming others, Davis should focus on salvaging the remains of his career.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

 

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Sunday , Mar , 04 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Ray Allen to Clippers?

Yet for all the talk of Boston point guard Rajon Rondo possibly being traded, some league executives have shooting guard and free-agent-to-be Ray Allen pegged as the most likely to be moved. Sources say the Clippers are interested, having lost Chauncey Billups to season-ending injury and lost out to New York in the J.R. Smith sweepstakes.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: This seems more logical.

Rumors have been swirling that the Boston Celtics are looking to trade Rajon Rondo, even though the young table-setter is an All-Star.

It would make sense to rebuild around Rondo and move The Big Three to contenders for a package of draft picks, expiring contracts, and young talent.

Ray Allen, even at 36 years of age, would be the first to go. After all, he’s still in demand because he can spread the floor with his outstanding range.

While GM Danny Ainge can’t trade Celtic-fixture Paul Pierce and probably wants to let Kevin Garnett’s $20 million per season contract come off the books.

So Allen would appear the most likely candidate to change teams come trade deadline, with the veteran being linked to the Los Angeles Clippers.

Of course, appearances can deceive.

Rondo, for all his gifts, is reportedly a handful. He’s been called stubborn, emotional, and difficult by teammates, coaches, and media.

Perhaps logic won’t matter and the Celtics will move Rondo.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Sunday , Mar , 04 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Chris Kaman on Potential Trades: ‘I don’t care’

With the NBA trade deadline looming in 11 days, the Hornets remain open to trading veteran center Chris Kaman, according to league sources. But Kaman said he doesn’t care what the Hornets may decide to do before the trade deadline.“I dont care what they do,’’ Kaman said. “So if they want to trade me, trade me. If they want to keep me, keep me. I don’t care, but not in a disrespectful way. I just know I can’t control that part of it, so it something I don’t care about.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Chris Kaman isn’t at fault for this. Commissioner David Stern and the 30 owners he represents are.

Remember, Kaman came to the Hornets from the Clippers in the Chris Paul trade. The Hornets, who are owned by the NBA, had to accept an inferior package from the Clippers after Stern vetoed a blockbuster swap involving the Lakers and Rockets.

Stern nixed Paul joining the Lakers because he was concerned about the optics of a glamour team getting a superstar days after ushering in a supposedly more equitable Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Instead of getting a package of Luis Scola, Kevin Martin, Lamar Odom, Goran Dragic, and a first round draft pick, the Hornets accepted Kaman, Eric Gordon, and other pieces.

All for optics.

Gordon has been injured. And Kaman, who struggled behind Emeka Okafor, was told earlier in the year by management to go home and wait for a trade. He recently returned when a trade couldn’t be found.

The bright side to this saga: Kaman’s $14 million per year contract expires at the end of the regular season.

So, the Hornets will get cap space if a deal can’t be found.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Sunday , Feb , 19 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Video: Chris Paul’s error leads to Spurs beating Clippers in OT

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Not a good look.

Chris Paul's late turnover allowed San Antonio guard Gary Neal to hit a game-tying three-pointer that sent the Clippers-Spurs game into overtime.

The Spurs won in extra time, and Paul described the play as the worst of his career. Watch the video and tell us thoughts in the comment box below.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below. 

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Wednesday , Feb , 08 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Still Cursed: Clippers lose Chauncey Billups for season with torn Achilles Tendon

Clippers guard Chauncey Billups suffered a left Achilles' tendon injury Monday night, and there were concerns within the team it could be ruptured, which would end his season. "It felt like somebody kicked me, man," Billups said after the game as he made his way to the team bus with crutches under both arms and a walking boot on his foot. "I don't know if it's torn, but I know it's not good."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The curse of the Clippers isn’t dead.

After years of being the league-laughingstock, Los Angeles’ ‘other team’ appeared to have finally turned the corner and become relevant.

Of course, they have superstar Blake Griffin and fellow high-flyer DeAndre Jordan. This summer, the Clippers took a major step forward with the signing of Caron Butler and acquisition of Chris Paul, though.

