Clippers‘s Blake Griffin plays through illness; new President of Business Operations introduced

first_imgDown the stretch Saturday, star power forward Blake Griffin made big plays for the Clippers to help them pull out a big victory over Western Conference foe Portland. Those plays were even bigger after considering Griffin was battling illness as well as double-teams all afternoon. Griffin was battling a stomach bug that he says started Friday night, sitting out Saturday’s game was never an option for him. Griffin managed to pour in 23 points, the second-highest total on the team, along with six rebounds. He made seven of eight attempt at the free-throw line. “People play sick all the time,” Griffin said. “I had low energy. I felt nauseous. It wasn’t too bad until I started running up and down, and that’s when I really felt it, but that’s besides the point. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error New Clippers owner Steve Ballmer feels he picked up another big win for the Clippers off the court. Before Saturday’s game, Ballmer introduced the newest member of the franchise: President of Business Operations Gillian Zucker. The team announced Thursday the hiring of Zucker, who comes to the NBA after nine years overseeing Auto Club Speedway. “There is a lot of things that can make someone qualified, but the most important thing is to find someone with enough intensity and enthusiasm and wisdom to do this job well in a very important time for the Clippers,” said Ballmer. “She’s an amazing person. I’ve has a chance to work with a lot of energetic people, very intense, very bright people at Microsoft, and she compares very favorable with some of the most enthusiastic people I’ve gotten to work with.” Ballmer said he interviewed around 25 to 30 people before choosing Zucker, who also has experience in the NFL, MLB and hockey.“Here I am, the destination, the NBA,” said Zucker with a laugh. “I think that having the perspective of a bunch of different sports, and the way that fans sort of embrace their teams is one that is pretty consistent across all of the sports. Why they are passionate and what they are passionate about, that changes a little bit and there are some nuances there.”Zucker has not only won over the new owner, but head coach Doc Rivers is also excited about the Clippers’ newest pickup. “I like her. I like her a lot. I just liked her immediately,” Rivers said before Saturday’s game. “I was immediately impressed with her. I do think it was time and we really needed a president in place, and I think that will help everyone.”center_img “The way we played and that unit played in the third quarter and down the stretch in the fourth was unbelievable.” While Griffin tried to downplay the importance of playing through illness, his teammates saw it as a major factor in defeating Portland. “It was an amazing effort,” Chris Paul said. “He looked like he was about to almost die at halftime. He was laid out in the locker room, but it shows how selfless he is and how he sacrifices for the team.“Any time he could have said, ‘I haven’t got it fellas,’ and we would have tried to pull it out for him. But he didn’t want to come out. “Without him,” Paul added, “we don’t win this game.” L.A. introduces Zuckerlast_img

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