When Doc Rivers was the head coach for the Los Angeles Clippers, he had the privilege of coaching some great players during his tenure. For the first few seasons, Rivers coached the “Lob City” teams led by point guard Chris Paul and forward Blake Griffin, and in his final season with the Clippers, forwards Kawhi Leonard and Paul George were his main players.
Even with the amount of talent assembled, Los Angeles couldn’t break through to win at an elite level, never making it past the Western Conference semifinals while he was there.
Doc Rivers, now the coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, is preparing his team to face the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. During an appearance on ESPN’s NBA Today (captured by Lucas Kaplan of Nets Daily via Twitter), Rivers was asked why those Clippers teams weren’t able to win a championship, and his reasoning might shock a few readers.
“That team was never going to win, when you look back at it,” he said. “We didn’t get along well enough.”
Looking back on those teams, there were reports of some friction between those players. Paul’s leadership style can be a little rough around the edges (to put it mildly), and the team that had Leonard and George seemed to lack a calming voice at times.
With that said, getting along is part of building a culture, and the head coach is responsible for that more often than not. In other words, if this is Rivers’ way of saying it was his fault the Clippers didn’t get further than they did, it’s logical to agree with his point of view.
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