The Los Angeles Clippers made a bold – and I mean BOLD – move in prying Doc Rivers from the Boston Celtics. They will will send a 2015 first-round pick as compensation to the Celtics, as well as pick up the remaining three years, $21 million he had while coaching the Celtics.
For Clippers owner Donald Sterling, long known as a cheap-ass bastard who for some reason does not believe in paying top dollar for his past head coaches, to make this move signaled to fans that his Clippers is ready to take it to the next level – regardless of the cost.
Again, color me shocked.
Now let’s look at what this move does for both teams going forward. For the Clippers, it means they are serious about stepping into the upper echelon of the Western Conference. Doc Rivers is in my opinion the best coach in the NBA. He is a master motivator who will get the best out of his players. The players will love playing for Rivers, just as during his coaching days in Boston. Players in Boston raved at Rivers’ tactical acumen and his leadership. The players in Clipper-land will be more than happy under Rivers’ stewardship.
Speaking of those players, Chris Paul is a free agent, and this move should all but guarantee that Paul will not leave the Clippers. Paul never really respected former coach Vinny Del Negro. That should change when Rivers comes aboard. Rivers, a former NBA point guard, will earn Paul’s respect quickly and will get the best out of Paul.
Given Rivers’ rep around the league, free agents from other teams will be looking to play for him, thus making the Clippers organization the place where players want to be. I never thought I’d see myself type that, much less THINK it.
As for the Celtics, this may the beginning of a rebuilding project in Beantown. Rivers did not want any part of a rebuild, and it will be tough for the Celtics to recapture that same mojo they had when they ruled the Atlantic Division – and the Eastern Conference – for several years straight.
Kevin Garnett is a broken-down shell of himself who is nearing the end of his career. The same goes for Paul Pierce. The only valuable asset Boston has is Rajon Rondo. He’ll be coming off of a knee injury that ended his season last winter, so there’s no telling where Rondo will be.
As I said earlier, the Clippers now have a good thing going with Rivers coaching their squad. Let’s just hope that Donald Sterling stays the hell out of the way…