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Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers is embarking on a rebuilding project, something he wanted to avoid doing with the Boston Celtics after the team’s core was broken up and left Boston for Los Angeles as a result.
This upcoming season will be the first Clippers team since 2011 to not feature Chris Paul, Blake Griffin or DeAndre Jordan on the roster. The franchise selected Shai Gilgeous–Alexander and Jerome Robinson in the 2018 NBA draft and is hoping to build around the two youngsters for years to come.
Rivers says because the Celtics won a championship and the Clippers haven’t, the rebuild in Los Angeles is different.
“We’re rebuilding in a little different way,” Rivers told Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald. “And, you know, it’s easy to rebuild when you haven’t won, you know what I mean? We won in Boston, so rebuilding there is tough. We haven’t won crap in LA, but we’re trying to. The goal is to win, and once you win — if you ever do — then I don’t want to rebuild anymore. Then you go to the next one. That’s the way I look at it.”
The Clippers missed the playoffs last season for the first time since 2011. Last offseason, Paul worked with management to orchestrate a sign-and-trade to the Houston Rockets. Then at this year’s trade deadline, Griffin was traded to the Detroit Pistons, just seven months after the star forward signed a five-year max contract extension.
The last member of the Clippers’ old Big Three, Jordan, signed with the Dallas Mavericks in free agency on a one-year deal. With Paul, Griffin and Jordan, the Clippers never advanced past the second-round of the playoffs.
“We had a run and it didn’t work,” Rivers said. “So what do you do? Are you supposed to keep doing it? Like I said, it’s part of the NBA. You go for it and you either do it or you don’t. And if you don’t, then you’ve got to change strides. I don’t see anything wrong with that.”