On goes the Doc Rivers “tour” of saying the right things to motivate his team as the prepare for the 2013-14 NBA season. This time the topic of conversation are DeAndre Jordan and Kevin Garnett:
“[Jordan] is just too young and too gifted to let walk out your door, bottom line. He’s a game changer defensively. He can single-handedly change a game with his defense. There’s five guys, and that number maybe too high, that can do that single-handedly with their size and athleticism and he’s one of them. When you have one of those guys, you want to keep them.”
via Doc didn’t want DeAndre Jordan trade | ESPN Los Angeles
Of course the trade that would have sent Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Doc Rivers to the Los Angeles Clippers for DeAndre Jordan and future draft picks was ruled illegal by the NBA, citing that a team can’t receive a NBA player as compensation for NBA players. The Clippers were then forced to choose between Rivers by himself or Garnett and Pierce together.
It makes for a great story as Rivers is instilling confidence in the sixth year center, something that former Los Angeles Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro never did. While Jordan is the better long-term option for the Clippers, Garnett is the better player at this point in time, being a smarter player that can defend the pick-and-roll and the rim all while being able to step out to hit the 15-foot jumper which is ideal for the Clips.
Los Angeles’ championship hopes may be in the hands of Jordan. Everyone in the organization is hoping he pans out for the sake of the team.