- Arash Markazi, ESPN Staff Writer
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A little more than 24 hours after Marcus Camby was dealt to the Portland Trail Blazers for Travis Outlaw and Steve Blake, Chris Kaman was still upset the Clippers traded away the "team's best defensive player" and wished he would have "at least got a call about it before it happened."
Sitting in front of his locker after the Clippers' sixth straight defeat, a 110-92 loss to the Hawks at Staples Center, Kaman was still trying to come to terms with losing his low post teammate.
"We just try to do our best to continue to play hard and try to win games and make our fans happy but it's tough when you trade away players like that in the middle of the season," Kaman said. "Guys you are so used to playing with, certain styles and certain players."
Wednesday night, Kaman said the coaching change from Mike Dunleavy, who stepped down Feb. 4, to longtime assistant Kim Hughes was "tough."
"Same with coaching," Kaman said. "Nothing against Kim, I think he's got a good future but I think it's going to be hard right away. It's his first job and they just throw it right to him after 50 games and expect him to turn it around and on top of that trade away the best player defensively and a great player offensively. It's just tough, there's nothing you can say."
"I was worried about this season," Kaman said. "I have to trust that the decisions they make are the right one for the team long term. Obviously we didn't perform the way we were capable of this season or how we wanted to this season. I'm not saying that it's over but it's going to be tough to come back and win games when everyone is on different pages with new players shuffling in and out of the locker room and the lineup and Kim having to deal with all that. It's tough."
Kaman shook his head as he looked at Camby's former locker, but amid his frustration remained hopeful the Clippers had a plan to get back to the playoffs for the first time since 2006.
"We'll see what happens this summer if we get a big player this summer and put us in position to make the playoffs," Kaman said, adding, "I've been here seven years and I've only been to the playoffs once and that team was broken up two seasons later, so it's frustrating."
Arash Markazi is a reporter and columnist for ESPNLosAngeles.com.
8dEthan Sherwood Strauss