Doc Rivers is smarter than you thought he was.
In the midst of him signing on to coach the Clippers, but not being able to bring Kevin Garnett or Paul Pierce with him, Rivers admitted that things didn’t work out as bad as people thought.
Rivers heard all the talk about DeAndre Jordan’s limitations, but potential outlast any limitations. It’s that potential that Rivers and others see in Jordan that kept him a Clipper.
According to CBSSports.com, Rivers wanted no part of trading Jordan to Boston in return for Garnett.
“I couldn’t get involved in that whole thing,” Rivers said. “That was the strangest thing in the world. I was seeing the trade talks and I was saying, ‘Wait a minute! We don’t want to give away that guy!’ We wanted that other guy too. That was the home run to get both.
“[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.”
Rivers has praised the Clippers’ 25-year-old center during the team’s training camp in San Diego. He has called Jordan the team’s defensive captain and a candidate for the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year this season.
Rivers also insisted that Jordan be included in a photo with himself, Chris Pauland Blake Griffin for the team’s media guide, calling Jordan part of the Clippers’ “Big Three.”
“No one’s been better than that guy,” Rivers said of Jordan’s performance during training camp. “He’s been on another level.”