Doc Rivers is one of the most respected coaches in the NBA right now. However, it seems like it’s been a while since he last got the chance to actually lead a team to the NBA Finals.
The Los Angeles Clippers look poised to make a deep playoff run last season with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George but their epic meltdown vs. the Denver Nuggets ended his tenure in Los Angeles.
Surprisingly, the Clippers let Doc Rivers go and, obviously, it didn’t take long before he could get another job. So, when asked about it on The Dan Patrick Show, he lamented the fact that he never got to actually coach that overpowered Clippers team at full strength, either because of injuries or the bubble:
“It was a hard one. Because I know I can coach. And so, when you’re with that team, it was not an easy year last year. You’re in the bubble, half of the guys didn’t play most of the year. Paul George and Kawhi Leonard had 5 practices together the entire year,” Rivers started.
“So you know you never got the chance to coach that unit and get them to their potential. But whenever you lose a job, it’s hard because you believe you can do the job. Especially with that team. I looked at that team and thought – healthy all year, I think we would’ve been hard to beat. But we never had that. And the Bubble was a disaster,” he concluded.
Now, Rivers has done wonders with Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and the Philadelphia 76ers. Right now, they’re the most consistent team in the Eastern Conference and could finally get over the hump and make basketball’s ultimate stage once again.
As for the Clippers, they’ve also looked better off with Tyronn Lue at the helm, so maybe what both parties needed was just a change of environment to bring out the best of them.