Jordan Farmar talks about getting to stay home in Los Angeles with the Clippers

SAN DIEGO - 03/18/06 - ©DAILY BREEZE PHOTO: SCOTT VARLEY -- UCLA vs. Alabama in the 2nd round of the NCAA tournament at Cox Arena. UCLA won 62-59. Jordan Farmar drives to the basket in the 2nd half.

SAN DIEGO – 03/18/06 – ©DAILY BREEZE PHOTO: SCOTT VARLEY — UCLA vs. Alabama in the 2nd round of the NCAA tournament at Cox Arena. UCLA won 62-59. Jordan Farmar drives to the basket in the 2nd half.

With the Clippers signing of free agent Jordan Farmar, who spent last season with city rival the Los Angeles Lakers (including a stint in 2006-10), the obvious was there: Farmar would be staying in L.A., but in a different uniform.

But Farmar’s choice to stay close to home went deeper then leaving a rebuilding team to a legitimate contender.

“It’s huge, I mean Los Angeles is really special to me. I get a chance to live in my house and be around my friends and family and see my kids grow up,” said Farmar, who went to Taft and UCLA. “Those are all the things that are important to me outside of basketball.”

The Clippers were able to capitalize on the Lakers focusing their attention on luring superstar free agents LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony to L.A.

“It would’ve been an easy decision if the Lakers said, ‘We want to make you a point guard and offer you ‘X, Y and Z and we would love to have you here,’” Farmar told the L.A. Daily News’ Mark Medina. “But those weren’t the conversations going back and forth. So it wasn’t a choice for me to make.”

The Lakers’ attention elsewhere coupled with Rivers’ persistence and desire to get Farmar in a Clippers uniform put the contenders, who were two wins away from the Western Conference Finals in the driver’s seat for his services.

“(Doc) was definitely the first person I talked to. I just landed at LAX, my phone started ringing as soon as I got service, he was the first person that called and he kept calling and he was persistent,” said Farmar. “And that was a good feeling to feel wanted and to feel like you were going to be part of something special.”

This season the 27-year-old was plagued by groin and hamstring injuries, costing him 41 games. When he did play Farmar was effective, averaging 10.1 points per game, 4.9 assists and 2.5 rebounds. Farmar fills the hole left by the departure of backup guard Darren Collison, who opted out of his final year with the Clippers and joined the Sacramento Kings.

Farmar’s deal is for two years and worth $4.2 million.

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Doc Rivers shows his sense of humor during unhappy post-game news conference

Coach Doc Rivers didn’t have anything for which to be happy after his team was eliminated by the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals by a score of 104-98 Thursday night at Staples Center.

But when a reporter informed him that shamed team owner Donald Sterling had said through a newly hired attorney that he wasn’t going to pay the $2.5 million fine levied him by the NBA on the heels of his infamous racist comments, Rivers couldn’t resist.

“I’m not paying my $25,000, either,” Rivers said. Laughs all around from a large group of reporters.

Rivers a day earlier was fined $25,000 for his heavy criticism of officials after the Clippers’ meltdown/controversial Game 5 loss at OKC on Tuesday.

 

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Doc Rivers fined $25,000 for blasting officials after Game 5 defeat

Coach Doc Rivers on Thursday was fined $25,000 by the NBA for his sharp criticism of officials that worked Game 5 of his team’s Western Conference semifinals series at Oklahoma City on Tuesday.

Rivers lashed out in the post-game news conference after his team blew a 13-point lead with 4:11 to play, losing 105-104 to fall behind 3-2 in the series. The play in question was an out-of-bounds play where the ball certainly appeared to go off the hand of OKC’s Reggie Jackson with 11.3 seconds to play. Officials said the replay was inconclusive and the call made on the court stood, the Thunder retaining possession of the ball.

That led to Chris Paul’s 3-point area foul on Russell Westbrook with 6.4 seconds left, and Westbrook made all three free throws for the winning points.

Afterward, Rivers referred to the call as “brutal” and “horrendous” and suggested officials were making up for not having called a foul on Matt Barnes on said play; it did appear Barnes fouled Jackson.

Barnes had Rivers’ back at the morning shootaround ahead of Game 6 Thursday night at Staples Center.

“I think it was needed,” Barnes said. “He’s done a great job all year of being a shield for this team with all the unfortunate stuff that’s come up during the playoffs.”

