Ryan Hollins: Thoughts on the Clippers’ big day

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I came to terms with the team on Sunday, then heard about the news conference on Wednesday. I thought, ‘all right, I feel important, I feel needed.’

I couldn’t wait to get back in the gym. And I got a full workout in before the press conference.

I’m glad I can pick up right where I left off.

I came to the workout in my suit and tie, that was a first.

I never realized the magnitude of the press conference — with all of us up there at once.

It was a huge deal to bring all of the guys in at once. And Doc set a precedent.

He said, ‘this isn’t about me, I want it to be the last time it’s about me, I’m tired of hearing it, it’s about the team, the guys.’ For a  coach to say that, it’s huge. It speaks a lot about what this organization is doing and trying to accomplish.

First, Chris Paul coming (to LA) was the biggest deal in Clippers history. Then for him to stay, it’s the biggest re-signing in Clippers history.

Wednesday was Chris Paul’s day, and that he shared it with us, for all to be a part of us, circles back to what Doc said — it wasn’t just about one person, it was about the team.

We (all the guys signing) were all over the place (before the news conference) — I was working out, Matt (Barnes) was getting a haircut … a few of the guys brought their families, which was great.

Amidst the media chaos, we all knew it was a great day, and that we can do something special.

We have unfinished business. We got embarrassed in first round.
All this talk is nice, but we have to get results. There are things we left on the table.

Stepping into my eighth season in the league, this year is going to be different. I have teammates and coaches coming full circle for an organization that I love.

With that, I have a comfort level.

I’m in the gym, working hard, trying to get rid of the bad memories from the end of last season (playoff series loss to Memphis).

Who are the Clippers getting?

I know each guy, I’ve played with each at a different place or time during my career.

Chris Paul: You see the leader that he is on the court, how he passes, directs guys, orchastrates the offense. What you don’t see is, he can’t stop it off the court, he’s that same leader off the court.

He’s always bringing guys together, to his home … he’s a leader to a fault. And it’s not an act, he really is that great of a guy. Chris doing that speaks volumes about what will make this team successful because of how he takes care of each and every individual guy.

Chris is our leader, and he’s the best point guard in the NBA, in my opinion. When you give him the proper weapons, the whole league knows what can happen, we’ve seen it before.

Matt Barnes: He’s a UCLA guy, and we’ve clicked since Day 1. I missed him by one year at UCLA. He took care of me when I was a young pup coming out of high school. Matt, like Chris, is the ultimate teammate. He’s a big brother to me, and others on the team.

He has the backs of every single guy on the team. When I go up for a rebound, he’s there, when I dive on the floor, he will be there.

Matt’s our emotional leader (a different type leader on the court) and has a toughness about him. He holds guys accountable, calls us out in film sessions and in the locker room. He’s not afraid to get in anyone’s face.

He’s honest to a fault, and that’s the reason why we love him.

He’s one of the best players in the NBA in affecting the game without having a play run through him. He does a lot of things to compliment the scorers.

Jared Dudley: I played with him in Charlotte when he was a rookie. He’s one of the hardest working guys in the league. He’s not a jump out of the gym athlete, but what he lacks in athleticism, he makes it up in other ways. He’s one of the highest IQ players in the league, a self-made guy. He’s a solid defender, and has made himself into a great 3-point shooter.

He can guard anyone, from Kobe to Durant. He’s a difference maker. He’s one of the toughest players I’ve played with, he loves contact.

He’s one of the most disciplined defenders that I’ve seen. For a young guy, he’s so ahead of the curve.

J.J. Redick: We played together on the Under-19 team. He’s one of my good friends within the league. He’s a great guy, and a great teammate.

J.J. has the best jump shot in the league, in my opinion. We call him Mr. Better Basketball. It’s a perfect shot, and it’s not a set shot, he can maintain his accuracy while jumping and moving. Guy’s that normally shoot that well have a set shot.

He’s also turned himself into a serviceable defender. It’s rare for guys that shoot so well to be so hard-nosed and tough.

He didn’t have anything handed to him (coming out of Duke) and you really have to admire that. He’s always had a target on his back from his success at Duke. He’s a huge acquisition, a great compliment to this team, and someone that will spread the floor.

Darren Collison:
Another Bruin. What you will see from him is he’s a 90-feet player — he’s going to push the ball in transition and beat everyone down the court for a layup, then press the opposition’s point guard from baseline to baseline.

He’s got speed in his genes (both his parents were Olympic sprinters), and you see that speed on the court.

Since his freshman days at UCLA, I’ve never seen him get tired, so we call him Flash.

Darren signing was the biggest surprise, one that we didn’t expect, and one of the most instrumental as we lost Eric (Bledsoe). When Chris is out of the game, we won’t miss a beat with Darren running point. His speed, which wears out defenders, compliments CP3’s IQ.

An interesting fact about Darren is he’s a starting point guard in the NBA, but still has the ability to maintain effectiveness when coming off the bench.