Doc Rivers

Doc Rivers clarifies how Clippers acquired Paul George, Kawhi Leonard

Doc Rivers clarifies how Clippers acquired Paul George, Kawhi Leonard

“Mr. Ballmer, I love the things you do and what you stand for, but your team is not good enough and if you don’t change your team, I’m not coming.”

That was the blunt statement Kawhi Leonard gave to Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer during the team’s recruitment meeting with NBA Finals MVP prior to the start of NBA free agency, as told by head coach Doc Rivers in a recent conversation with the Los Angeles Times’ Arash Markazi.

“We actually had a list of guys, which was a mistake, but we got lucky,” Rivers said. “We shouldn’t have had a list, because then he got to choose who he wanted to play with and the assumption was that we could get them. We didn’t know if we could get anybody. We just showed him guys that we thought would match him and when he saw Paul George’s name he said, ‘I want to play with him.’”

The Clippers clearly needed some star power if they wanted to compete for championships, as Rivers and his club have been unsuccessful in advancing past the first round of the NBA playoffs three of the last four years, including missing the postseason entirely in 2017-18. The Clippers did make some noise in the 2019 NBA Playoffs, taking a pair of games from the Warriors before ultimately succumbing in a six-game series defeat.

LA parted with a record-number of draft picks to make the trade work with the Oklahoma City Thunder, sending a total of six future first-round draft picks and former first-rounders Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Danilo Gallinari to acquire George.

“Steve Ballmer was nervous about the picks,” Rivers said. “I said, ‘Steve, you keep saying six picks for Paul George is insane, but you’re saying it wrong. It’s not six for Paul; it’s six for Paul and Kawhi. So three for each. I would do that.’ You have to look at it in those terms.”

[RELATED: Warriors will need eight things to go right to make NBA playoffs]

After the dust settled on 2019’s topsy-turvy free agency period, the new-look Clippers stood with arguably the best superstar duo in the NBA, as Kawhi is coming off a dominant season ending with his third championship and second Finals MVP, while George was named to his first All-NBA First Team in a breakout season.

There’s no doubt Ballmer and Rivers now believe they have the best team in a wide-open NBA, but Steph Curry and Draymond Green may have something to say about that when the Warriors and Clippers face off in the first regular-season NBA game at Chase Center on Oct. 24.

Watch Warriors star Steph Curry's dance moves at brother Seth's wedding

Watch Warriors star Steph Curry's dance moves at brother Seth's wedding

Every Warriors fan has seen a Steph Curry shimmy.

When the two-time NBA MVP hits a big shot, the shimmy comes out. It's a move Warriors fans love and other teams hate. 

There's no hating on Steph's latest dance moves, though. The Warriors' star point guard was on Cloud Nine and showing off his dance moves over the weekend while younger brother Seth got married in Malibu. 

The Curry brothers took center stage during the playoffs last season when the Warriors and Trail Blazers faced off in the Western Conference finals. Seth scored 6.3 points per game off the bench and then signed a four-year, $32 million contract with the Mavericks this offseason.

[RELATED: Check out Steph's $31M three-level mansion in Atherton]

The younger Curry brother married Callie Rivers, the daughter of Clippers coach Doc Rivers. There could be some real competitive H-O-R-S-E games at holidays between these families in the future.

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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.

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