The more games his teammates sit out, the more remarkable DeAndre Jordan’s durability becomes.
The Clippers center has not sat out an NBA game since March 23, 2011, and his doctor’s note that day was a good one. Jordan had been hospitalized the previous week because of a mild case of pneumonia.
He’s played every Clippers game since, the league’s longest active streak reaching 360 consecutive games Sunday during a 114-111 overtime victory over the New Orleans Pelicans.
Fellow Clippers stars Blake Griffin and Chris Paul have been sidelined for considerable chunks of recent seasons. Griffin has sat out the Clippers’ last eight games because of a partially torn left quadriceps tendon that’s expected to keep him sidelined for at least another week. Griffin was also sidelined for 15 games last season because of a staph infection in his right elbow.
It feels like there’s no need to check the starting lineup for an absence when it comes to Jordan.
“The only guy out of that core group that has been a constant has been D.J.” said Clippers guard Jamal Crawford, who marveled at Jordan’s sturdiness given the nature of his role. “That’s crazy because you’re setting all those picks. You’re rolling, trying to block every shot and getting all those rebounds. You’re doing all the dirty work, not the flashy stuff besides the dunks.
“That’s the one constant. We know he’ll be back there.”
Smith’s streak ended in March 1983, when the Clippers waived him at his request so that he could join a playoff contender. Smith signed with the Atlanta Hawks but didn’t enjoy much of a playoff run, appearing in two games in the first round as the Boston Celtics routed the Hawks in three games.
Jordan is not even one third of the way to A.C. Green’s NBA record of 1,192 consecutive games played from November 1986 to April 2001 with the Lakers, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat. Not that Jordan’s streak hasn’t already created some buzz around the league.
Paul was named Western Conference player of the week after averaging 23.7 points, 12.3 assists, 5.3 rebounds and 2.0 steals during victories over the Portland Trail Blazers, Charlotte Hornets and Pelicans. … Backup center Cole Aldrich received six stitches after being struck in the forehead in the first half Sunday but was able to return after halftime. … The Clippers did not practice Monday.