Doc Rivers Rumors
Green and Curry made their comments Tuesday when they were asked about people discussing whether the Warriors “deserve” their title, possibly in reference to Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers saying to Zach Lowe of Grantland, “You need luck in the West. Look at Golden State. They didn’t have to play us or the Spurs.” “If they saying that, they aren’t the champs. It’s simple. Gregg Popovich didn’t say that. That’s one organization I really respect. And you haven’t heard anybody in they camp say that. You ain’t heard anybody from OKC say that, some of the organizations that I really respect,” Green said.
“I was really disappointed in them because that’s not how I said it,” Rivers said. “I was really surprised at how sensitive they are, but I’m giving Klay the benefit of the doubt. I’m sure it was worded wrong in the question that was asked to him. I basically say it and I say it all the time. During the conversation, I said of my (Boston Celtics) team in 2008, you’ve gotta have some luck, things have to go your way. You need all that. “But I respect Golden State a hundred percent. But I was surprised at how quickly they jumped on it. To each his own.”
Can this make the rivalry bigger? “I don’t know if it can get any bigger,” Rivers said, “but I’m fine by that. Whether they likes us or we like them, doesn’t matter. They’re the champs and we want to be the champs.”
Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers clarified his comments about luck and the Warriors’ championship run. “No, I don’t think the Warriors were lucky to win,” Rivers told reporters in Shenzhen, China on Saturday. “I think they deserved to win. I wish we could have played them – or the Spurs (could have played the Warriors) – but they still were the best team. They earned it.”
Klay Thompson issued a retort to Doc Rivers after the Los Angeles Clippers coach commented on the Warriors being lucky they faced neither the Clippers nor San Antonio in the playoffs. “Didn’t they lose to the Rockets? Exactly,” Thompson said, laughing in reference to Houston coming from behind to beat the Clippers in the Western Conference semifinals. “That just makes me laugh. That’s funny. Weren’t they up 3-1, too? Yeah, tell them I said that. That’s funny, man. That’s funny.”
Some players, damningly, agree with Rivers’s claim that they didn’t grant Houston enough respect. “We never thought we could lose three in a row to them,” says one. The Clippers relaxed when things were easy and froze up when the Rockets made them difficult. That sounds like a team that should be asking whether it lacks some indefinable championship quality, but the Clippers aren’t going there — yet.
The Clippers have had three cracks at it with Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan all in their primes, and they’re not afraid to admit the fourth could be their last — that another flameout will force them to ask whether the core has grown stale. “We’re right on the borderline,” Doc Rivers tells Grantland during a long sit-down at his office. “I have no problem saying that. I’m a believer that teams can get stale. After a while, you don’t win. It just doesn’t work. We’re right at the edge. Oklahoma City is on the edge. Memphis, too. We just have to accept it.”