The transaction that symbolized the club’s growth was claiming All-Star, Finals MVP, and NBA ‘OG’ Chauncey Billups off waivers from the Knicks through the CBA’s amnesty clause. 

Billups brought instant credibility, and his injury will hurt on-and-off court. After all, Mr. Big Shot is a play off vet’ and his resume commands respect from teammates.

Sadly, Billups is likely out for the season. And just when it seemed that the Clippers had taken a massive step forward, they have an unfortunate setback.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Tuesday , Feb , 07 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Should Clippers gamble on J.R. Smith?

The Clippers aren't getting enough production off the bench behind small forward Caron Butler and feel as if Smith can provide the team with a big scoring punch at the position, the person said.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It sounds like a fit.

The Los Angeles Clippers need bench scoring behind starting small forward Caron Butler, and J.R. Smith, because he played in China during the lockout, will soon become a free agent.

The Clippers can offer Smith a pro-rated portion of their mini-mid level exception for a few months work.

Sounds good, right?

Well, not so fast. The Clippers must be careful about adding too many large personalities to their club.

After all, they just signed temperamental power forward Kenyon Martin. Now they’re after Smith, who spent years feuding with Denver Nuggets coach George Karl.

Sure, former Nugget Chauncey Billups is with the Clippers. And he‘ll have some influence over Martin and Smith, if he signs.

However, trouble follows the talented Smith wherever he goes, so the Clippers may want to consider other options.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Friday , Feb , 03 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Blake Griffin: ‘Dunk Contests aren’t my thing’

"As of right now I don't plan on being in it," Griffin said Thursday night. "Those dunk contests aren't my thing, I said that last year. There's a lot of guys that can put on a great show and do some good stuff."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It doesn’t matter if it is or isn’t Blake Griffin’s thing.

Right now, the NBA needs Griffin. He, and Lob City, are appointment television, which brings back the casual fans, who has tuned out the league -especially after the lockout.

So Griffin needs to take part in the 2012 Slam Dunk Contest. He needs to defend his title, and put the greater good of the NBA first.

One of the more powerful and enjoyable images of the 2011 season was Griffin leaping a KIA and announcing to the world that he’s basketball’s newest superstar.

Fans, and those who hate the NBA, will tune in just to see him take part in the 2012 Slam Dunk Contest. That’s how powerful he is, and it could be another iconic moment.

Precedence isn’t on Griffin’s side, either. Michael Jordan, arguably the greatest player of all time, gladly took part twice in the Slam Dunk Contest.

So should Griffin. Targeted

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Wednesday , Feb , 01 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

LeBron on John Lucas III or Blake Griffin on Kendrick Perkins?

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Anything LeBron James can do Blake Griffin can do better, right?

During Sunday‘s clash between the Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls, James hurdled John Lucas III on a backdoor alley-oop that left fans in awe.

The highlights were just starting, though.

Just one day later, Griffin left Staples Center speechless with his poster-job on Oklahoma City Thunder post Kendrick Perkins.

So, which dunk is play of the year? LeBron making like Vince Carter on that French dude at the Sydney Olympics or Griffin giving Perkins the ‘Mozgov’ treatment?

Watch both videos and get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.


 

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Monday , Jan , 30 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Chauncey Billups on Kenyon Martin: ‘He’s a Winner’

"He's very valuable," Billups said of Martin. "Of course, he comes from winning stock. He's been to the NBA Finals twice. He has great ability. He is a leader. One thing I know about Kenyon, he's a winner. He'll do whatever it takes to win. He's one of the great one-on-one defensive players for a big man I've played with. And, contrary to what everybody believes, he's a really good dude."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Kenyon Martin is in demand.

Carmelo Anthony recently revealed he wanted the New York Knicks to sign free agent Martin, a valuable forward with the Denver Nuggets and New Jersey Nets.

Today, Chauncey Billups publicly supported the idea of the Los Angeles Clippers inking Martin to a deal with one of their available exceptions. Mr. Big Shot thinks K-Mart would bring depth, defense, and intensity to an improving Clipper squad.

Of course, Anthony and Billups will wait for any decision from Martin.

