Tag Archives: Doc Rivers

Clippers Practice For Fans At USC

LOS ANGELES, CA– A week before the 2015-2016 NBA regular season begins, the L.A. Clippers treated their fans to a rare open to the public practice at The Galen Center on the campus of USC in downtown Los Angeles. The crowd draped in assorted Clippers attire watched as All-Star Blake Griffin & co. put on a show. These types of fan appreciation events have come with the arrival of Head Coach and President Doc Rivers.

“These things are good,” said Rivers. Anytime the fans get to see the players outside of their norm, which means on the floor playing, they get closer. Fans are who make us, and I try to get my players to understand that.”

The Clippers have had a busy pre-season, which included a trip to China to twice play the Charlotte Hornets. Although the practice was more exhibition than execution, Rivers still used it as an opportunity to address mistakes made in the game before, a 130-95 victory over the Golden State Warriors.

Run The Triangle

Clippers Assistant Coach Sam Cassell works with Blake Griffin before the Clippers open practice at the USC Galen Center.

Children led “Let’s go Clippers” chants as DeAndre Jordan finished three-man-weaves with ferocious dunks, and Jamal Crawford dazzled with his trademark playground one-on-one play. Blake Griffin swished in a couple of corner three-pointers, something opposing defenses hopes he leaves in the Trojan’s arena.

The night was special for Rivers who has successfully carved out Clippers visibility from within the Hollywood sized purple-and-gold shadow of the Los Angeles Lakers.

“I walk down the street now and I see a Clipper jersey there, and there, and another there,” said Rivers. “I tell you it’s great. It is great being a Clipper.”

Clippers Begin Training Camp Reloaded

PLAYA VISTA, Calif. –The Clippers began training camp after an intriguing summer, which included salvaging the services of DeAndre Jordan, while adding those of key free agents Lance Stephenson and Paul Pierce. After suffering a disappointing second-round exit from the 2015 playoffs at the hands of the Houston Rockets, Head Coach Doc Rivers believes this installment of the Clippers may be his best.

“I thought we made a push last year, we just didn’t get there,” explained Rivers to Jim Hill of CBS in Los Angeles. “This is clearly the most talent we’ve had since I’ve been here and it’s not even close. We’re deep at multiple positions, and that was our goal this summer, getting players who can play at different positions out on the floor.”

Gone is the erratic and inconsistent Matt Barnes, replaced by the less mercurial and more productive Lance Stephenson. Rivers noted that Stephenson’s multifaceted game coincided with his vision of a roster filled with players who aren’t limited to one specialty. 

“I put in a lot of work this summer by working on my condition and my jump-shot,” Stephenson said. “Just focussing on how I can be a better player, and what I can do to come in and help this team.”

Doc Rivers also convinced 18-year veteran and Inglewood native Paul Pierce to rejoin his former coach to make another title run. 

“I honestly thought the Clippers would win it all last year,” admitted Pierce. After helping a young Washington Wizards team experience playoff success, Pierce is ready to lend his championship pedigree to the Clippers.

“I believe I can bring an attitude,” said Pierce.”I think to win in this league you have to have a certain nastiness to you, a certain kind of attitude. I can really help in that department.” 

With the additions of forward Josh Smith and guard Pablo Prigioni, the Clippers bring in two players that contributed to their ousting last season. Smith, who has averaged 12 points and six rebounds over his career is an upgrade over Glen Davis and Hedo Turkoglu, despite criticisms of his defense and shot selection.  

But Doc Rivers isn’t yet ready to assess what he’s assembled.

“I don’t know what type of team we are, I’ll let them show me that,” he concluded. “We’ll see how these guys play and then I can tell you what our identity is.”

Former Lakers Tyronn Lue and Luke Walton battle as coaches in the NBA Finals

Derek Fisher, Brian Shaw, and Kurt Rambis played meaningful roles with the Los Angles Lakers, combining for 12 NBA championships as players, and six as coaches. Shaw and Rambis were assistants on Phil Jackson’s staff, and Fisher is  currently head coach of the New York Knicks. But it’s two unlikely bit players in the Lakers Dynasties, Tyronn Lue and Luke Walton, who are now on the cusp of adding another ring.

Lue twice won titles in L.A. (2000 & 2001), and is most remembered for being stepped over by Allen Iverson in Game 1 of the 2001 NBA Finals. He is now an assistant coach with the Cleveland Cavaliers after spending the past five seasons in Boston and Los Angeles on the bench with Doc Rivers.

Walton won a title with the Lakers in 2010, and had a stint as an assistant coach with the University of Memphis during the 2011 NBA lockout before joining Steve Kerr with the Golden State Warriors this season.

