Clippers star Danilo Gallinari credits team chemistry for playoff berth

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Only one of Los Angeles' two NBA teams has made it to the playoffs and at the beginning of this season, nobody thought it would be the Clippers.

"To do it, but not for the people who didn't believe in us, is great for us. Do something that nobody ever expected," said Clippers forward Danilo Gallinari.

One of the keys to getting the Clippers there was 30-year-old Gallinari, who is having one of the best seasons of his career in his second year on the team. This season, Gallinari played 68 games but was hurt most of last season, only appearing in 21 games.

"Being healthy is the main thing for an athlete. Last year, we had a lot of injuries, not just me, but also my teammates, and we were not able to accomplish what we wanted to. But this year we have had a healthy team, and we've been able to do some amazing things, I think. We're not done yet, of course. We don't just want to play the playoffs, we want to do something special," said Gallinari.

Gallinari said the Clippers' key to success is chemistry. A celebratory photo was taken back on March 27, when the Clippers clinched a playoff spot.

"I'm glad that Doc gave the bottle to me because he knows how I can pop bottles," laughed Gallinari.

Gallinari said he loves living in L.A. and hopes to play four or five more seasons in the NBA. Aside from basketball, Gallinari modeled for fellow Italian designer Georgio Armani early in his career. Although Gallinari said he'd like to work for a team in the front office one day, he's not counting out a return to the runway.

"I don't know if I'll be that cute in five, six years. I don't know. I used to be cute but now I'm getting older," he said.

For those Lakers fans who need a team to root for in the playoffs, Gallinari says welcome aboard.
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