Any newspaper, blog, or other sports medium that covers the Los Angeles Clippers has spent the majority of their time, at least in the last three years, writing about and covering Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, and DeAndre Jordan. And for good reason -- these three players have brought in accolade after accolade, including All-Star selections and All-NBA awards.
So when the Clippers entered the playoffs, with Blake Griffin back on the active roster, one would expect our headlines to be full of "Big Three" coverage. Now, with the Clippers up 2-0 in the series, we certainly have found praise for the likes of Paul, Griffin, and Jordan. But we have also seen two unexpected names gain popular traction -- Jamal Crawford and Austin Rivers.
Jamal Crawford's attention makes sense: After all, he just won his third NBA Six-man of the Year award, making him the only player with three such awards, as well as the oldest to win it.
But although Crawford has had attention before, having one's own specially named parking spot at LAX seems like new waters of stardom:
As for Austin Rivers, we see his attention manifest in Dan Woike's recent article in the Orange County Register. Rivers, being essentially the seventh or eighth person off of the Clippers' bench, does not typically have full length articles written about him. Not to say that he has not earned it: although he has only averaged 10 points per playoff game thus far, he has shot well and has controlled the game while playing with the second unit. Add this to some explosive games towards the end of the regular season and he has earned himself a feature article in a major Southern California newspaper.
As Dan Woike writes, Rivers is a very confident player and is likely not surprised that attention is coming his way. He also comes across as extremely defiant in that he actively rejects anyone that suggests he does not deserve a spot in the NBA:
With the Clippers heading north to Portland, a large majority of media attention will be given to Griffin, Paul, and Jordan; however, Jamal Crawford and Austin Rivers will also get their coverage as well. Whereas Crawford is adding to a long, well-accomplished career, Rivers is trying to push his to the next level. And people are noticing.