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Eric Patten, Clippers.com: When did the change in culture start for the Clippers? Is it Chris [Paul] arriving? Is it Blake [Griffin] being drafted? Is it Blake’s rookie year? Where do you think the change started? Sam Amick, USA Today: I think it starts with Blake and kind of has a slow burn, but that’s a huge part of the story. And then I always feel like this gets forgotten, getting invited to the LeBron James table in free agency in 2010. I look back on that and think that was big. It reminded me this summer of the Golden State Warriors when they got in on the Dwight Howard situation. For the most part, nobody believes that big-name guy is going to go there but you can’t ignore the fact that they got invited to that part. Say what you will about the NBA, but status matters, perception among the player community matters. So, it’s something that I always kind of remember. Obviously, getting Chris, having a stroke of good luck with him not going to the Lakers, that’s the biggest part of it all, that’s the one that takes it to a new level. You have a productive couple of years without a ton of uncertainty about whether he’s going to come back, but you just never know. This has just skyrocketed. It’s something different. It’s a whole different beast. Doc Rivers is one of the best guys in the game, so you’ve got one of the best guys in the game. Alvin Gentry is one of the best guys in the game. NBA.com
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