Someone did get lucky in the rivalry between the Clippers and the Golden State Warriors: fans who enjoy an epic tiff.
Clippers Coach Doc Rivers fired the latest verbal volley between the teams Monday when he addressed Golden State's Klay Thompson having ripped the Clippers over Rivers' comments about luck being involved in the Warriors' winning the NBA title.
"I'm really surprised how sensitive they are about it," said Rivers, whose comments were originally misrepresented by reporters relaying them to Thompson. "They are the champions, so they should just be the champions."
Rivers recently told Grantland that there was luck involved in Golden State's winning the championship because the Warriors didn't have to play the Clippers or the San Antonio Spurs in the playoffs. But reporters told Thompson that Rivers had called the Warriors "lucky."
"Ha ha, that sounds really bitter to me," Thompson said this month before going on to reference the Warriors' having won three of four games against the Clippers last season. "If we got lucky, look at our record against them last year. I'm pretty sure we smacked them."
A rivalry that has sparked a hallway confrontation, one player bumping another during a postgame interview and T-shirts tweaking Rivers by featuring his given name will resume Tuesday night at Staples Center when the Warriors play the Clippers in an exhibition game.
Rivers said he was disappointed that Golden State forward Draymond Green decided not to sell the T-shirts bearing the phrase "Cool story, Glenn." Green devised the catchphrase in response to Rivers' making fun of what the coach felt was an exaggerated response to then-Clippers reserve Dahntay Jones having brushed up against Green during a postgame interview last March.
"I saw him this summer and I told him we could have split the sales and that would have been nice," Rivers said of Green, "but I guess he didn't want me to make any money."
Rivers said the Warriors had earned the right to say whatever they wanted by winning the title. Golden State center Andrew Bogut seemed to test the limits recently when asked about criticism of his team's title in an interview with Bay Area radio station KNBR.
"I got my championship ring fitted for my middle finger," Bogut told the station.
The war of words figures to continue Tuesday.
"That's player-player stuff," Rivers said of the animosity between teams. "Coaches usually don't get involved in that kind of stuff."
Rivers on whether veteran forward Paul Pierce will start or come off the bench once the season starts: "It doesn't matter with Paul. Whenever he's on the floor, he's going to figure it out because he's played for 1,000 years." … The Clippers' sputtering second unit continued to work on spacing and timing during a walk-through before practice Monday. "There's no shortcuts to it," Rivers said. "One or two guys will figure out the timing, one won't and it messes the timing up for all five, so it just takes time."