The Doctor is in the House!
I have been a fan of the Lakers since the days of Elgin Baylor. He was the ﬁrst professional basketball superstar in Los Angeles. His team played in the Sports Arena, which became a slum by today’s standards. He seemed to defy the laws of gravity since he seemed to be able to hang in the air longer than the other player. I am sure that it was just an optical illusion, but that seemed to be the case.
Then, sometime passed before the arrival of Magic Johnson. He gave this city million of thrills. That included Show Time and multiple championships. The Lakers knew that they owned Los Angeles, but they were gracious about it.
There was another professional basketball team in town, and that was the Los Angeles Clippers. This was a truly miserable organization, and many people did not even recognize that they were here. The owner should have been embarrassed, but he seemed to be oblivious of the needs of his team. So, the Players on the Clippers did their best to coexist.
Then, for some reason unbeknownst to the rest of us, Doc Rivers was hired to be the head coach of the Clippers. Could this really happen, and would it make a difference?
Speaking for myself, I became a fan of the Clippers on the day that Doc Rivers became their new head coach. I had followed his career, and I knew that he had recently won the NBA Championship by leading the Boston Celtics to the NBA title victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers, in order to do that, they had to overcome a 3-2 game deﬁcit, and also to win the last game on the road. They were playing against my main hero, King James. So, even before Doc came to coach in Los Angeles, I knew that he was the real deal. He was, and he still is.
However, right now he has some serious problems. The Clippers are tied at two games a piece with feisty Utah Jazz. These guys have simply refused to go away, and they are full of ambition. On the other hand, the Clippers have lost one of their key players, Blake Grifﬁn due to a toe injury. They were having trouble with Utah even when Blake was healthy. Now, they have an even greater disadvantage. This injury will likely be too great for the Clippers to overcome.
All things considered, I think that Doc Rivers would be well advised to make this his last year as a head coach. He has done an outstanding job, but his team is not nearly as talented as the Golden State Warriors, the San Antonio Spurs, or the Cleveland Cavaliers.
So, clearly the organization needs to do a better job of scouting, and then developing younger players. The Warriors, Spurs, and Cavaliers are generally considered to be the best teams in the NBA so when you look to them, you are not likely to see any basketball trophies with the Clippers logo on them.
So, given these circumstances, I am hoping that Doc will focus on just being the president of this team. His team does not have enough talent to win a championship. That is a realistic step that he would be taking, because it may pay off in the long haul. The Clippers are not bad, and they are still improving, but they appear to be several seasons away from having a team with Championship talent.
So, unless this trend changes in the near future, Doc could lose both jobs, and that would be a tragedy. He also probably needs to say goodbye to Blake Grifﬁn, a talented basketball player who seems to have more injuries and most of his competitors. In addition to his many injuries, Grifﬁn is usually among the leaders in having technical fouls called against him. The lack of discipline on his part is a big burden for the Clippers to bear. So, it may be time to say sayonara to him.
I want to go on record saying that I think that Doc Rivers is a tremendous asset for this team. Having said that, I also know that there is no substitute for winning, and I do not think this team as presently constituted, can do that. I just hope that he makes a decision that is best for him and for us.