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The Clippers finally broke ground on their long overdue practice facility on Thursday afternoon, a 42,500 square foot facility at Playa Vista. The facility is scheduled to be completed early next year, outfitted with the same quality of equipment as you’d find at Sports Club LA (minus all of the beautiful, surgically enhanced clientele).

With $25 million invested into the project, now Elton Brand, Cat Mobley, et al will finally have a legitimate place to work out and train in the offseason and on off-days, building up endurance for sustained playoff runs in the years ahead.

So now when Elgin Baylor and Mike Dunleavy try to sell free agents on joining the team, they won’t have to hang their head in shame when asked why the Lakers are the only team in town with actual top-notch digs. While the Lakers spend their down time at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, the Clips have been practicing down the street at a Spectrum Health Club along with Bubba, the physical trainer.

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Although the Clippers are eight years behind the Lakers in terms of getting facilities, and light years behind in accomplishments, each step they make these days symbolizes a bold move towards closing the gap and gaining permanent respectability as a franchise. With Donald Sterling committed to spending a few of his shillings to at least be on par with other teams in terms of personnel, the Clips are primed to pass along NBA laughingstock status to the Warriors once and for all. They just have to make sure to finish ahead of them this season.