Years from now we may look back at Monday night’s preseason game between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Los Angeles Lakers as the dawn of a new era in Clippers basketball. The proverbial “Ugly Duckling” seemed to finally transform into a swan as they spanked the Lakers by a final margin of 114-95. The “New-Look” Clippers went with a starting lineup of Chris Paul, Chauncey Billups, Caron Butler, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan and they played with the poise of a squad that had been together for years. Suddenly the other team from Los Angeles has captivated the attention of NBA observers across the nation.
With all the joy that is taking place in “Clipper-Land” currently; it is very easy to forget about a player who just weeks ago was the designated starter at the point and has now been relegated to bench duty for the club. Mo Williams who came over to the team last February from the Cleveland Cavaliers, in the trade that sent Baron Davis and the eventual first pick in the 2011 NBA Draft; now finds himself on the outside looking in. He had not spoken with the media since the club had made the trade for Paul with the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday and claimed Billups off waivers as well. Reporters had started to ask the team’s head coach Vinny Del Negro when Williams would address the situation.
The point guard broke his silence on Monday night as he spoke with the “Los Angeles Times” about the turn of events that he and the team have gone through during the last week. The former starter told the paper that the acquisition of Billups and Paul were great for the club; even though the moves may not be best for him personally. The veteran said “Obviously, man, your pride is hit. Then once you get outside of the pride part of it, you start looking at the basketball aspect of it. And everybody in the world knows I want to win. Everybody in the world knows that it’s a good move for the city of Los Angeles. It’s a good move for the Clippers organization. Outside of that, outside of my pride, that was just me getting over it.”
The veteran point guard has demonstrated throughout his career that he is all about winning. When the guard played for the Cavaliers, he took it extremely hard when former NBA MVP LeBron James signed as a Free Agent with the Miami Heat; because the team was so close to getting that elusive NBA Title. With that being said; one wonders how long Williams will be satisfied playing backup on even a winning team. There are lots of teams this season who could use a point guard of his caliber; he may even find himself staying in the building and playing for the co-tenants of the Staples Center.