Doc Rivers ‘can’t wait’ to renew Clippers-Lakers rivalry

Doc Rivers, talking about playing the Lakers at his introduction as the Clippers' new coach Wednesday, said, "I love rivalries."
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

The Clippers won their first Pacific Division title in franchise history this past season.

While the Lakers have yet to meet the Clippers in the playoffs, the two franchises have an entertaining local rivalry at Staples Center.

On Wednesday, the Clippers introduced Doc Rivers as their new head coach. Rivers was coach of the Boston Celtics -- the Lakers’ true rivals -- for almost a decade.


Rivers led Boston to the title over the Lakers in 2008. In 2010, the Lakers avenged their loss with a thrilling win in Game 7 over Rivers’ Celtics.

“The last one wasn’t so fun,” Rivers said at his introductory news conference.

Rivers said he’s looking forward to many battles between the Lakers and Clippers.

“The fact that we can have four of them during the regular season in the same building is absolutely wonderful,” he said. “I can’t wait for that.”

Rivers played for the Clippers from 1991 to 1992.

“When I was a Clipper as a player I didn’t look at [the Lakers] that much,” Rivers said. “I love rivalries. I think they’re fun. I think they’re great to have ... and you want to win all your rivalries”

Rivers has already beaten out the Lakers on one front. Reports have Alvin Gentry joining the Clippers as Rivers’ “associate head coach.” Gentry was Lakers Coach Mike D’Antoni’s first choice as a lead assistant.

Former Lakers guard Tyronn Lue, now an assistant, is also expected to join Rivers’ bench.


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