Clippers to cover Lakers banners at Staples Center

Clippers banners

The Los Angeles Clippers are finally looking like the best basketball team in the city, and now they’re taking extra steps to cement their identity.

According to Orange County Register reporter Dan Woike, the Clippers will be covering Lakers banners inside Staples Center this season in an effort to give the arena more of a Clippers feel during home games.

As Woike and others photographed, there will be huge banners of the Clippers’ star players covering the banners that recognized the Lakers’ historical achievements, including championships won and retired jerseys. They’re also covering the Los Angeles Kings banners.

“I look at it as putting our guys up…this is our arena when we play … No disrespect to them,” new head coach Doc Rivers said, per Woike.

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Doc Rivers trade to Clippers reportedly is ‘completely dead’

Doc RiversTrade talks between the Los Angeles Clippers and Boston Celtics concerning coach Doc Rivers continue to stall, and one report even says they are “completely dead.”

“The deal is completely dead,” a source told Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski

Though Woj reports that the deal is dead, the LA Times’ Broderick Turner says talks ended Friday, but the Clippers expect them to resume.

The issue reportedly is that the Clippers are unwilling to send the Boston Celtics a first-round pick in exchange for Rivers, who has three years and $21 million left on his contract. The Clippers may believe that they can wait out Boston and that the longer this goes on, the more inclined the Celtics will be to relent and accept the deal.

Free agent point guard Chris Paul reportedly has been pushing the Clippers to make the trade. Another stumbling block is David Stern saying the NBA likely would not approve the trade even if the teams agree on a deal.

NBA will reportedly not allow trade between Celtics and Clippers

David-Stern-regrets-Jim-Rome-interviewJust when it appeared the the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers may have been once again working toward a deal, David Stern swooped in to extinguish the flames. Trade talks had reportedly heated up as of Thursday morning, thanks in part to Chris Paul’s desire to play for Doc Rivers. However, it appears the potential deal would violate the terms of the current collective bargaining agreement.

Basically, the issue is that the public knows the two teams are trying to swap Rivers and Kevin Garnett for DeAndre Jordan and draft picks. Per current NBA rules, coaches cannot be “traded” for players. The only way the Clippers could land Rivers is if the Celtics released him from his current contract, which has three years and $21 million remaining on it, and LA signed him. That transaction cannot be part of a bigger trade, nor can any aspect of the trade include any contingencies having to do with it.

From a legal standpoint, the Celtics could have traded Garnett to the Clippers for Jordan and draft picks. Then, they could have released Rivers and allowed him to sign with LA. That would have in theory made everyone happy, except for Stern. Now that the media has exposed the deal and everyone knows it is contingent upon Rivers going west, the commissioner said the league is unlikely to allow it.

“I would say that if we know that what the parties really wanted to do is one [trade] and they’re going to break it into two for the purposes of trying to avoid the restrictions that the collective bargaining agreement places on it, we know how to deal with that as well,” Stern told ESPN’s Colin Cowherd on Thursday.

In a separate interview, Stephen A. Smith asked Stern why the league could not just view the trade and Rivers’ release as two separate deals.

“If you think those [deals], at this point having been all over the media for the last week, are separate transactions, when you get back from Miami, Stephen A., I have a bridge that I would very much enjoy selling to you,” Stern replied.

From the sound of it, there is nothing that can be done at this point. The Celtics and Clippers can’t go back in time and convince the NBA that allowing Rivers to sign with the Clippers has nothing to do with the Garnett-Jordan trade, because we all know that’s not the case. Now we see why players are inclined to make comments like this about Stern and the NBA.

Chris Paul reportedly pressuring Clippers to make deal with Celtics

Vinny-Del-Negro-Chris-Paul-Out-of-ShapeThe Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers may not be done dealing just yet. Earlier this week, LA reportedly rejected Boston’s offer of Kevin Garnett and Doc Rivers for DeAndre Jordan and two first-round picks. It was believed that the Celtics wanted point guard Eric Bledsoe in the deal in addition to Jordan, but that may not be the case anymore.

Instead, the proposed deal — without Bledsoe — is reportedly still on the table and awaiting approval from Clippers owner Donald Sterling. According to Baxter Holmes of the Boston Globe, Chris Paul and his camp have reignited the trade talks by pressuring LA’s front office to pull the trigger on the deal.

League sources reportedly told the Globe that Paul feels two first-round picks and Jordan is a small price to pay for an elite NBA coach and a veteran forward with championship experience. Keep in mind that Paul is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent next month. CP3 was reportedly angry with the team a few weeks ago after he felt they made it look like he was the reason Vinny Del Negro was fired.

While Sterling isn’t exactly the type of owner who would do something simply because a star player tells him to, you would think Paul’s opinion holds some weight. The Clippers need to re-sign Paul, and it sounds like pulling the trigger on the trade with the Celtics would almost guarantee they would be able to do that.

