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#pounditSunday, September 19, 2021

Clippers have found unique way to throw off their opponents

Serge Ibaka

The LA Clippers were lacking many things last season, and it turns out that international flair was one of them.

Speaking this week with Eurohoops, new Clippers forward Nicolas Batum revealed that he speaks French with fellow new arrival Serge Ibaka to throw off their opponents during games.

“I think it was in Phoenix, we were in a free-throw situation and we were talking in French,” said Batum. “[Suns forward] Jae Crowder looked at us like, ‘It should be illegal to do that.’

“We use that as an advantage sometimes,” Batum continued. “We can say stuff people can’t understand when we’re talking about defense. We’re still doing it for sure.”

Batum, who is of French descent, and Ibaka, who used to live in France as a teen, are both starting for the Clippers this season. The team is tied for the second-best record in the Western Conference right now at 7-4.

There are very few players in the NBA who will be able to understand what Batum and Ibaka are saying. It is especially so in the West where center Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz is the only active French player. In any event, the Clippers’ team chemistry seems to be improving from last year, and the added multilingualism can only help their cause.


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