March 17, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chauncey Billups (1) controls the ball against the New York Knicks during the game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
1) The Introduction
With Chris Paul in the fold, the Clippers inched closer to title contention, unmarked territory for the franchise who had previously endured endless years of on-and-off poor play. The next step was adding veteran players who could change both the culture and how the team operated on the floor and with CHaucney
“Chauncey is a warrior. He’s a player. This is a similar situation — we had this in the best year we had here — with Sam Cassell. He got traded away from a place he was really comfortable in,” said then-Clippers general manager Neil Olshey. “All we said was, ‘Come in with an open mind. Give us a chance. Look at our culture, look at who we were.’ The next year Sam becomes the Messiah, got us to the second round of the playoffs, signed a two-year deal for $14 million dollars and finished his career. It’s not unlike that.”
Already a NBA champion, Chauncey Billups, as seen below, approached the Clippers title chances the way many failed to do: with the utmost patience. He knew immediately this group wouldn’t contend. There were steps to take, progressions to be made, changes to be made in regards to culture, a culture that had been brewing in obscurity since Donald Sterling purchased the team.