Tommy Lasorda: NBA coach of the year
Several Dodgers, including Matt Kemp and Joc Pederson, attended the Suns vs. Clippers NBA game Tuesday in Phoenix.
The following is a true story:
Before Tommy Lasorda made his way to his courtside seat, the skipper stopped at the Clippers huddle to give the team an impromptu motivational speech. Tommy is known for his rah-rah style that extends outside of Dodger baseball into business meetings or even everyday interactions with fans. However, this was during a timeout in a professional basketball game.
Not one for brevity, Tommy’s speech lasted a little longer than the timeout would allow. With the game beckoning, Dodger fan and All-Star Chris Paul escorted Tommy to his seat, so that the game could continue.
We asked Tommy what he said to the Clippers. While he wouldn’t give us his exact words, here’s what we got:
“I just kind of said something to them,” Lasorda related. “I told them I’m proud of them. I said, ‘The second half belongs to us!’ I talked to (Blake) Griffin, I told him he’s a star and he hasn’t scratched the surface yet. People pay a lot of money to see you play, so you better come out and play!”
Tommy on his relationship with Chris Paul:
“When he comes to see the Dodgers play, he sits by me. We’ve become pretty good friends.”
The Clippers went on to defeat the Suns, 104-96. Take a look at the box score from the game — the Clippers outscored the Suns 37-18 in the third quarter. Just saying.
Special thanks to Dennis Rogers from the Clippers public relations department.