Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 3/18/12
Clippers management asked Nick Young whether he knew the way to Staples Center, but of course he did. He could drive it from memory. And as the Los Angeles native, who starred at Reseda Cleveland High and then at USC, weaved along the freeways of his youth Saturday, he did so slowly, and not just because of rain or traffic. "I was just trying to take this all in, as I was driving," said the shooting guard and newest member of the Clippers. The former Washington Wizards guard was relocated to his old stomping grounds via a three-team, five-player trade Thursday. He didn't have any inkling it would take place until that afternoon, when his mother called. "She was screaming," he said, smiling. Tim Floyd, his coach at USC, called too, as did a few other NBA players who hail from L.A. to congratulate him on his homecoming. Young called his return to L.A. a "dream come true," and it was something he had dreamed about often. He said he was willing to veto his no-trade clause for just two teams, the ones in L.A. And he said he partly came to the Clippers a team his agent told him was "a perfect fit" because he could see himself sticking around. "I feel like I'm a part of something special," Young said. On a cross-country plane ride Friday, The Notorious B.I.G.'s "Going Back To Cali" bumped in his ears, as fitting a tune as any. Then, there was his drive to his new office: Staples Center. "I'm usually just coming here as a visitor, one game and I'm out," Young said. "I've got to adjust to that, knowing I'm not leaving right now." But there is pressure. He's not just leaving a bad situation in Washington a team he said was "going through turmoil" to join a playoff contender. (Though, because he is joining one, Young said he had to cancel some off-season plans he had made knowing Washington's season had a time-stamped expiration date.) He's instead thought to be a savior of sorts for a 25-18 team that has been wildly inconsistent since it lost guard Chauncey Billups on Feb. 6 to a season-ending injury. "Everybody is calling, saying we're going to be a championship team now," Young said. "I'm just going to go out there and have fun." Clippers star Chris Paul called Young an "unbelievable scorer," a lofty charge, but Young's 16.6-points-per-game average should take pressure off Paul, Blake Griffin and fill the scoring void left by Billups. Young didn't play in the Clippers' 95-91 win against Houston on Saturday. Although he passed his physical Friday, the other players in the trade have until Monday to pass theirs before all can play.
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