LA Clippers coach Doc Rivers not feeling added pressure to win

first_img“My point is, I (couldn’t) care less either way,” he said of any heavy burden he may be shouldering. “Like, yeah, that’s our job. We came in to win the title. So you can put more pressure on me; it won’t work.“You know what I’m saying? I don’t get that. Like when people ask coaches or players those questions, I get what you’re saying, so I’m not trying to make light of it.“But who cares? We’re in this to win it. So if there’s more pressure on me, or more pressure on Blake (Griffin) or CP (Chris Paul), like, I don’t think they go to sleep thinking about that. Their job is to try to win it. That’s what you’re in it for.”Tough leaving HoustonPower forward Josh Smith is one of the key new faces on this team. He spoke Monday about the tough decision he had to make in leaving the Rockets. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error IRVINE >> It was one thing for Doc Rivers to fail to take the Clippers to the conference finals this past season for the first time in franchise history. Top to bottom, that was not a real deep team, so even though the Clippers blew a 3-1 series lead and lost to Houston in the Western Conference semifinals, that was a good alibi.But with the addition of several hard-nosed, quality players, Rivers will be expected to take this team through uncharted waters in 2015-16. He probably knows that, but he didn’t really want to hear it Monday at the team’s training camp at UC Irvine.“Well, I think there is pressure on my anyway, I guess,” said Rivers, the Clippers’ third-year head coach and president of basketball operations. “I want to win the title.”Rivers explained his thinking in detail.center_img “It was definitely hard,” he said. “The fans were amazing, my family loved it and enjoyed it. But as a basketball player, you have to take a step back and you have to be able to put yourself in scenarios, what best suits you for your career and the future of what you have going on.“I felt like when I looked at it and I prayed on it, this is the direction I wanted to go in.”Rivers said General Manager Dave Wohl was in contact with Smith for 21 consecutive days, and that when Smith decided to sign, he called Wohl to tell him of his decision.“That was a Dave Wohl production,” Rivers said. “I give Dave credit. He never stopped.”Smith said Houston tried to get him to stay, but not as hard as the Clippers worked to lure him to Los Angeles.“They offered some money,” Smith said of the Rockets, “but again, I felt like I think the Clippers pursued me more; they wanted me more.”Smith signed a one-year contract with the Clippers for the veterans minimum of $1,499,187. But he’s still owed some $27 million by Detroit, which waived Smith in December.Smith scored 19 points in Game 6 of the conference semifinals May 14 at Staples Center, helping the Rockets overcome a 19-point deficit late in the third quarter to defeat the Clippers 119-107 and send the series back to Houston for Game 7, which the Rockets won 113-100.Competitive spiritRivers talked about how spirited the first few days of camp have been. On Monday, there were two scrimmages, with the first and second units each winning one.“It’s been good,” Rivers said. “And I think it’s been great for the starters because they have to deal with guys coming after them and not really showing them a lot of … you know, they’re just playing them.”last_img read more