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NBA uses interesting wording when defending controversial play at end of Game 5

It’s kind of a moot point because coach Doc Rivers told reporters at practice Wednesday he wasn’t going to protest the controversial out-of-bounds call at the end of Game 5 on Tuesday at Oklahoma City,  but the NBA on Wednesday issued a rather interesting statement on it.

“With 11.3 seconds left in the game, the basketball went out of bounds on the baseline and the referees ruled the ball belonged to the Thunder,” Rod Thorn, president of basketball operations for the NBA, said in the statement. “The referees then used instant replay to review the play. In order to reverse the call made on the court, there has to be ‘clear and conclusive’ evidence. Since no replay provided such evidence, the play correctly stood as called with the Thunder retaining possession.”

All due respect, it just seems funny that the statement included the word “correctly” in it when, from here, the Thunder’s Reggie Jackson last touched the ball. We saw the replay on a fellow reporter’s lap top afterward, and someone got a real terrific angle on it because if it didn’t go out of Jackson, then it was some kind of optical illusion.

Of course, there was lots more than that to the Clippers’ 105-104 loss. They know it. But it did play a role in them blowing a 13-point lead with just over four minutes to play. That also led to the foul by Chris Paul on Russell Westbrook, who made three free throws for the game’s final points.

Consequently, OKC  leads the series 3-2 and can close it out Thursday in Game 6 at Staples Center. If the Clippers prevail, Game 7 is Sunday at Oklahoma City.

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Clippers head coach Doc Rivers and Blake Griffin defend Chris Paul after Game 5 loss

Los Angeles Clippers' Chris Paul, Hedo Turkoglu (8), Jamal Crawford (11) and Blake Griffin (32) walk back to their bench in the closing minutes of a 118-97 loss to the Golden State Warriors during the second half in Game 4 of an opening-round NBA basketball playoff series on Sunday, April 27, 2014, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Paul, Hedo Turkoglu (8), Jamal Crawford (11) and Blake Griffin (32) walk back to their bench in the closing minutes of a 118-97 loss to the Golden State Warriors during the second half in Game 4 of an opening-round NBA basketball playoff series on Sunday, April 27, 2014, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

After the Clippers’ emotional 105-104 Game 5 collapse to the Oklahoma City Thunder on the road, where Los Angeles squandered a 13-point lead in the final four minutes of play, point-gaurd Chris Paul took the blame.

Paul’s stretch of play in the waning moments would make no highlight reel. Paul turned the ball over with 17.8 seconds left that led to the controversial out-of-bounds call involving Reggie Jackson and the Clippers’ Matt Barnes call with 11.6 seconds left.

After the review kept the ball with the Thunder, Paul fouled Russell Westbrook on the elbow as he attempted a three-point shot with 6.4 ticks left. Westbrook sunk all three for the 105-104 lead.

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Doc Rivers doles out kudos to Blake Griffin for keeping his cool when things get hot

Blake Griffin had 16 technical fouls during the regular season, which tied him with two others – Kevin Durant of Oklahoma City and DeMarcus Cousins of Sacramento – for most in the league. How many does Griffin have during 11 post-season games? Not one.

That impresses coach Doc Rivers, who was asked during a conference call Monday how he goes about counseling Griffin to keep his cool. This comes on the heels of Griffin being hit in the groin area by OKC’s Serge Ibaka not long after Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals began Sunday at Staples Center.

“You can just say Zach Randolph,” Rivers said of the Memphis Grizzlies’ forward who punched the Thunder’s Steven Adams in Game 6 of their first-round series, resulting in a one-game suspension, meaning Randolph did not play in Game 7. “It is hard to keep your cool. You’re getting hit, I think at times illegal hits. I think he’s been taking them all year and he’s been doing a great job of it.

“I don’t know if anyone has taken more punishment this year than Blake. In my opinion, some of them have been aboveboard and some of them have not been. People keep getting away with it.” Continue reading

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Doc Rivers concerned about Mark Jackson’s firing, vulnerability of NBA coaches

When coach Doc Rivers met with reporters about 1:15 Pacific time on Tuesday in Oklahoma City, he had yet to hear that Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson had been fired.

The Warriors took the Clippers to seven games in their recently concluded first-round Western Conference playoff series. It marked the first time the Warriors had made the post-season in consecutive seasons since the 1990-91 and 1991-92 campaigns. Rivers was stunned.

