Q&A With Clippers Coach Doc Rivers
by Sam Amick, USA TODAY Sports
Doc Rivers has heard all the hype, the chatter about how his addition as Los Angeles Clippers coach turns them into instant title contenders and may be the most impactful move of the offseason.
But after his stunning exit from Boston that left so many Celtics fans feeling spurned as they enter a rebuilding stage, Rivers doesn’t need a reminder that he can’t do this alone. He remembers the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons in Beantown, when his teams went a combined 78-86 and no one was deeming him coaching royalty as they so often do now.
And he certainly remembers that July day in 2007 when he took part in an even splashier news conference than the one had by the Clippers on Wednesday: Kevin Garnett was introduced as a member of the Celtics after he was traded from Minnesota, the original Big Three was born with Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, and their run that included the 2008 title and constant contention would follow soon thereafter. As Rivers begins this challenge of turning these Clippers players into champions, he spoke with USA TODAY Sports on Wednesday about his new life in Los Angeles that he’s so thrilled about, how this team compares to his old one, whether he’s at peace with the way his departure from Boston was perceived and his thoughts on his replacement, new Celtics coach Brad Stevens.
Q: Doc, you’ve been a part of big splashes before, and I have to imagine that as Chris (Paul) and those guys were introduced (at the Wednesday press conference in Los Angeles) that the presser with KG crossed your mind at some point. Does this experience remind you of that one at all in terms of the major makeover and instant expectation?
A: “Well, Chris is going to be a Hall of Famer, and so should Blake (Griffin) and DJ (DeAndre Jordan), hopefully, but we were getting (surefire future Hall of Famers). Paul was and Ray and Kevin are, so in that terms, that day is bigger just because of those three guys. You just don’t bring those three … [For more on Doc Rivers Q&A, click here.]