The former first overall pick isn’t eligible to join an NBA team for two more months because he signed with a Chinese club during the lockout.

So the count is on. And Martin has his suitors.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Saturday , Jan , 21 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Video: Kevin Love beats Blake Griffin’s Clippers with game-winning three

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Kevin Love continues to show Minnesota's front office he deserves a max' extension.

Consider last night: Love hit a last-second three-pointer to beat the upstart Los Angeles Clippers. Click the video below, watch Love's heroics, and get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below. 

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Wednesday , Jan , 18 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Dwight Howard to Clippers?

SheridanHoops.com learned exclusively Monday that Howard recently expanded his list of preferred future destinations, adding the Clippers to a list that already included the Nets, the Mavericks and the Lakers. “He’s been watching them a lot. He’s intrigued by the Clippers,” said the source, who is privy to the trade talks that have taken place between all of the aforementioned teams.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Times have changed.

It wasn't long ago the Los Angeles Clippers weren't in the running for anything except the first pick at the draft much less a superstar center like Dwight Howard.

After all, the Clippers were a laughingstock. Their owner wanted luxury tax rebate cheques, not wins. They drafted Benoit Benjamin, Danny Ferry, and Michael Olowakandi. Worst of all, they played in the shadow of the league's glamour team, the Los Angeles Lakers.

Sure, there were moments. A few years back, Sam Cassell and Elton Brand pushed the Phoenix Suns to seven games in the Western Conference Semi-finals.

The Clippers have mostly been a disaster.

Everything changed with Blake Griffin. 'Lob Angeles' is must-see television, and people listen when reports link Los Angeles' newest darling to Howard.

But it won't happen. The Magic will want Griffin in return for Howard. The 2011 Slam Dunk Champion is untouchable, as he's made the Clippers trendy, glamorous, and relevant.

Instead, the Magic may ask for newly acquired Chris Paul. Forget that the Clippers paid a pretty-penny for the point guard. And forget that both sides agreed to work together for two seasons.

Paul would likely refuse to sign a long-term extension with the Magic, and simply opt-out at season's end and become a free agent.

Sure, times have changed. The Clippers are a destination-team. Still, they lack the parts to trade for Howard and become his next destination.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Sunday , Jan , 08 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Kevin Love: I ‘believe’ I’m better than Blake Griffin and Dirk Nowitzki

I believe I'm the best '4' in the league. I think you have to believe that you're the best. I think Mohammad Ali even said, 'I was the greatest before I knew I was.' I think everybody needs to have that mindset. That's part of winning the mind game from the very start. You have to believe it. You have to hold yourself accountable.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Kevin Love, not yet.

Yes, Love collects double-doubles for the upstart Minnesota Timberwolves like a teenager collects friends on facebook.

Yes, Love is an emerging All-Star and superstar with a personality ESPN and companies love.

And yes, Love’s play and personality may be the biggest reason the Timberwolves transition from oddball outpost to relevant NBA franchise. (Of course, this depends on Love signing a long-term extension to stay in The Twin Cities.)

Right now: Dirk Nowitzki, not Kevin Love, is the world’s best power forward.

After all, Nowitzki is a former MVP, perennial All-Star, and led his Dallas Mavericks to the 2011 NBA championship.

Don’t forget about Blake Griffin, the dynamic four-man who has made the Los Angeles Clippers competitive, relevant, and must-see television.

However, Love deserves credit for believing he’s the best, as such a mindset will help him grow, improve, and maybe one day become the NBA’s permier power forward.

Just not now.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Sunday , Jan , 08 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Video: Blake Griffin’s massive facial on Ersan Ilyasova

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Just another day in the office for Blake Griffin, the highlight producing power forward for the Los Angeles Clippers.

Last night Griffin dunked with ferocity on Ersan Ilyasova, and his Clippers cruised to victory over the beaten up Milwaukee Bucks. Watch the video below and get at us with thoughts in the comment box below.

