Critics can’t get enough of the LA Clippers ever since the team embarrassingly imploded in the playoffs this past September, where they blew a 3-1 series lead to the Denver Nuggets. It may not slow down any time soon as more bulletin board material are coming. The latest are coming from two key figures in that Clipps squad, who are throwing shots at each other: former head coach Doc Rivers and team star Paul George.
Rivers, in particular, isn’t shy at unleashing stray and subtle bullets, and he’s an expert at it. This classic clip is Exhibit A. Check out how he brilliantly called Bill Simmons an “idiot” on live TV.
Let’s first refresh everyone’s memory about this George beef. Earlier this month, while guesting on Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson’s All The Smoke podcast, PG talked about the infamous playoff defeat and expressed his frustration on their lack of adjustments and how he was used by Rivers.
“Doc was trying to play me as a Ray Allen or a JJ Redick, all pin-downs. I can do it, but that ain’t my game. I need some flow, I need some mixes of some pick-and-roll, and post ups…That last season was hard.
During that whole process, we never worked on adjustments. We just had the same [expletive] happen over and over and over.”
When word got to Rivers, he simply gave an ever-consistent smooth response. He also noted ownership of failure, which is indeed needed if you are truly ready to move on and redeem yourself.
“Hey, listen, I enjoyed coaching him … So not a lot to say there. Ty Lue was sitting right next to me. So he better hope it’s not adjustments. It ain’t going to be much different.
Listen, we lost the game, and I think everybody needs to take ownership. [Me] obviously. We can always do better. Players can play better. So as far as I’m concerned, I’ll leave it there.”
Then, while we’re all waiting if George will fire back, Rivers went at it again during a separate interview by exploring his previous points. He didn’t do it out of nowhere as he was directly asked, but it’s obvious that he isn’t zipping his lips on the matter.
“I think if you go back and look at the stats, Paul played in more pick-and-rolls this last year than he ever did in his entire career, so I don’t know how that’s possible, and I wouldn’t mind playing like Ray Allen if I was a player.”
Finally, for the finale, Doc gave one final blow that every Paul George detractor would definitely enjoy. It’s a rumor that’s been discussed everywhere, especially when news came out that George had a heated argument with former Clipper Montrezl Harrell.
“The guys that were there the year before, honestly, didn’t accept at least one of the new guys. I thought they accepted Kawhi [Leonard]. If they don’t accept everybody, then you usually don’t win.”
It doesn’t take a genius to know who Rivers is referring to – it has to be George, who came over to the Clippers in 2019 along with Kawhi Leonard, after he was handpicked by Leonard to be his co-star.
George, a decorated 11-year veteran with a string of All-Star and All-NBA selections, had a rough 2020 playoff performance. In 13 postseason games, he had four outings where he scored less than 16 points and shot worse than 32% from the floor.