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Doc Rivers denies rift with Gillian Zucker

Speaking for the first time since a report surfaced detailing problems within the Clips' organization, Doc Rivers insisted no such issues exist.

Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Clippers have been in the news as much as any team so far this summer, with the latest report claiming a rift within the front office. A couple of weeks ago, TMZ reported that President of Basketball Operations Doc Rivers and President of Business Operations Gillian Zucker were having problems getting along. The gist of the claim is that Rivers was concerned that Zucker was overstepping her boundaries and trying to insert herself into the basketball side of things. This came on the heels of a series of cryptic tweets from former Grantland chief Bill Simmons, who said there's major turmoil and dysfunction within the Clipper organization.

Following a charity event in downtown L.A. Friday afternoon in which Rivers and Zucker shared the stage, the Clippers' coach spoke with the media and (sort of) denied that there was any issue (via the Los Angeles Times):

"There's nothing there," Rivers said. "Gillian has been great. She's new and she's new to the NBA and of course there's going to be criticism with that. But she's got our backing and she'll be fine."

This doesn't look like a full-on denial to me, but Rivers does seem to insist that whatever problems may exist aren't such a big deal. He did add that she hasn't tried to infringe on his basketball decision-making:

Rivers said Zucker hasn't tried to impose things on him in their infrequent conversations. "We do [talk] on business stuff, but very few [other] things," Rivers said.

Take this for what it's worth, because obviously there was no way Rivers was going to come out and trash Zucker in a public forum, even if they do have major problems behind-the-scenes. Let's just hope he's right, and that whatever is really going on isn't major enough to derail the Clippers' efforts on the court come October.