The Los Angeles Clippers-Superheroes Off The CourtSports — By Maurice Dwayne Smith on August 9, 2011 at 5:22 pm
By Maurice Dwayne Smith
While both the NBA and NFL have been ensnarled in a looming employment stoppage and lock-out nightmare, nothing seems as pure as the spirit of charitable giving. Surprisingly enough, charity abounds within the ranks of professional sports, though the media sensationalizes tensions, conflicts, and “bad blood” between sports teams and their multi-millionaire rebels.
One such inhabitant of this philanthropic dimension are The Los Angeles Clippers. The LA Clippers, the NBA’s talented perennial “Alice in Wonderland” franchise is brimming with talent, and excitement, yet low in their winning percentage. They are full of not only hope, but also, most importantly, The Clippers are full of heartfelt warmth and compassion for the Los Angeles community. Less means more should be the LA Clipper’s motto. They win less, but give all of their available time, heart, money, and resources towards aiding the downtrooden, poor, and the general Los Angeles population.
Professional sports is a dimension, whose occupants are comprised not only of sports executives, athletes, the affluent, celebrities, sex-driven groupies and Nielsen driven media mercenaries, but also include, most importantly, the fans. Fans help teams to be successful. They drive not only the Nielsen ratings, but also stocks and ultimately, a team’s bottom-line success. But often, professional teams and their corporate hierchy forget about the fans and the fans tend to get lost, or totally excluded out of the equation of what makes a successful corporation successful.
The LA Clippers are the antithesis of that credo, and they quietly go about helping the community that they serve. Their service to the community is appreciated by their fans, but go unnoticed and unreported by the media. An example of that service was illuminated during last year’s holiday season. Captain America, Batman, The Shadow, and Green Lantern are characters conjured up to be heroes, but The Clippers organization are true modern day heroes. They were 2010 Thanksgiving superstar heroes.
A Bird’s Eye View
The Clippers last year, during the Thanksgiving holiday, reached out to help the unemployed and the homeless. There are many, in this bad economy, that are suffering and have few opportunities. Organizations such as The St. Joseph Center in Venice, California have been offsetting this painful reality by providing food, clothing, groceries each week for its community, and, as they have done for the past thirty years, have provided turkeys and all the trimmings so that the less fortunate can enjoy a nice, happy and satisfying Thanksgiving.
“We have been providing support to both the Venice and surrounding communities for the last thirty years,” said Ms. VaLecia L. Adams, Ph.D., Executive Director, of St. Joseph’s Center in Venice. On that Thanksgiving day, in conjunction with the Center, The Clippers served over 400 people. The Los Angeles Clippers, who have made a commitment for the last twenty-two years, gave turkeys, groceries, clothing, and “smiles were given out in huge measure to adults and kids alike,” Adams indicated. She went on to say that, “The L.A Clippers have made themselves both accessible and available for autographs, basketball signings, and whatever else they could do here today.”
We met Clipper Brian Cook, former Los Angeles Laker, with his family, as he was leaving, in the company of Clipper PR spokesperson, Ta’Nisha Cooper, at the entrance to the St. Joseph’s facility at 204 Hampton Drive in Venice. “Me and my teammates are happy to help in any way we can, and we are expecting to make a run for the playoffs, as we feel that all is positive and we have as good a chance as any NBA team to be successful this year,” said Brian Cook. We felt a good-natured, hearfelt vibe from Cook, a former Illinois college player, as he said, “Nice meeting you and happy holidays to you.” Brian Cook was accompanied by other Clippers, which demonstrated their commitment to the community.
Everyone is a star, said Sly and The Family Stone, in a 60’s smash hit, and that was exemplified by the Mt. St. Mary’s biochemistry major, Jessica Cardenas, who took time away from her studies to volunteer. “I feel that I need to help and this is my way of contributing,” said Cardenas. “We have been giving away groceries, turkeys, with all of the trimmings, clothes, and facilitating the kids. The kids have created a basketball, which the Clippers were so kind to autograph. The Clippers have been great!!”
In conclusion, if the world gave half of their heart as St.Joseph’s and The Clippers have done, the world would not only be a much better place, but it would also be Thanksgiving everyday! Smiles were beaming on every face. We want to thank St. Joseph’s Executive Director’s assistant for his incredible help.
The Clippers are not only superheroes, but also incredible ambassadors for not only The NBA, but for all professional sports. The LA Clippers have opened their hearts to LA’s communities–fans and non-fans.