Update: Clippers' meeting with LeBron James
Undoubtedly, one of the main reasons the Clippers found themselves in the same room as LeBron James and his management team Friday afternoon in Cleveland had to do with a certain power forward from Oklahoma.
That was enough to get them to Cleveland.
It's too early to add the words 'miracle worker' to Blake Griffin's resume. Grabbing rebounds in a regular-season NBA game will suffice for now.
But he is the X-factor in the courtship of the coveted free-agent James. Remember when James made his way down the court and ended up in front of the Clippers bench one Saturday night in January at Staples Center? James gave the injured Griffin a man-hug and offered words of encouragement.
Griffin, really, is almost like the free agent who has already been signed. A wingman, in place.
"That's what I told Bron in the meeting," said Clippers' General Manager Neil Olshey in a telephone interview with The Times from Cleveland. "I don't have to sit here and tell you that you need to bring someone with you. Or that we need to go out and get someone else.
"I have the guy."
That would be Griffin.
Olshey had a good line after the meeting at IMG headquarters in Cleveland, passed along by Brian Windhorst of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, saying: "Now I can absolutely, unequivocally say that Blake Griffin is as good a Robin to his Batman as there is available in the league."
The Clippers' presentation -- from Olshey and team president Andy Roeser -- lasted about an hour and followed a long pitch session from Miami Heat officials, and they teased Pat Riley about going over time.
New Jersey and the Knicks presented on Thursday, and the final two slots, both on Saturday, go to Cleveland and the Bulls.
James asked about the Clippers' coaching situation and was informed of the process. It is down to current Mavericks assistant Dwane Casey and former Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro and is expected to be resolved next week.
The Clippers, with the help of their TV partners at Fox Sports, produced a DVD for James hitting the highlights of Los Angeles. But it went beyond the usual cliched vision of L.A., also showing the Clippers' shiny training facility in Playa Vista and had action footage of Griffin and Baron Davis, among others.
"We felt if we couldn't bring LeBron to L.A., we'd bring L.A. to LeBron," Olshey said.