An interview with LA Clippers host Frenchy

LOS ANGELES - SEPTEMBER 11: Staples Center, home of the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Sparks basketball teams and Los Angeles Kings hockey team in Los Angeles, California on September 11, 2017. (Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - SEPTEMBER 11: Staples Center, home of the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Sparks basketball teams and Los Angeles Kings hockey team in Los Angeles, California on September 11, 2017. (Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images) /

With the LA Clippers’ home opener tonight, Clipperholics contributing writer Paul Tooke reached out to Frenchy, one of the team’s hosts, for an interview.

@Gofrenchy (Instagram and Twitter) first worked for the LA Clippers as a game host in the 2016-2017 season, and was invited to return this season. He watches and manages the crowd during our home games, and has spent some time around the team apart from games. Here are his thoughts on some of our players, the team as a whole, and more.

Paul Tooke: This team lost Paul, Redick, Luc, Speights, Felton, Crawford, just to name a few. Is this year’s roster better than last year’s?

Frenchy: I would say yes. What’s great about this team is that it has a brand-new identity. This team is built with players who are competitive, super tough-minded, and they play fun and fast-paced basketball. They are relentless. You look at a lot of the new faces we have, someone like Patrick Beverley who comes in hungry, same thing with Blake and DeAndre. What’s funny is even Milos and Gallinari are fresh, hungry players who want to prove themselves despite people doubting the Clippers. I’m super happy with the new team.

PT: What was your reaction when Chris Paul was sent to the Rockets?

Frenchy: I started hosting for the Clippers last year, and he has been here for years, but (the trade) is just basketball. Who is ever safe right? I think that is what makes the game fun, it’s like you don’t want to see one player on a team for their entire career. It’s fun to see them switch around teams because it keeps the game exciting.

PT: That’s a positive outlook on the situation.

Frenchy: If anything, it’s all alright, like Chris Paul leaves and it opens the door for some new hungry players.

PT: Let’s talk about Blake Griffin as team captain. He has sort of been in the co-pilot seat next to Chris Paul for most of his career, how do you think Blake is going to handle this solo team captain position?

Frenchy: Blake has been a leader since day one. I remember when he was first drafted into the league and all eyes were on Blake Griffin. Seeing the team at practices and working together, Blake knows what it takes to make this team work. To make things even better, he has a super supportive system, people like DeAndre and Doc around him. Every team in the league has a mission, and that is to get to the playoffs and win a championship. As long as everyone on this team is on the same page, and that is their mission, things will be great. The team supports him so it’s even better.

PT: Will this be Blake’s best season yet?

Frenchy: Of course I’m going to say yes. I want the best for Blake so I am going to try to speak it into existence if I can by saying yes.

PT: Blake recently talked about the team’s curse, the Clipper curse, he talked about the draft busts, the injuries, the 2nd round exits, and it sounds like he believes in the curse. Do you personally believe in the Clippers curse?

Frenchy: No. If you look at a team like the Warriors, if anything, they had the longest curse of all time. I think that what it really is, is just the pendulum swinging, I don’t think the team is really under a curse. I feel like we have enough new players to start lifting that curse when we play our first game of the season. I feel like we needed these fresh faces to work and get better.

PT: Being around the team and the fresh faces, what is the vibe or attitude from these guys going into this new season?

Frenchy: I think of media day, it was great. It was my first time being around all of them. If there’s one thing that the Clippers are known for, it’s being the underdog team. Not necessarily the underdog of the NBA, but in Los Angeles. I think that when these players come to an underdog team, all they want to do is prove everybody wrong. Like I said, being with the guys on media, that’s the energy that I felt.

PT: So the “hunger to prove everybody wrong” is bigger than last season?

Frenchy: The hunger level is on 1000.

PT: Which specific player do you think has the most to prove?

Frenchy: Austin.

PT: Why?

Frenchy: First of all, I love Austin Rivers, I think he is a great player. In his situation with his dad as the coach, that’s what everybody sees. You look at social media and that is people’s go-to comment. “Oh, the only reason he get’s this and does that is because his dad is the coach.” While his dad is the coach, I don’t think people should focus on that. He’s a great ball player. If he was on any other team, he would do the same things. Austin is a clutch player, when the team needs him in certain moments, he gets buckets. I think year to year he will keep doing that, and I think that all these guys have something to prove.

PT: Which pick up this offseason has been your favorite?

Frenchy: Patrick Beverley. I was a fan of him during his time on the Rockets. When I found out he was part of the Chris Paul trade, that was some of the best news. He is such an aggressive player. Even playing 2k with him, he was aggressive. I have been keeping up with him since he got into the league, and he is one of the players that I am most excited to see.

PT: Everyone is excited to see Milos Teodosic, what are your thoughts on him?

Frenchy: I’ve been hearing about Milos for a while. Prior to him coming into the league he had this identity as “the best player who wasn’t in the league.” So now that he is finally in the league, I’m glad that he’s with the Clippers—man you saw that preseason game in Hawaii, his passing is out of this world. His ability to pass is one thing that we needed, so I’m super excited to see him now.

PT: What does this team need to overcome to be more successful than ever? What’s in the way?

Frenchy: Golden State. Figuring out how to beat them is a good place to start.

PT: Straight forward question here: Will this team get past the second round this year?

Frenchy: I’m always hoping for it. I would say yes.

PT: Will the home crowd have more energy than it did last season?

Frenchy: Being that it is my job to get their energy up, the answer is “absolutely, 1000% yes.”
So every time we do get a timeout and I am on that floor, trust and believe that I am going to everything in my power to make sure that they are even louder than ever before.

PT: Regarding the new arena that Steve Ballmer wants to fund for the Clippers, are you in favor of it or against it?

Frenchy: I’m for the arena. I think that me, Steve, the players, we all want our own space. Who doesn’t? I think that a team having an arena to themselves is great, plus the Clippers deserve it, so why not?

PT: One final question. What would you like to tell our readers and fans before our first home game?

Frenchy: We are going to have a great night. One thing I love about working for the Clippers is those big games like opening night or when big teams come to town. Go buy your tickets now. We are giving out LED wristbands and t-shirts to everyone who comes. Opening night is the night to be at a Clips game, we have a great opening show that we have been rehearsing so be there on time! As far as the season goes, I am super excited to be coming back for my second year as a host for the team. All I can ask from the fans is to be loud, it literally takes everything and everybody to make this work. Be proud, although we are in the “Lakers city” understand that this is very much about “Clipper nation”.

Paul Tooke and the Clipperholics branch of FanSided appreciate LA Clippers host Frenchy giving the opportunity for the interview. Clipper Nation should be just as excited for the first home game and the whole season as we are!