Doc Rivers is by all accounts a nice person, and he’s an OK basketball coach. I loved him as a point guard of the LA Clippers back in the day. As a coach, though, he struggled in Orlando, unable to get the Magic beyond the first round for three straight years. Then, in Boston, he was going nowhere until … a Super Team was dropped into his lap. After their run dried up – two trips to the Finals – it was off to LA to coach the Clippers, who had Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.
But by all means, let’s hear Doc Rivers offer his thoughts on Super Teams! From Mike & Mike yesterday:
“It is tough when you see a guy join a team — in Durant’s case what he did this year. That was tough for anybody, anybody’s that’s competitive, to watch. He lost, and then he joined. Having said that, it was his choice, I have no problem with him, but it’s something from a competitive standpoint, you would think you wouldn’t do.
“I have no problem with him doing it, it’s just something from a competitive point, for me, I guess when I played it would have been tough for me to join Detroit. Having said that, he has the ability to do it, guys are doing it, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
He’s talking out of both sides of his mouth here, but that’s fine. He’s got to watch his words, obviously, in case the Clippers dump him and move on. But I have to ask – what, exactly, is complicated? Durant had a really good run in OKC. He spent eight years in OKC, nine years with the franchise. What is complicated about that?
Let me give you a scenario: The 30-ish win Celtics swung a trade for Ray Allen. who was 31-years old, but had just averaged 26.4 ppg. In the days after the Celtics got Allen, Kevin Garnett changed his stance on leaving Minnesota, and was open to going to Boston. (Read the whole tick-tock here.) The sign-and-trade happened, and the 31-year old Garnett was on a loaded team. Presto, Doc Rivers had a Super Team.
They are the ones that backed LeBron into a corner, and forced him to leave Cleveland for Miami.
This is yet another reason I can’t get behind the Kevin Durant bashing. Everyone wins with Super Teams. Magic Johnson had a Super Team loaded with stars. So did Larry Bird. So did Phil Jackson during the 2nd Bulls three-peat. Phil Jackson had Kobe and Shaq. You can’t win the NBA without stars. So what are people crying about?