Both work closely in player development, each possessing a wealth of experience from having played on championship teams with MVP’s. Walton has an NBA father like Steph Curry and was tootled by Phil Jackson like Steve Kerr. Lue was teammates with Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan over a span of four seasons, and was a part of the Lakers team that won a title with a 16-1 playoff record.

Kerr spurned Phil and the Knicks to put the finishing touches on what former coach Mark Jackson built. But although his tenure as president has gotten off to a rocky start with the Knicks, there should be a degree off satisfaction for Phil Jackson seeing his former players compete in the roles of coaches for an NBA championship.

Jordan Clarkson has that bounce in his game

Doc Rivers sent them boys at him.

After winning Western Conference Rookie of the Month, Chris Paul and the Los Angeles Clippers held upstart Jordan Clarkson to 2 points in a 106-78 shellacking over the Los Angeles Lakers.

He had been the talk of the town, scoring 30 points against Russell Westbrook while putting together a string of impressive games against elite Western Conference point-guards. The Clippers were well aware of it. Paul, an MVP candidate, led the reality check against Clarkson, and the ‘Watts Towers ‘ duo of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan provided solid interior help-defense.

Clarkson was officially welcomed into relevancy  by getting schemed against on defense. 

What followed was a humiliating defeat for the Lakers which included a deficit of 43 points. Head Coach Byron Scott said he wouldn’t want to be in a foxhole with some of the players who didn’t seem interested in competing. But how would Jordan Clarkson respond to having a bad game following his award-winning month?

Scott’s message resonated with the team,  and although the Lakes were again defeated by the Clips 105-100, they displayed more interest in not being completely humiliated. Clarkson finished with 20 points in 3 quarters and made adjustments to the attention he will now receive on defense. Instead of hanging his head in the face of a superior opponent, Clarkson accepted the challenge of knowing that he will be on the opposition’s radar screen. 

 Greatness is measured in part by how a player responds to adversity. Jordan Clarkson proved he has the mental toughness to accompany his gifted physical abilities.

 

L.A. Sports Council names Doc Rivers 2014 Coach Of The Year

The L.A. Sports Council announced today that Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers has been selected the 2014 Coach of the Year. Rivers will be honored at the 10th Annual LA Sports Awards, presented by Coca-Cola, which will be held on Sunday, March 15 at The Beverly Hilton Hotel.

Rivers helped guide the team to a franchise-high 57 wins last season and a second straight Pacific Division title. He also succeeded in keeping the Clippers together during a playoff run under a challenging set of off-court circumstances.

The LA Sports Awards are produced annually by the Sports Council to celebrate the greatest moments of the year in sports in the Los Angeles/Orange County area.

The star-studded awards dinner and gala will be televised by Fox Sports West/Prime Ticket (air dates TBA). The show will include special appearances by some of the athletes whose achievements helped make 2014 such a memorable sports year.

Source: Clippers Communications Department.

Vita Coco Named the ‘Official Coconut Water of the Los Angeles Clippers’

After watching LeBron James cramp up in Game 1 of the 2014 NBA Finals, many teams are paying closer attention to their players forms  of hydration.

That may explain why the Los Angeles Clippers have forged an innovative partnership which makes Vita Coco the Official Coconut Water of the Clippers organization.

“We’re proud to partner with The Los Angeles Clippers, the NBA’s most exciting franchise, on our first-ever pro team relationship”, says Jeff Rubenstein, Vita Coco’s Senior Vice President of Marketing.  “Los Angeles is one of Vita Coco’s fastest growing markets, and the Clippers provide a meaningful platform to educate basketball fans on Vita Coco’s natural hydration benefits while strengthening the brand’s increasing connection to the Los Angeles community.”

Vita Coco participated in the Clippers Feed the Community event in South Los Angeles on October 25. Head coach Doc Rivers and the entire Clippers roster distributed Vita Coco, non-perishable food, personal care items, school uniforms and shoes to 1,600 South Los Angeles families at the Salvation Army Siemon Family Youth & Community Center. Vita Coco will continue to play a role in select Clippers community initiatives throughout the 2014-15 season.

About Vita Coco:

Vita Coco is the country’s best-selling coconut water brand, sold at over 100,000 retailers nationwide, including Kroger, Safeway, Albertson’s, Walmart, Target, Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, 7-Eleven, Circle K, Whole Foods Market, Sprouts, Costco, Amazon,com and hundreds of airports, universities and other food service locations. For more information about Vita Coco visit www.vitacoco.com.