The Clippers found out they'd gotten Chris Paul three years ago this week.
It still feels as though it was yesterday to the players.
After the Clippers' 113-91 win over the Detroit Pistons on Monday, DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin talked about what it was like for the team to acquire one of the top point guards in the league.
"We were at a team appearance and Blake and I didn't know we were being recorded, and that's kind of how the whole Lob City thing started up," Jordan recalled. "I was like, 'I think we just got Chris Paul.' Blake was like, 'What?!' I was like, 'Yeah.' He's like, 'Ohhh, CP3, what, we're gonna get lobs!' And i was like, 'Yeah, it's going to be good.'"
Good it has been.
After acquiring Paul, the Clippers went from finishing 13th in the Western Conference in 2010-11 with a record of 32-50 to finishing fifth in 2011-12 at 40-26. Since then, they've won the Pacific Division title twice and have been considered real championship contenders.
Blake Griffin said that acquiring the seven-time NBA All-Star was a huge milestone for the Clippers, who had historically been considered a joke in the league.
"The biggest thing from then till now is it was another piece in making this franchise something respectable, just to be honest," Griffin said. "That was a big moment for Clippers fans, the team, for us, for everybody. To have a guy come here who probably could have gone anywhere -- I haven't really looked back since but I remember the excitement that it came with."
Paul is averaging 17.4 points, 9.7 assists, 1.8 steals and only two turnovers this season for the Clippers, who recently had a nine-game winning streak and are in fifth place in the ultra-competitive Western Conference with a record of 17-7.
"Chris has helped us so much, he's helped our growth, both me and Blake, and even our whole team, the organization," Jordan said. "With him, we've shot up to a different level."
For Paul, it was a whirlwind experience during which he almost landed with the Lakers before then-NBA commissioner David Stern blocked the trade. On Monday, Paul recalled one of the things that he remembers when he first arrived in Los Angeles to join the Clippers.