I knew this was going to be bad. It is worse than expected, and yet another huge reason for other teams and their fans to hate the L.A. Clippers.
Doc Rivers, Celebrity Coach.
Amid all the denied rumors about getting the old coach fired, Chris Paul was allowed to wear the GM pants and hand-pick his own coach. In his own image.
Watching Doc Rivers on the sideline during the Warriors – Clippers game on TNT on Thursday night confirmed all fears. I saw Rivers pick up a clipboard twice. He preferred to spend all his time, all his energy, working the refs.
He would call each of them out, using their first names to do so. He would whine. He would complain. He would argue. He would call them over, insisting that they stand right beside him and hear him out.
Several times during the game, he gave them that arrow-to-the-heart, going-to-have-a-heart-attack-right-here-right-now pose. Or that grab-my-head-and-hold-it-on-before-it-explodes gesture. The John McInroe you-can’t-be-serious move. The look-to-the-sky, palms-up, this-can’t-be-happening melodramatic.
When these theatrics wouldn’t work with one referee, Doc would be calling another referee over, while the first ref was standing right there. The you-can’t-let-him-do-this-to-me tactic.
I thought Doc was going to be a PR man. A cheerleader. His ability to work the refs has got to be viewed as a bonus for the Clippers organization.
It was like watching Chris Paul during a game if he didn’t have to take time out to, you know, play the game. Thank goodness Doc doesn’t have to spend any time actually coaching. Good thing he can focus all his attention on doing what he was hired to do.
Chris Paul could have an amazing season, now that he is free to play the game. Now that he has Doc Rivers to take care of all this other stuff for him. To do his bidding.
The team of prima donnas, of pre-ordained superstars, has a new coach. Expect him to be doing State Farm and Kia commercials, as if those aren’t completely over the top. (Did you catch the new one, where SuperBlake has the new, adoring sidekick with the little cape and the kicking little legs? Adorable.)
Quite a few teams changed coaches in the NBA since the end of last season. Most of the new coaches are analytical X’s and O’s guys, with teams considering, but ultimately rejecting, what were referred to as retread coaches.
It is hard to imagine this approach working for any other team in the NBA. It is hard to imagine another group of players putting up with it. Hard to imagine the fans standing by and watching this happen and accepting it.
But for the Clippers, this could be perfect. The pictures tell the story, don’t they? Even when we are only two games into the new season.
The Celebrity Coach. It fits so, so well. This could work. It is, obviously, working for me.