As cutdown days go, this one was relatively free of stress.
Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, the three Clippers in the running for the U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team, made it onto the list of 30 finalists that was announced Monday.
“We’d love them all to be on it,” Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said of the final roster.
Paul, a two-time gold medalist, and Griffin, one of the game’s top power forwards, figure to have a strong chance of being on the 12-man roster that will compete in Rio de Janeiro this summer.
Jordan must contend with a strong list of finalists at center that includes DeMarcus Cousins, Andre Drummond and Dwight Howard, not to mention a possible stylistic preference for small ball that could skew the roster away from traditional big men.
Jordan could allow himself a small pat on the back, however, for making it this far.
Milwaukee’s Michael Carter-Williams, Orlando’s Tobias Harris and Victor Oladipo, Dallas’ Chandler Parsons and Portland’s Mason Plumlee did not make the cut.
Like the Clippers, Cleveland had three finalists with LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, trailing only Golden State’s five: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green.
Griffin is trying to play in his first Olympics after sitting out in 2012 because of an injury to his left knee.
While acknowledging concerns about the health of the Clippers players, Rivers said there was some upside to Paul playing even after having turned 31 in May.
“A lot of guys who play on the Olympic team say they come back in better shape because they say they don’t overdo it,” Rivers said. “They get to train more and when they do play or practice, they’re playing against better players, so you can make a case either way.”
The Clippers’ postgame dance routine is no longer left to the imagination, although some might wish it was.
Austin Rivers put video footage on social media, including players’ disbelieving reactions, of teammate Cole Aldrich breaking out his best moves in the locker room after a recent Clippers victory.
“What the hell was that?” Rivers says as he turns the camera toward himself.
Said Lance Stephenson as the camera pans to him: “That was terrible.”
Maybe veteran forward Paul Pierce is at least partly to blame. Aldrich said Pierce suggested the unorthodox routine while sitting on the bench next to him.
“I call it ‘Shake the maracas to the golf swing to the make it rain,’ ” Aldrich said.
Dennis Wong, a San Francisco-based real estate investor who once held a small ownership stake in the Warriors, has purchased between 1% and 4% of the Clippers from owner Steve Ballmer, the team announced. Ballmer and Wong have been friends since their days at Harvard.