In a perfect world, a young NBA coach that leads a team of perennial bottom feeders to a division title and a franchise record regular season wins would be awarded with mock job security and a firm hand shake from the big shot whose name is scribbled on the bottom of his paycheck.
Former Los Angeles Clipper head coach Vinny Del Negro coached the 2012 Clipper organization into the record books, for which he was congratulated, supported by his boss, and shown the door for a job well done. Losing in the first round of the playoffs didn’t help Del Negros’ case, but he proved to be an above adequate coach in the league. Yet, it was time for the organization to get serious about winning, and they did so by replacing a promising, young coach with Doc Rivers, a proven champion.
Rivers brought league-wide respectability to the Clippers from the moment he landed in Los Angeles , yet it’s been his recent coaching performance that has made the Clippers of the past a distant memory. The team is currently 26-13 and top the Pacific Division despite a nine week juggling act that started with an injury to shooting guard JJ Redick, followed by a shoulder separation that put Redick’s back-court stud Chris Paul in street clothes.
With each injury, Rivers has found ways to keep his men focused within the system he put in place in training camp. Instead of looking to replace the losses that have been endured, Rivers uses the injuries to validate his system, keeping the team defensive, trusting and accountable.
ChristopherBrown is an NBA writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @whatrockschris. Like Him on Facebook. Christopher-Rant Sports.