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Saturday , Jan , 07 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Chris Paul to Jimmy Kimmel: I wasn’t mad about joining the Clippers

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It wasn’t as crazy as Ron Artest or Johnny Drama’s appearance on Jimmy Kimmel, but Chris Paul’s chat with the late night host is worth watching.

The star point guard discusses the Clippers, the nixed trade to the Lakers, and life off the court, so click the video and enjoy.


Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Monday , Jan , 02 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Video: Is Mo Williams or Chauncey Billups starting for Clippers?

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s a new day in Clipper-land, however, there’s still the occasional sign of dysfunction and incompetence.

Take last night. The Clips PA announcer got the starting line-up wrong, mixing up Mo Williams with Chauncey Billups.

The mistake was understandable. After all, Los Angeles' newest glamour squad has made major changes and Billups was a last minute scratch.

Credit Williams, a good team guy, for laughing off the mix-up like a true professional.

Watch the video and get at us with thoughts on the happenings in Clipper-land in the comment box below. 

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Friday , Dec , 23 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Matt Barnes to Blake Griffin and Clippers: act like you’ve dunked before

“It’s a preseason game,’ Barnes said after Thursday’s practice at the Lakers’ facility in El Segundo. ‘Yeah, they’re catching lobs and dunking. But it’s just a preseason game. Let’s just play basketball. If you make a dunk, act like you’ve done it before. He’s got hundreds of them. There’s no need for the hoorah after every single dunk. It’s unnecessary.’

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Los Angeles’ two NBA teams, the Clippers and Lakers, don’t care for each other. Not one bit.

After all, Los Angeles was always a Laker town. They had The Logo, Wilt the Stilt, Kareem, Magic, Big Game James, Shaq-Fu, Kobe Bean, Andrew Bynum, and others.

While the Clippers could never attract or keep top talent because owner Donald Sterling wouldn’t open his wallet or spend the luxury tax payments he received from league head office.

This age-old dynamic is changing. The (natural) order of Los Angeles’ basketball teams could flip flop in 2012.  

The Lakers, who are still talented, are in transition, while the Clippers have Chris Paul at point guard; Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan down low;  and veterans like Chauncey Billups, Caron Butler, and Mo Williams.

Here’s the biggest shock: the Clippers are the glamour team. Griffin and Jordan’s aerial antics will receive endless love on ESPN, youtube, and twitter.

And some, like the Lakers' Matt Barnes, don't appreciate the post dunks celebrations.

Too bad.

Barnes better realize times have changed. These are the new Clippers.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

 

 

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Tuesday , Dec , 20 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Mo Williams on Chris Paul trade: ‘Your pride is hit’

"Obviously, man, your pride is hit," Williams said. "Then once you get outside of the pride part of it, you start looking at the basketball aspect of it. "And everybody in the world knows I want to win. Everybody in the world knows that it's a good move for the city of Los Angeles. It's a good move for the Clippers organization. Outside of that, outside of my pride, that was just me getting over it."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: I don’t see this as an issue in Clipper-land.

Obviously, newly-acquired Chris Paul will start. Chauncey Billups will serve as the back-up and play major minutes next to Paul. And Mo Williams, a former All-Star, will get tons of burn as a Jason Terry-style scorer off the pine.

Williams is a good guy and teammate. He has bought into his new role.

Here’s why: the Clippers are relevant. Very relevant.

With Caron Butler, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, and their trio of point guards, the once sad-sack Clippers have enough talent to overcome being owned by The Don -Donald Sterling.

And that is saying something.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Tuesday , Dec , 13 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Paul to Clippers back on?

Trade talks involving Chris Paul between the Clippers and Hornets are back on, according to sources.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Where there’s a perception of a conflict of interest, there usually is.

After going back-and-forth all weekend with the Los Angeles Lakers, the New Orleans Hornets, who are owned by the NBA, are demanding everything but Blake Griffin from the Los Angeles Clippers.

The talks initially died. But are alive again because the Clippers are considering meeting the NBA’s stiff demands.

Of course, the Clippers, who already have Mo Williams, are reportedly considering an offer on the recently waived Chauncey Billups.

The league needs to make a decision on Paul. The longer this fiasco goes on, the worse they look.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.