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Marcus Camby returns; former Clipper turned therapist

April 7, 2010 | 10:11 pm
Camby_240 Marcus Camby, the relatively new Trail Blazer, has spent a lot of time communicating with those left behind in Los Angeles.

Assuring. Comforting. Soothing.

And we're not just talking about his wife and two girls. It's about his former Clippers teammates.

Camby, who left Wednesday's game with a strained right hamstring, learned of his trade from the Clippers to Portland on Feb. 16. Talk about a sea change -- from the lottery to the playoffs.

"It's like night and day," he said. "It's a great situation to be in. I've talked those guys every day for the past month and a half since I've been gone. I've heard the good stories. I hear the bad stories. I hear, 'I wish you still were here. It's not the same without you.' The feelings are mutual. But reality is they are going home next week and we're preparing for the second half of the season."

I teased Camby before the game Wednesday night at Staples Center, telling him that he was becoming a therapist. Camby laughed, saying: "I'm trying to make sure everybody is all right even though I'm not here anymore."

He had a funny line about the Clippers' second-class citizenship in Los Angeles.

"It's tough being probably, like, the fourth team in town," he said. "The Lakers? USC? You go on and on. Throw in the Sparks, too.

"It's tough, but that could be to their benefit a little bit, flying under the radar. They should get a high pick in the draft, also. The talent is definitively going to be there. It's all about how they manage all the pieces that they have. It has to be somebody that can manage different egos. Especially on that team. And knows how to work in all the young guys they have."

-- Lisa Dillman

Photo: Portland Trail Blazers' Marcus Camby goes the the basket on March 31 in Portland, Ore. Credit: Rick Bowmer / Associated Press.