Puerto Ricans meet up at Staples Center Print
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Wednesday, 09 January 2008 17:16
NBA Headline News

 LOS ANGELES (AP) - Guards Carlos Arroyo and Guillermo Diaz go back a long way, to their childhood in Puerto Rico. They met up again at Staples Center as two of the few natives of their country to make it to the NBA.
The 28-year-old Arroyo has been around a while, playing for Toronto, Denver, Detroit, Utah and Orlando since making his debut during the 2001-02 season. The 22-year-old Diaz signed a 10-day contract with the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday, and was in uniform for their game against the Magic on Wednesday night.
``I've known him since he was 6, 7 years old,'' Arroyo said with a smile. ``He's a very quiet guy, very talented, very well-respected at home. He's trying to find his way into the league, busting his tail to do so.''
Arroyo, averaging 6.5 points for the Magic, wasn't drafted after playing at Florida International, where he was a four-year letterman. The Clippers made Diaz a second-round pick in 2006 after a three-year career at Miami, but he played in the Czech Republic in his first professional season.
Diaz joined the Clippers before this season, but was cut Oct. 25 after averaging 5.7 points and 1.7 assists in seven preseason games. He then averaged 16.6 points in 14 games for Anaheim of the NBA Development League.
``I feel really happy, excited to be here again,'' he said. ``I received that call the other day, it was a dream come true to be called up. I've just got to give 100 percent no matter how many minutes I play. I've just got to go in there and do my best - I've done it before.''
Diaz might not get much of an opportunity. Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy was noncommittal before Wednesday night's game, saying Diaz was needed in practice because an MRI on guard Brevin Knight earlier in the week showed he has a stress reaction in his left fibula and, while Knight could play up to 15 minutes per game, he wouldn't be able to practice for a while.
``We felt like we needed someone to practice,'' Dunleavy said. ``Guillermo was nearby. We thought we'd bring him in to practice. He will suit up; he may or may not play.''
Arroyo believes Diaz can make it in the NBA with the right team.
``It's all about having the right opportunity and taking advantage of it,'' Arroyo said.
 

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