HoopsHype Doc Rivers rumors

May 9, 2014 Updates

Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers said Thursday that "it would be a very hard situation'' if Shelly Sterling, the wife of deposed owner Donald Sterling, remained as owner of the team as she has publicly expressed a desire to do in the wake of the scandal around her estranged husband's racist comments that were published by TMZ. "I don't even want to comment on it because I don't know yet," Rivers said. "I think it would be a very hard situation, I'll say that much. I think it would be very difficult. I guarantee you every person wouldn't be on board with it. Whether I would or not, I'm not going to say, I just know that would be a very difficult situation for everybody." ESPN.com

May 8, 2014 Updates
May 7, 2014 Updates
May 5, 2014 Updates
May 4, 2014 Updates

Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers said the team was distracted and angered by the racist comments made by owner Donald Sterling. "This was a distraction," Rivers said in an interview Sunday with ESPN's Michael Wilbon. "The first [team] meeting after this came out ... when I looked at [the players'] faces, they were angry, they wanted to DO something. ... As a coach, I had to think about it. I'm not going to kid you, I walked out with my [Clippers] gear on, because I need the players to see me with the gear on, but it wasn't easy to wear the gear on that day. Because at that moment, you're representing something else, and that was hard." ESPN.com

Rivers grew up in Maywood, Illinois, a town 10 miles outside of downtown Chicago, and is the product of an interracial marriage. "I grew up in the '60s as a child at Proviso East [High School], which was on '60 Minutes' in the '60s because of racial acts," Rivers told Wilbon. "... And the blacks walked on one side and the whites walked on the other side and they were throwing stuff back and forth. And I used to sit there and watch them do it and think, 'what are they mad at it?' I remember asking my dad, 'What are they mad at?' And he used to say, 'They don't know. They just don't know.' " ESPN.com

May 3, 2014 Updates

It was late 1999, the start of Rivers' first season as coach of the Orlando Magic, and he saw a situation in the locker room that he felt needed addressing. As his players took part in the pre-game prayer that was part of their routine — with veteran point guard Darrell Armstrong handling the message like always, future New Orleans Pelicans coach Monty Williams serving as unofficial co-messenger and the entire team standing in a circle — he noticed something he didn't like. "I looked up in one of the prayers, and Tariq (Abdul-Wahad) had his arms folded, and you could see that he was really uncomfortable with it," Rivers, whose team hosts the Golden State Warriors tonight in Game 7 of the first round of the playoffs, told USA TODAY Sports recently. "So the next game, we were standing up in a circle, and I said, 'Hey guys, we're no longer praying,' and I remember Darrell and Monty looking at me, like 'What's going on?'" USA Today Sports

So, that day, he decided that his teams would keep their religious practices private as well. "We're no longer praying," Rivers recalled saying to his team. "I want to take a minute. Everybody close their eyes. We all can have different religions, we have different Gods, we can just take a minute to compose. If you guys want to pray individually, you can do it. If you want to meditate, do whatever you want." Rivers added, "Then after that game,Tariq Abdul-Wahad walks in to me, gives me a hug with his eyes tearing, and said, 'Thank you. That is so important to me. No one has ever respected my (Muslim) religion.' He said, 'I'm going to give you everything I've got.' " USA Today Sports

"If it's 75% (who believe one way), that's to me 25% that (don't), Rivers said. "To me, if it's 95%, the 5% deserve the same treatment as everybody else. And I just think that's what we need to do. If it was church, then that's different. This is not church. This is our jobs. So our jobs come first, respect comes second, and I think that's the way it should be." While there is no praying in his locker room to this day and he also forbids his team to take part in the postgame ritual in which some players from both teams would meet briefly on the court for a prayer, Rivers does lead a moment of silence before games. Clippers point guard Chris Paul and veteran guard Willie Green are the only consistent attendees at pregame chapel. USA Today Sports

May 2, 2014 Updates
May 1, 2014 Updates

For the first time since late Friday night, the smiles returned to the faces of Los Angeles Clippers players and coaches as they went through shootaround before Game 6 of their first-round series against the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night. "This was the best [shootaround]. It was better than the last two, I can tell you that," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. "I don't know if we're there completely but we're getting closer ... They're in a better spirit, there's no doubt. They're actually joking again. They're making jokes about their coach again. I think that's good." ESPN.com

Marc J. Spears: LAC coach Doc Rivers has no thoughts about Lakers coach opening at this time, a source said. He has expressed uncertainty about LAC post DS. Twitter @SpearsNBAYahoo

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