words & images_Nick Engvall

For Clippers fans, the path to success in the NBA has been a long uphill journey, with scattered speed bumps and road blocks along the way. Often overshadowed by their rivals in purple and gold, the most loyal fans in the League are finally looking at a future brighter than they ever have. They last made the playoffs in the 2005-2006 season, and although this season they have seen their share of struggles, a closer look at the numbers gives an idea of how this team and their fans could be more excited than ever. This season, the Clippers have a better record (7-4) against all of their Pacific Division rivals than all of the other teams, with the exception of the Lakers. Beating up on their closest opponents is a sure sign of the positive movement that seems to be going on amongst the “other” Los Angeles team.

One of the things that has many of the Clippers fans excited this season is the partnership between Baron Davis and Li-Ning. As a native of Southern California and a former student athlete at UCLA, Baron has a special place amongst the loyal fans of Los Angeles. The partnership between Baron and Li-Ning is really the first chance that many Clippers fans have had to get their hands on a signature sneaker for one of their Clippers players. Li-Ning, the Los Angeles Clippers and Baron Davis teamed up Saturday night in Los Angeles to unveil the follow-up to the Li-Ning BD Doom, the new Li-Ning Defend.

Although thousands show up each and every night to support the Clippers, many sporting the “Beardman” logo on their Li-Ning shirt, one fan seems to lead the cheers louder than the rest. Clipper Darrell, draped in his usual Staples Center attire of red and blue, was one of the first of many fans to lace up a free pair of the latest Baron Davis signature sneakers from Li-Ning. After slipping off the BD Dooms he arrived in, Clippper Darrell swapped out the original laces for the more appropriate red and blue laces, blue in the left shoe and red in the right. After his new Li-Ning Defends were laced up, Clipper Darrell set off towards his place amongst the crowd to cheer on Baron Davis and lead the rest of the Clipper Nation.

Around the stadium, fans banged together thunder sticks with Defend and  Conquer logos, the lucky ones wearing a crispy new pair of the Li-Ning Defend, as they cheered Davis and the Clippers on to victory, ironically against their closest Pacific Division rivals, the Golden State Warriors.

Available now: Li-Ning Defend

Clipper Darrell gets his first look at the Li-Ning Defend.Clipper Darrell gets his first look at the Li-Ning Defend.
Clipper Darrell lacing up the Li-Ning Defend, blue in the left, red in the right, just like his BD Dooms.
Li-Ning introduces the Defend at the Staples Center.The Li-Ning Defend on the JumboTron.
LA Clippers guard Baron Davis wearing the Li-Ning Defend.Baron Davis wearing the black version of the Li-Ning Defend.
LA Clippers guard Baron Davis wearing the Li-Ning Defend.A closer look at Baron Davis’ Li-Ning Defend.

Another look at the Li-Ning Defend worn by Baron Davis.Another look at the Li-Ning Defend worn by Baron Davis.

Li-Ning and Baron Davis Launch The DefendBaron Davis wearing the Li-Ning Defend.

Some Baron Davis fans sporting their new Li-Ning gear.Some Baron Davis fans sporting their new Li-Ning gear.