“That means things are crazy,” Rivers said. “George Karl was the Coach of the Year last year and got fired. Mark Jackson gets a team to multiple playoffs for the first time in a thousand years, and gets fired. It’s our job. We have a tough job and I think everyone knows it now more than ever.”

Rivers was asked if something has changed over the years regarding coaches and their vulnerability.

“Yeah, clearly, but I don’t know what IT is,” he said. “But something has absolutely changed. And I don’t know what it is, but clearly the patience has changed. But I don’t know why that would be impatience because they’ve done pretty well for the last couple of years. So, I don’t know, but there definitely is a change in thinking about us, and it’s hurting us.”

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Doc Rivers: verbal post-game row between Clippers and Warriors ‘much to do about nothing’

Doc Rivers on Sunday morning during a conference call was asked to comment on a verbal post-game row that took place between players from the Clippers and Warriors on the heels of the Clippers’ 126-121 Game 7 playoff victory at Staples Center.

The home and visitors locker rooms are close in proximity and apparently the Warriors didn’t like something they thought they heard coming from the Clippers’ locker room, such as an assistant coach saying how quiet it was in the Warriors’, according to a report on ESPN.com. That led to a verbal confrontation in the tunnel outside the locker rooms.

“I really don’t know,” Rivers said, when asked about it. “I was sitting in my office with my family, and I heard about it.  From what I’ve heard, it was much to do about nothing. Unfortunately, the way the arena is built, from our training room that door opens. The other locker room is through that and I guess they can hear guys being excited. That was about it. From there I guess there were guys chirping in the hallway in between the two locker rooms. But no one even came and got me. I found out about it after the fact. That’s what I heard. Besides people talking loud at each other, nothing happened.”

There has been no love lost between these two teams.

According to the report on ESPN.com, which cited sources, security was called.

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Clippers head coach Doc Rivers meets with organization employees Friday morning

Minutes into his meeting with media outlets after Friday’s afternoon practice, Clippers head coach Doc Rivers broke off from answering the opening question to discuss the aftermath of the Donald Sterling scandal and how it had been affecting the organization as a whole.

On Friday morning, Rivers went to downtown Los Angeles to meet with Clippers employees, ranging from ticket sellers to those who work in marketing, and spoke with them about the Sterling story that had become the dark cloud hanging over the Clippers.

“It was really hard to see them,” said Rivers. “I just felt so bad for them.”

Rivers said employees were in tears as they shared stories of them getting nasty phone calls and being called names and how they had a hard time dealing with the story as it broke. Rivers said that the employees even thought about not working.

On Tuesday, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued down a lifetime ban on Sterling for  his racist remarks and a $2.5 million fine. Silver also stated that he would be doing everything in his power to force the sale of the Clippers.

“What I did today for me, was far more important than this stuff because they need it, they really do” said Rivers of the meeting. “They need it even more than our players do right now, they need somebody.”

Rivers said the meeting was arranged by the heads of departments within the organization.

“They needed someone to ask them to continue to work and support,” said Rivers. “You know, we are still tying to put this thing together.”

Game 7 of the Clippers and Warriors will be played Saturday at the Staples Center.

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Report: Jamal Crawford wins Sixth-Man of the Year award

Jamal Crawford has won the NBA’s Sixth-Man of the Year Award, according to a report Wednesday on ESPN.com. The website cited “sources” and also stated that Crawford would have been given the award Tuesday at Game 5 of the Clippers’ Western Conference playoff series against Golden State at Staples Center, but that the NBA held back because of everything going on with now-banned team owner Donald Sterling.

Crawford averaged 18.6 points during the regular season. He becomes the fourth player in history to win the award twice, having previously won it in 2010. The other three players to win it two times were Detlef Schrempf, Ricky Pierce and Kevin McHale.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers was not surprised to hear the news during a conference call Wednesday.

“He’s deserving of it,” Rivers said. “I don’t know if there is a more lethal weapon in the league that you could bring off the bench and the fact that he’s done more than that, to me, is why he’s won it because he’s done this in the past over the last couple of of years where he’s been so good offensively.

“But I actually think he won it because I think the voters saw him doing other things for the team, playing defense, running the team at the point guard position, especially when Chris Paul was out at times, and he’s just been the perfect utility player for our team. He’s been awesome.”

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