Report: Josh Smith, Clippers assistant have argument after loss
With the Los Angeles Clippers opening up the year 6-7, their worst start in the Chris Paul era, frustration is beginning to set in.
Forward Josh Smith was involved in a locker room argument with an unspecified Clippers assistant coach after Sunday’s 91-80 loss over the Toronto Raptors, according to Dan Woike of the Orange County Register.
Obscenities and yelling coming from the Clippers locker room were said to be audible through the cement walls in the adjacent press room for members of the media waiting to speak with head coach Doc Rivers after the game.
Smith, 29, signed with the Clippers on a minimum deal over the summer but is averaging a mere 4.7 points per game, 4.1 rebounds per game, and 1.4 assists per game in just 14.8 minutes per game so far.
Perhaps the root of Smith’s irritation could be that he has found himself no more than glorified rotation depth fodder early in the season. Rivers has been reluctant to call on Smoove’s number this year, even in situations where his talents could be useful for the team such as when the Warriors turned to their vaunted small-ball lineup last Thursday, which has to be disheartening for a player who has averaged 33.3 minutes per game for his career.
The Clipper frustration isn’t just confined to Smith, as the entire team looks out of whack right now, having lost seven of their last nine games. And with all of the turbulent personalities present in their locker room, it’s not all that surprising that something like this happened less than a month into the NBA season.
While the assistant with whom Smith was arguing with was not identified, it’s worth noting that Clippers assistant Mike Woodson was Smith’s head coach in Atlanta for six seasons from 2004 to 2010.
The Clipper ship is billowing right now, and they will need to find some answers quickly, especially with there being no time to waste in the Western Conference.
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