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Ike Diogu was making plans to play in China when Clippers called

CLIPPERS FYI

Cut by Detroit during training camp, the former lottery pick has had a promising start in his first games with the Clippers.

December 29, 2010|By Lisa Dillman

He wasn't quite getting on a plane to China when the Clippers called to see if he was available for a tryout session.

But Ike Diogu's Plan B was well underway and he was attempting to get a work visa to play in China when the Clippers surfaced, looking for some help up front.

He had eight points in his Clipper debut last week against Houston, and was averaging 7.3 points and four rebounds after three games with the Clippers. Diogu had a big fourth quarter in Monday's win at Sacramento, scoring eight points.

Utah was Game No. 4 and now the Clippers don't play again until Sunday.

"I've done a really good job of picking up everything on the fly, making sure I'm not a liability in any areas," said Diogu. "Like you said, I'm looking forward to the days off. I'm looking forward to everything."

It has been a long road back after microfracture knee surgery a year ago and getting his walking papers from the Pistons in training camp.

"I was kind of upset with the whole Detroit thing," he said on Wednesday. "The way I looked at it, I had never been cut in my life. So I went through a period where I was pretty embarrassed just going from being a lottery pick to finding myself out.

"It was definitely motivation. Came back out here, said I wasn't going to cry about it and I was going to work out. … No crying in basketball."

Etc.

Clipper Coach Vinny Del Negro's shortest answer was perhaps his best one in the pregame session with the media.

He was asked whether the Clippers' record was worse than they actually were in the opening stretch of the season.

Del Negro: "No."

There was some laughter in the room and then Del Negro expanded on his answer, adding: "We weren't very good."

lisa.dillman@latimes.com

twitter.com/reallisa

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