Coaches don’t win NBA championships. Players do. But a good coach can certainly come in handy.
That’s why the Los Angeles Clippers have so far made the most valuable offseason move in the league by hiring Doc Rivers as head coach. Rivers is the missing piece in the puzzle to take the Clippers from playoff contenders, at best, to NBA champions for sure.
That’s hardly a guarantee, of course, but the Clippers organization has given a clear signal that not only does it want to be the best franchise in Los Angeles, it wants to reign supreme in the entire league.
River brings his excellent coaching ability from the Boston Celtics to Los Angeles. He also brings a sense of confidence and enthusiasm that is going to take away plenty of attention from the Los Angeles Lakers, much to the glee of the Clipper top brass.
He will also bring confidence to other players who thought they were underachieving under Vinny Del Negro. Winning the divisional title was one small step for the Clippers. Winning at least one or two playoff series was also a critical step.
“I think the Clippers organization is showing that they’ll do whatever they think needs to be done to put us in a position to compete for a championship,” Clippers guard Jamal Crawford said in a text message to USA TODAY Sports. “Obviously, Doc is one of the top coaches in the league and has championship pedigree. This should be fun.”
Rivers comes in hoping to gradually make the Clippers an outstanding playoff team. It takes 16 postseason wins to be a champion and that’s what Rivers will be expected to get for the Clippers.
He can be expected to meet this goal within three seasons.