As a side note, Rivers is a player’s coach and was an All-Star point guard doing his playing career. The fact that Paul is excited about the potential of playing for him is hardly a surprise.

Clippers reportedly reject Celtics’ trade offer for Doc Rivers

Doc RiversAfter a day of fast-moving trade rumors, it looks like Doc Rivers will not be leaving Boston for the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Los Angeles Times’ Brad Turner reported that Rivers was informed that the Clippers have rejected the Celtics’ trade offer for the head coach. Turner also says that the Clippers are prepared to offer their job to Brian Shaw or Lionel Hollins instead.

According to Yahoo! Sports, the proposed deal was Clippers center DeAndre Jordan and two first-round picks to the Celtics for Kevin Garnett and the right to hire Rivers. Garnett reportedly was willing to waive his no-trade clause to join Rivers in LA. Boston reportedly wanted Eric Bledsoe in the trade along with Jordan, and that’s where the holdup occurred.

Both Turner and Yahoo!’s Adrian Wojnarowski say Clippers do not want to part with Eric Bledsoe, their backup point guard, who is desired by many teams. Should the Clippers fail to re-sign free agent Chris Paul, they would want Bledsoe to step in as their starter. They also likely would want to keep Bledsoe so they could have him to flip in another trade.

Earlier on Saturday, we passed along a report saying that Rivers, Garnett, and Paul Pierce could end up with the Clippers. The thinking was that if the Clippers got both Rivers and Garnett, Boston would decide not to bring back Pierce, who could then decide to sign with the Clips.

These trades would be complex and should not be counted out, but they appear unlikely to occur at this point. One thing we can prepare for is changes with the rosters for both teams — they each appear ready to make major moves.

Kevin Garnett, Paul Piece, Doc Rivers all reportedly interested in Los Angeles Clippers

Paul-Pierce-Doc-Rivers-Kevin-GarnettThere has been a lot of talk over the last week or so about whether or not Doc Rivers wants to remain with the Boston Celtics. Ray Allen has moved on and Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce have very little left in the tank. The championship window has closed, and Rivers is not interested in taking on a full-blown rebuilding project. Now, rumors are swirling that Pierce, Garnett and Rivers could all leave town together.

According to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein, there is a “rising belief” around the NBA that Rivers, Pierce and Garnett would all like to move to the Los Angeles Clippers together if the Celtics aren’t in a position to contend for a title next season. While it was initially assumed that any trade like that would involve Blake Griffin, Stein said it would be possible for the Clippers to land all three without giving up Griffin. They would have to send cash and draft considerations for Rivers.

Rivers has established an extremely close relationship with Pierce over the last decade and Garnett since the Big Three first came together in 2007. Both players have hinted in the past that they would never play for anyone but Doc, and a scenario like the one Stein laid out could keep them all together while still giving them a shot at another ring.

Of course, money would be an issue for both teams. Pierce’s $15 million contract with the Celtics for next year is not fully guaranteed, but Boston would have to pay him $5 million if they released him. There has been a lot of talk about Garnett retiring, but I’m sure he could be persuaded to play alongside Pierce, Griffin and Chris Paul while keeping his favorite coach. Some restructuring of deals would have to take place and the Clippers would have to compensate the Celtics quite handsomely, but it’s not totally out of the question.

Doc Rivers reportedly has interest in coaching Clippers

Doc RiversDoc Rivers has three years and $21 million left on his contract with the Boston Celtics, but there is growing speculation that he will not return to Beantown next season. Now the latest reports say that there is mutual interest between Rivers and the Los Angeles Clippers, who have a vacancy after parting ways with Vinny Del Negro.

The Los Angeles Times’ Broderick Turner reported on Wednesday that Rivers would be at the top of the Clippers’ list if he decides he does not want to return to Boston. On Thursday, ESPN’s Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne reported that Rivers is “highly intrigued by the idea of coaching the Clippers.” They say there is strong mutual interest between both sides.

Multiple reports have indicated that Rivers may want to leave Boston after coaching the Celtics for the past nine seasons. The Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn reported this week that speculation has grown that Rivers may step down as head coach. What are some of the reasons? CSN New England says Rivers may not want to stick around for a full-on rebuild considering Boston’s stars are aging.

Though there may be strong interest between the Clippers and Rivers, working out a deal for him to coach the team will not be easy.

First off, Rivers is scheduled to earn $7 million per season. The Clippers have a notoriously cheap owner who likely will not want to pay that amount. Secondly, since Rivers is still under contract with the Celtics, the Clippers might have to offer Boston some sort of compensation to persuade them to release the coach from his contract. A deal could be arranged, but I just don’t think it will be easy to figure out.

Brian Shaw, Byron Scott, and Lionel Hollins are other candidates for the job. If I’m the Clippers, Hollins would be the guy I’d want to hire.