Clippers report: Ejections are topic of Doc Rivers’ call with NBA executive

Clippers Coach Doc Rivers argues with referee Jason Phillips before being ejected Friday night in Houston.
(George Bridges / Associated Press)

 Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said he spoke with an official from the NBA office regarding his ejection and that of Austin Rivers during Friday night’s game at Houston.

After a conversation late Friday night with Kiki Vandeweghe, the NBA’s executive vice president of basketball operations in charge of handing out punishment, neither Doc Rivers nor Austin Rivers were suspended for the game Saturday night at Oklahoma City and neither has been fined.

Before the Clippers played the Thunder on Saturday, Doc Rivers was asked how his conversation went with the NBA.

He had been ejected from the Rockets game trying to get an explanation regarding a foul for Marreese Speights after he had scored.


“No, they didn’t think …” Rivers said. “Listen, that’s all I’m going to say. Obviously they didn’t think it was an issue either way.”

Austin was ejected from the Rockets game for what the officials told the media was for using “profanity” and for making “contact with” an official.

“They didn’t even think that was an issue,” Doc Rivers said about Austin’s ejection.

Johnson struggles


Even the Clippers coaches are perplexed on what it takes to draw the best out of forward Wesley Johnson.

They like his athleticism, but Johnson has struggled most of this season to be a factor for the Clippers.

He had started the last three games, but he suffered a sprained left ankle against Houston on Friday night. On Saturday night, Johnson came off the bench for the Clippers against the Thunder, playing two minutes.

The answer Doc Rivers gave about how to get the best out or Johnson was telling.


“I don’t know,” Rivers said. “When we signed him a couple of years ago, that was our goal to get him to be more consistent, because he’s shown on given nights, that he can be really good.

“Even defensively, he’s had nights where he’s been active and he’s rebounded the ball. So that’s an area that we keep working on. That, to me, is what’s holding him back from being a really good player is his consistency.”

Rivers said he has criticized Johnson and encouraged his small forward.

“I think at the end of the day you have to push yourself,” Rivers said. “I think he has a good support staff around him. 


“The players want him to do well. So does his coaches. And we’re hard on him at times. At times we’re the other way. But at the end of the day, it’s got to come from him.”

Twitter: @BA_Turner


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