Oct 1, 2013, 9:45 AM EST
I can’t stand the championship-or-bust ethos in the NBA.
Plenty of great players have never won titles, and many more bad players have. Of course, championships should remain a piece of the puzzle when evaluating players, but only a piece and definitely not the largest piece.
The same issue exists on a team level, too. I just don’t accept that only one team succeeds and the other 29 fail each each season.
However, I see why Doc Rivers disagrees.
The value placed on championships has treated Rivers’ well. Without his 2008 title coaching the Celtics, Rivers probably doesn’t have a $7 million-per-year contract and probably can’t force his way from a rebuilding team to a contender.
Rivers is a good coach, but his championship took his career to a new level. Now, he’s trying to use the title to take Chris Paul and the Clippers to a new level.
Chris Paul’s NBA résumé is highlighted with several elite individual accomplishments. But that didn’t stop new Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers from letting his star point guard know in their first face-to-face meeting that he’s lacking one major prize.An NBA championship.”As professional athletes, you always want someone to push you and motivate you,” Paul said. “The first meeting I had with Doc, he pretty much told me I wasn’t anything. He told me I hadn’t done anything in this league, and he was right. You don’t always want somebody that’s going to tell you what you want to hear.”
Rivers, because of his championship, has the cache to speak to Paul that way. If Rivers hadn’t won a title himself, even if he possessed the exact same coaching ability but hadn’t been blessed with as good of players, there’s no way Paul would accept such a message.The rest of Spears’ article contains quotes from Paul and Rivers gushing about each other, so their relationship is clearly in a good place.If Rivers can use this ridiculous criticism to push Paul, that’s great. But make no mistake: the criticism is ridiculous.Paul is the NBA’s best point guard, and he shouldn’t need a championship to keep that title.
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