Los Angeles Clippers Trade Blake Griffin; Paul Pierce, DeAndre

Doc Rivers

"I think what happened with D.J.", Rivers told the OCR, "was he decided to choose substance and character over smoke and mirrors".

"Listen, Mark is an owner; I'm a coach", Rivers said. So I think the idea is to be able to get through the season injury-free and hopefully just be fresh for the playoffs come April, May, possibly June.

The Los Angeles Clippers once again will begin training camp with championship aspirations.

"I value myself as a communicator and a team builder, and I'm sitting there thinking that I didn't see this [problem] - not to the degree that it was, anyway - and it pissed me off", Rivers said. The Matt Barnes role requires that fifth starter to defend the other team's star on a consistent basis, and there's no point in exhausting Pierce, almost 38, with that task, nor will they want to depend on Stephenson on an every-night basis, at least not this early in his tenure. "It gives us more options when you have injuries, which you're going to have during the season". I don't care if we don't like how this was done, or we thought there was some injustice. "This is clearly the most talent that we've had since I've been here".

"And we rolled up our sleeves, and we got better". We can play a unit of Josh and Paul at four and five and Lance, Jamal and Austin. I would've said, "F- that, we're going to figure out a way to get this right.' But it also triggered something else for me". Now he'll have the challenge of deciding which units work best together, and expects most of the legwork in that area to be done during training camp.

The Los Angeles Clippers will start their season against the Sacramento Kings on October 28 before hosting the Mavericks at the Staples Center a day later.

The center had verbally agreed to sign with the Dallas Mavericks in the summer, but an 11th hour move by the entire Clippers roster helped Jordan change his mind. When you look at the past with me, from Chucky Atkins to Ben Wallace to James Posey in Boston, we're fine taking guys with one-year deals and making them rich.