CHICAGO — The LA Clippers were running late, very late.
The third bus that held Clippers coach Doc Rivers, two starters and others arrived to the United Center at 6:30 p.m. CT — a half-hour before the scheduled 7 p.m. tipoff against the Chicago Bulls.
Freezing temperatures and snow blanketed Chicago on Friday, causing the Clippers’ two-mile drive from the Peninsula Hotel in downtown Chicago to turn into an 1-hour, 45-minute minute excursion.
According to the team, the first bus left for the arena at 4 p.m., the second left at 4:30 and the third left and 5 p.m. The second bus arrived at 6:20 p.m. and the third bus followed ten minutes later. Avery Bradley, Marcin Gortat and Lou Williams were all on the final bus.
“Longest bus ride ever,” Bradley said when he walked into the arena.
Tobias Harris, who took an earlier bus, said that he wasn’t aware that his teammates were running so late until he arrived at the arena and saw a nearly empty locker room. He joked that he hoped they had enough players to put on the floor at tipoff.
Gortat, Bradley and Williams were all able to squeeze in hurried warm-ups after they arrived.
The delay caused Rivers to miss his pregame press conference with reporters. Assistant coach Rex Kalamian, who was on an earlier bus, filled in for him. Kalamian said he used the time on the bus to watch film.
“We’re the type of team that we adjust well to adversity,” Kalamian said when asked how this might affect the team. “We are just ballers who like to go out and play under any circumstance. Hopefully it won’t affect us at all.”