Aminu seems like good bet

Los Angeles Times - - Sports - Lisa Dill­man

Lit­tle won­der the kid was look­ing weary in Las Ve­gas dur­ing sum­mer league. Af­ter all, leav­ing the ho­tel late at night and get­ting back af­ter 1a.m. can take its toll. Only small for­ward Al

Farouq Aminu, the Clip­pers’ first-round draft choice in June, was shoot­ing a thou­sand or so jumpers with vet­eran Pis­tons guard

Ben Gor­don at the gym, not post­ing up around black­jack ta­bles.

“I wasn’t happy with his en­ergy at times dur­ing sum­mer league,” said Neil Ol­shey, the Clip­pers’ vice pres­i­dent of bas­ket­ball op­er­a­tions. “Never even thought to ask [Aminu] why…. He never told any­body be­cause he didn’t want to brag about his work ethic.

“Then he’s go­ing to prac­tice the next day and try­ing to play a game at night, I’m like, ‘This is not the time to be up till 1 in the morn­ing, shoot­ing jumpers with Ben Gor­don.’ Of course you have no legs.”

As if to il­lus­trate Ol­shey’s point, on Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon Aminu was off in the far corner, still-work­ing, and the Clip­pers’ prac­tice had been over for half an hour. He had ar­rived at the prac­tice fa­cil­ity five hours ear­lier.

The learn­ing curve for Aminu and rookie point guard Eric Bled­soe has been con­sid­er­able. Clip­pers Coach Vinny Del Ne­gro said that Aminu played a bit at power for­ward Tues­day and Wed­nes­day out of ne­ces­sity, but added: “He’ll pretty much stay strictly at [small for­ward] for now.”

Bled­soe, from Ken­tucky, has been get­ting no short­age of ad­vice on how to be­come a point guard in the NBA, mostly from Baron Davis, who still re­mains limited in his train­ing camp ac­tiv­i­ties.

“It’s been kind of tough be­cause I’m learn­ing how to play point guard and I’m learn­ing what ev­ery­body can do,” said Bled­soe, who was taken at No. 18 by Ok­la­homa City in June and then traded to the Clip­pers for a fu­ture first-rounder.

“The vet­eran play­ers are try­ing to show me the way. But they’re also get­ting on me a bit. It’s been kind of frus­trat­ing be­cause I’ve been mess­ing up at the same time. I’ve got to think it’s a process. I’m just try­ing to get bet­ter. I’m hear­ing from a lot of dif­fer­ent peo­ple.”

Blake Grif­fin said Bled­soe was do­ing a much bet­ter job of slow­ing it down and tak­ing care of the ball.

“He was real wild in sum­mer league,” Grif­fin said. “He knows it.”

Bled­soe agreed, say­ing: “I’m 10 times bet­ter be­cause I’m be­ing more pa­tient than Iwas than when I first started.” lisa.dill­ twit­­al­lisa

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