Over the last several weeks, the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors have been exchanging verbal jabs and shots. Well, the Warriors have been, at least. The fire was started with Doc Rivers' seemingly innocuous comment to Grantland's Zach Lowe that the Warriors were lucky to win the title last season. Here's the original quote:
"You need luck in the West," he says. "Look at Golden State. They didn’t have to play us or the Spurs. But that’s also a lesson for us: When you have a chance to close, you have to do it."
He's right! Every champion in the history of the league has needed a bit of luck to go their way. There's nothing wrong with that. However, the ever-touchy Dubs felt slighted and have initiated a war of words. Klay Thompson, Andrew Bogut, Draymond Green and Stephen Curry have all offered their retorts to Doc's statement. Petty comments are their bread-and-butter, you know. They also seem to have some problems with reading comprehension.
On Monday, Rivers was once again asked about Golden State, and added a little more fuel to the fire (via Ben Bolch):
Doc Rivers on tiff with GS: "I’m surprised how sensitive they are about it. They are the champions, so they should just be the champions."— Ben Bolch (@latbbolch) October 19, 2015
It's always tough to try and repeat as champions, so one would imagine a lot of this is just the Warriors attempting to motivate themselves. Doc has repeatedly acknowledged that he thought the Warriors were worthy champions, but that hasn't yet stopped them from trying to drum something up. You can bet there are several Warrior players already carefully planning their oh-so-clever rebuttals.
DeAndre Jordan was also asked about this, and downplayed the ongoing quarrel between the clubs (via Dan Woike):
"We don’t have any more hatred for them than anybody else" - DeAndre Jordan on the Warriors.— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) October 19, 2015
The fact that this story remains in the news cycle is yet another sign that the NBA offseason is far too long. Let the games begin, already. That said, this is just about the closest thing we have to a rivalry in the NBA these days, so it's at least a little fun.
The two teams will meet for a preseason tilt in Oakland Tuesday night, and square-off for the first time in the regular season on November 4th at ORACLE Arena.