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Randolph greets the Davises

November 23, 2008|Lisa Dillman | Dillman is a Times staff writer.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Zach Randolph was closing the door on his past -- ever so slowly, going over all things Knicks with local reporters here -- when the present popped up and embraced him.

It was a smiling Baron Davis.

"What's up, dog?" Davis said.

There was more of the same at Izod Center before the Clippers-Nets game between the 27-year-old Randolph, who was acquired from the Knicks in a four-player deal on Friday, and his buddy, Clippers swingman Ricky Davis.

They greeted each other similarly. The big dogs were checking in with one another.

Just call it Three Dog Night.

Whether the high-scoring forward is the answer to the Clippers' general and lasting malaise remains to be seen.

But the Clippers' Davises -- all three of them, Baron, Ricky and Paul -- were pleased to see Randolph on hand on Saturday night, even if he was in street clothes on the bench.

Pending the outcome of his physical, Randolph could be in the lineup against New Orleans on Monday at Staples Center. The Clippers sent shooting guard Cuttino Mobley and forward Tim Thomas to the Knicks for Randolph and guard Mardy Collins.

"I've known him since he was in Portland," Baron Davis said of Randolph. "I always admired what he could do out there on the floor. I think a lot of times, players like that get bad raps, but he's been nothing but productive out there on the floor."

Said Ricky Davis: "Oh, that's my man. He works hard. That's what we need. Somebody who's going to work hard and have a good presence inside."

Randolph's checkered career in Portland rehabilitated quite nicely in New York.

Randolph, averaging a team-leading 20.5 points and 12.5 rebounds, showed up at camp in great shape and prospered under Coach Mike D'Antoni's system.

"That's what I'm saying. He had an opportunity to do what he needed to do in New York -- you know what I mean," Baron Davis said. "And he worked hard and people love him. We're gonna embrace him with open arms. We know where we can use him and how we're gonna need him."

Said Randolph: "I knew they [the Clippers] were trying to get me over the summer. It was going pretty good this year. I liked the offense. I'll just come over and try to bring the same thing to the Clippers."

He was excited about the prospect of playing with Davis.

"He's probably one of the best point guards I've ever played with since I've been in the NBA," Randolph said. "I've played with a lot of point guards. He's the best one so far."


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