Colin Cowherd: “Ramona Shelburne wrote that Steve Ballmer consulted with Paul George and Kawhi Leonard before the Doc Rivers situation. I didn’t like him getting fired and I thought he was the leader on the team since Kawhi doesn’t talk. For the results of the Clippers to change, two players are going to have to change. Kawhi is 29 and Paul George is 30. People, your personalities are formed between 6 and 9 years old… Kawhi and Paul George are now seasoned NBA veterans, they’re not going to change. Kawhi doesn’t talk, he’s non-verbal, and Paul George has some anxiety in the playoffs and he shrinks. That’s why I liked Doc Rivers, HE was the leader. If you look at the history of the NBA, there have been a lot of stars but LEADERS win NBA Championships… The NBA is not just about stars, in the last 30 years to win a title you either have a leader as a player, a leader as an organization like the Spurs, or a leader like Popovich… You know what doesn’t create great leadership? Players who are quirky, great players who are odd like Westbrook and Harden, and great players who are quiet and nonverbal like Kawhi. You have two guys who are talented but not great leaders, and Doc was the leader. He’s the Joe Torre of the NBA. I don’t know if he’s the best X’s and O’s guy in the NBA, he’s fine, but like Joe Torre he’s an Alpha, he gets the room, he makes stars work together, and he can appeal to the blue-collar bench guy, like Joe Torre could appeal to the A-Rod and Jeter, and the bench guy stoo. He can appeal to all these alpha male millionaire leaders in the room and you lost him. Now the leadership goes to ------- A guy that doesn’t talk.” (Full Segment Above)
Listen to Colin Cowherd call out the Clippers for firing longtime head coach Doc Rivers, as Colin thinks this was a special circumstance where a team without leadership already in place couldn’t afford to get rid of the ‘Joe Torre’ of basketball, Doc Rivers.
Rivers spent seven seasons in Los Angeles, winning 356 games compared to only 206 losses in the regular season, but never advanced past the second round of the playoffs and blew two 3-1 leads with loaded rosters.
Despite the playoff failures, Colin doesn’t think Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are good enough leaders to pick up the slack in the wake of Rivers’ departure.
Check out the full segment above.