How Doc Rivers faith-healed a franchise and came out the other side as the 2014 L.A. News Group Sports Person of the Year

Clippers coach Doc Rivers waits for the start of his team's game against Toronto at Staples Center on Saturday.  (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Clippers coach Doc Rivers waits for the start of his team’s game against Toronto at Staples Center on Saturday. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

It was the middle of June, just about a month after the Clippers’ 2013-14 season skidded to an ending after a physically and emotionally exhausting series against Oklahoma City in the NBA’s Western Conference semifinals.
Al Michaels and Bill Simmons were discussing what Doc Rivers just went through during Simmons’ “B.S. Report” podcast.
But there was no B.S.-ing here.
“He saved the Clippers,” said Simmons, a season-seat holder of the team who, because of his opinions, had some run-ins with the coach.
“Yup,” said Michaels, one of Rivers’ close friends and a former NBC NBA broadcast partner.
“Here’s how I look at it,” added Michaels. “I call my friend, Jon Wertheim at Sports Illustrated, after the Clippers beat Golden State (in the first round) and I said, ‘If they beat Oklahoma City and somehow go on to win the NBA title, Doc Rivers has to be your ‘Sportsman of the Year.’”
“He might anyway,” replied Simmons.
The votes came in, and, for whatever the reason, Rivers wasn’t.
Not that we’re trying to right a wrong here, but that’s just not acceptable.
For the way he showed by example how to lead through adversity and keep priorities in order, Rivers has earned the distinction as the 10th recipient of the Los Angeles News Group Sports Person of the Year.
For more of the story, here’s the link. The Simmons-Michaels video is below:

Previous winners of the Los Angeles Sports Person of the Year award:
2013: Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig
2012: Dodgers ownership team — Mark Walter, Stan Kasten and Magic Johnson
2011: AEG president and CEO Tim Leiweke
2010: New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush
2009: Thousand Oaks teenage sailors Zac and Abby Sunderland
2008: Dodgers outfielder Manny Ramirez
2007: Galaxy midfielder David Beckham
2006: Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti
2005: USC running back Reggie Bush and USC quarterback Matt Leinart

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