Doc Rivers

NBA fines Clippers for Doc Rivers' comments about Raptors' Kawhi Leonard

NBA fines Clippers for Doc Rivers' comments about Raptors' Kawhi Leonard

Programming note: Watch the NBA Finals pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders on Sunday at 3 p.m., streaming live on the MyTeams app.

The Clippers need to send a check to the NBA.

Why?

The Association released the following statement on Friday afternoon:

"The NBA announced today that it has fined the LA Clippers $50,000 for violating the league’s anti-tampering rule. The fine is in response to comments regarding the Toronto Raptors’ Kawhi Leonard made by Head Coach Glenn “Doc” Rivers in a recent television appearance."

When did this occur and what did he say? Good questions.

On Tuesday evening, Doc offered some pretty high praise to Kawhi during an NBA Finals preview show on ESPN:

"He is the most like (Michael) Jordan that we've seen. Not that he is Jordan or anything like that, but he's the most like him. Big hands, post game, can finish, great leaper, great defender, in-between game, if you beat him to the spot he bumps you off and then you add his three-point shooting."

It's very obvious why Doc said this. One of the worst-kept secrets in the NBA right now is how badly the Clippers want to sign Kawhi in free agency this summer.

In fact, the grand plan is to add both the 2014 NBA Finals MVP and Warriors superstar Kevin Durant.

You might as well shoot for the moon, right?

[WARRIORS OUTSIDERS PODCAST: Dubs sloppy in Game 1 loss to Raptors]

In Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night, Kawhi recorded 23 points, eight rebounds and five assists as the Raptors beat Golden State, 118-109.

KD did not play because of his right calf injury. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr told reporters Friday, the reigning two-time NBA Finals MVP will miss Game 2 as well.

Follow @DrewShiller on Twitter and Instagram

NBA Finals predictions: Warriors picked to beat Raptors for three-peat

NBA Finals predictions: Warriors picked to beat Raptors for three-peat

The Warriors have been here -- five straight years actually -- but they're entering historic territory. As the NBA Finals begin Thursday, Golden State is attempting to become the first team to three-peat since the Lakers in the early 2000s. 

Accomplishing the feat will be no walk in the park. The Warriors will have to withstand Kawhi Leonard and the Raptors, and Toronto has home-court advantage at Scotiabank Arena. 

But just like Warriors Outsiders Grant Liffmann predicts, the Dubs are expected to win their fourth title in five years. Here's how the experts are drawing it out.

ESPN 

Toronto should be kind to Tim Bontemps and Andre Snellings. ESPN paneled 21 of their NBA analysts, and only Bontemps and Snellings were brave enough to pick the Raptors. 

For those who chose the Warriors, all but three writers predicted Steph Curry would win his first Finals MVP. The other three writers chose Draymond Green. 

CBS

Sorry Toronto. All 10 CBS experts predict the Warriors to three-peat. Only two writers, Brad Botkin and James Herbert, expect the series to go seven games. 

"Golden State will only continue to play the beautiful game we saw before Durant's arrival. The Bucks ain't the Warriors, not by a long shot, and this time around Toronto will again be dealing with postseason heartache," Bill Reiter writes.

Sports Illustrated

Just like CBS, all seven of Sports Illustrated's writers are siding with the Warriors

"Someday, Golden State will be beatable. But not today," Chris Mannix writes.

Magic Johnson

The former Lakers president of basketball operations is going with Warriors in six games. 

"They just know how to win," Johnson said Tuesday during NBA on ESPN. "Steve Kerr's the best coach in the series. You got these guys who want to prove something to everybody that they're the best in the world. And they want that three-peat in the worst way." 

Doc Rivers

The Clippers coach knows firsthand how great these Warriors are. He faces them multiple times every year in the Western Conference, and though his team put up a fight, Rivers and the rest of the bunch fell to the Dubs in six games in the first round of the playoffs this season.

"I'm gonna go Golden State if KD is healthy," Rivers said Tuesday during NBA on ESPN. "If not, I'm going to go Toronto in seven." 

[RELATED: Rivers makes lofty comparison between Kawhi and Jordan]

That's one way to appease Kawhi before he becomes a free agent this summer.

Doc Rivers says Raptors' Kawhi Leonard is 'most like' Michael Jordan

Doc Rivers says Raptors' Kawhi Leonard is 'most like' Michael Jordan

Steph Curry is the current favorite to be named NBA Finals MVP. Toronto's  Kawhi Leonard isn't far behind him.

On Tuesday, Clippers head coach Doc Rivers was highly complimentary of both superstars.

After explaining how Curry is still underrated on ESPN's "SportsCenter Special: NBA Finals Preview" Tuesday night, the conversation turned to Leonard, at which time Rivers made a very lofty comparison.

"He is the most like (Michael) Jordan that we've seen," Rivers said of Leonard. "... Not that he is Jordan or anything like that, but he's the most like him. Big hands, post game, can finish, great leaper, great defender, in-between game, if you beat him to the spot he bumps you off and then you add his three-point shooting."

[RELATED: NBA odds: Dubs have better chance signing Kawhi than Lakers]

Jordan was part of two separate three-peats. Leonard has already prevented one, having spoiled Miami's hopes in 2014.

If he were to do it again against the Warriors, that would only strengthen Rivers' argument.