Pic by CNN/SI - By Jason Reid, Times Staff Writer
Vans with satellite dishes have become common at Clipper practices, and TV cameramen jockey for position daily around players and Coach Mike Dunleavy.
Such is life for the Southland's hottest NBA team, adjusting to an unfamiliar spotlight. "With winning comes all the accolades and all the attention, and that's what we're experiencing now," forward Elton Brand said Tuesday after practice.
"It's good because it's based on our success as a team. It's based on everything we're doing together on the court, but it's definitely different than what we've been used to.
"It was kind of cool when we were in the shadows; you only had to worry about trying to win games and then go home. Now, everybody's on the bandwagon, but we'd still rather have it this way."
The experience of veteran guards Sam Cassell and Cuttino Mobley has helped the Clippers handle their newfound celebrity.
"Sam and Cuttino have played in the playoffs and been through a lot of the things we're just getting a taste of now," Corey Maggette said. "The last time me and E.B. had a great season was when we were at Duke, so bringing in that veteran leadership has been a key.
"They're telling us, 'Hey, let's keep ourselves humble and continue doing what we do.' We're just going to keep working hard and keep this going."