Doc Rivers Rumors
Adrian Wojnarowski: Yahoo Sources: Clippers meeting with free agent DeAndre Jordan includes Doc Rivers, Steve Ballmer and Gillian Zucker. No players.
They reached out to representatives of DeAndre Jordan, letting them know of their strong desire to re-sign one of the NBA’s top defensive centers and a cornerstone of their bid to become NBA title contenders. The Clippers will make a more formal pitch Thursday afternoon at the Beverly Hills offices of Jordan’s agents at Relativity Sports. A contingent of executives including team owner Steve Ballmer and Coach Doc Rivers is scheduled to attend the meeting and show a video highlighting Jordan’s seven seasons with the Clippers and the benefits of staying put.
The mother of Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers has died in Illinois. The Clippers say Bettye Rivers died Friday. The team didn’t release a cause of death or Bettye Rivers’ age. Clippers guard Austin Rivers, who is Doc’s son and Bettye’s grandson, posted a photo of the trio on his Instagram account. Austin Rivers wrote: ”We all loved you and will miss you. But you will always be in our hearts Bettye. May you RIP.” Bettye Rivers’ funeral service will be held next Thursday at the Second Baptist Church in Maywood, Illinois.
Sorry atheists … NBA players who have a good relationship with God are more successful than NBA players who don’t … so says Detroit Pistons point guard Brandon Jennings. Jennings was at LAX today when he told us religion plays a huge role in the NBA … “Before every game we always have a little bible study ceremony … any city you go to, so it’s pretty cool.” That’s not the case with every team — Doc Rivers, in an effort to respect different beliefs, reportedly does not allow team prayer in the Clippers locker room … though he does lead a moment of silence before games.
Ballmer noted that in the two previous summers, Rivers made personnel decisions without the benefit of ownership input. Ballmer said his presence this summer could help lend perspective to prospective moves. He said he continues to support the idea of one man running the entire team, from roster to floor, because his neighbor Pete Carroll has experienced success in that role with the Seattle Seahawks. “I like being able to have direct conversations with Doc,” Ballmer said. “This is the first year we really have a chance to see what Doc has got as [an executive]. I consider this his real coming-out party as an executive.”
Ben Bolch: Doc Rivers: “It’s not anything we’re pushing hard for, but if we can get a good spot, we’d like to get higher in the draft than lower.” For those wondering how much a second-round pick might cost Clippers, Lakers paid Mavs about $500,000 in 2012 for Darius Johnson-Odom at 55.
Rivers said the Stephenson addition was the first of several moves the Clippers have planned this offseason. Moves that he thinks will be easier to sell to players with an owner in place as opposed to last season when the Clippers ownership was still up in the air into August.
“I’m excited to have him here,” Rivers said. “We’ve been looking at Lance longer than just this summer because of the dual roles he can play. I think he has the ability defensively to play three positions – the point, the two and the three. Offensively with his ball handling ability and his ability to play in the open court and his power, I think it fits our team very well.”
The Clippers unveiled a new logo and uniforms Wednesday night before they were to launch an aggressive citywide campaign Thursday to publicize the rebranding. Clippers owner Steve Ballmer, coach Doc Rivers, and several current and former Clippers players will be at more than 32 locations throughout Los Angeles and Southern California on Thursday, handing out shirts with the team’s new logo.
Los Angeles Clippers president and head coach Doc Rivers could be in charge of a very different team if the Donald Sterling regime hadn’t gotten in the way of making moves two years ago. At least that’s what he said in a radio apperance on Tuesday. “This is really only my third year but you can make a case this is our second year if you know what I’m saying,” Rivers told Beast 980’s Fred Roggin. “If I someday wrote a book and told you a couple of the trades we had in the first year that we didn’t do because of other reasons, you would fall off your chair.”
Rivers and his staff had spent the better part of the past week doing research on Stephenson and calling around the league to see if he was worth the risk. “In the conversations we’ve had and the conversations I’ve had with some of his ex-teammates and the guys who have coached him I have a pretty good feel, I think, on who he is, what he wants to be, and somewhat of why he struggled last year even,” Rivers said. “I feel very comfortable with that.”
Even if it doesn’t work out, the Clippers hold a team option on the final year of the three-year, $27 million deal Stephenson signed with Charlotte last season. “Obviously the contract part of it was terrific for us,” Rivers said. “If Lance works out great, and it is a gamble of sorts, then we have the ability to sign him. If he doesn’t, it’s a one-year deal.”
“I like that [Stephenson] can play multiple positions — really 2, 3 and 1 — because he’s a terrific passer,” Rivers told The Beast 980. “I don’t know if I made the trade for him to be a starter, per se, I look at him really more to be a utility player that can come in and play literally three different positions for us. When you look at us, we needed toughness and more athleticism and we get that.”
ESPN reported in April that the Clippers were planning on changing their logo and uniforms this offseason. In addition to red, white and blue, which have been the team’s primary colors, the Clippers will also add black as a new color, including adding a black alternate uniform. Ballmer has been looking at ways to rebrand the team since purchasing the franchise for a record $2 billion last August and has been reviewing possible changes since November, when he hired Gillian Zucker as president of business operations. “Of course I’ve seen it, but I haven’t really looked at it,” Clippers coach and president of basketball operations Doc Rivers said in April, when asked about the possible new uniforms. “I don’t mind change. I think change is good.”
Rivers, who led the Celtics to the 2008 NBA championship and to Game 7 of the Finals in 2010, said he still feels a strong bond with the organization. “It’s more because of the Celtics and more because of Red Auerbach,” Rivers said. “When you’re a Celtic, you become a Celtic, you stay a Celtic no matter where you’re at, and you always want them to do well. That’s what stood out for me there. When we won it, looking at Tommy Heinsohn almost in tears because we won, I thought was the most amazing thing I have ever seen. I’ll never forget that and that will always be a part of me, so yeah, I want them to do great. Probably two games, I don’t. It is nice being in the West than in the East, then you can cheer for them a little bit more.”
“When you look at Scotty Brooks and what he did, and George Karl, Lionel Hollins, and then Tom, that’s the climate,” Rivers said. “Listen, we are in a tough profession and we know it when we take the job. It’s easier to change one [coach] than 12 [players] or 15, and it’s easier to change a coach than a front office. I think we all know that. That’s the way it’s always been and that’s the way it looks like it’s always going to be. But it’s tough and there’s a lot of good coaches losing their jobs over stuff. Usually it’s not in basketball. Part of it is relationship, but it’s got to be a two-way street. It’s just a tough atmosphere right now in that regard.”