Clippers Coach Doc Rivers acknowledged reports that players from his team and the Golden State Warriors engaged in a verbal confrontation in a hallway inside Staples Center after Game 7 of their first-round playoff series late Saturday night.
"Besides people talking loud at each other, nothing happened," Rivers said Sunday during a conference call with reporters.
USA Today reported that police had to be called after an altercation involving the Warriors' Stephen Curry, Jermaine O’Neal, Marreese Speights and Steve Blake as well as the Clippers' Matt Barnes and Glen Davis.
The Clippers' Chris Paul was also present at one point, USA Today reported, but it was not clear whether he participated in the verbal exchange.
"I was sitting in my office with my family and I heard about it," Rivers said. "The more I've heard, it was much to do about nothing. Unfortunately, the way the arena is built, from our training room, that door's open and their locker room is through that and I guess they could hear guys being excited and so that was about it. From there, I guess there were guys jumping in the hallway in between the two locker rooms."
The hallway in which the incident occurred is not accessible by the media.
The Clippers and Warriors have had a contentious relationship for a couple of seasons now, with games including technical fouls, ejections and testy exchanges. The teams even declined to attend a pregame chapel together earlier this season.
Golden State's Klay Thompson stoked the tensions before the series when he accused the Clippers' Blake Griffin of flopping. But Speights said after the Clippers' Game 2 victory that Paul was the primary antagonist in the bitterness between the teams.
"It's not really Blake Griffin; it's all Chris Paul for real," Speights told USA Today. "Chris Paul starts all of that stuff. Before Chris Paul came here, the team was not like that. It's just two teams going hard at each other."
Of course, only one of the teams is still playing. The Clippers open the Western Conference semifinals Monday at Oklahoma City after pulling out a 126-121 victory over the Warriors on Saturday.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times