Doc Rivers
(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Doc Rivers, despite beating the New York Knicks, offers a unique perspective on David Fizdale’s version of trust the process.

Geoffrey Campbell

Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers was initially short and sweet when asked about the herculean task of developing young players in today’s NBA.

“Developing is hard,”

Chris Iseman of states that Rivers sympathizes with New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale and his long and painful first season at the helm.

Rivers spoke about his own experience in Boston and how the teaching moments of today can eventually become the foundation for the success of tomorrow.

“He’s had a tough job,” Rivers said. “I’ve been in that position. You have a bunch of young guys. I had four high school guys one year, or three high school guys, in Boston. That’s hard. That’s a hard job because you’re teaching and you’re not necessarily winning. But it pays dividends later.”

One has to believe that Rivers’ success, both in Boston and now in Los Angeles, is in part due to an owner, front-office and head coach all being on the same page.

Rivers’s tenure has not been without criticism, but since trading Tobias Harris, the Clippers are playing some of their best basketball and currently sit at the fifth seed in the Western Conference.

Rivers was quick to offer Clippers owner Steve Ballmer praise.

“Oh, it’s been huge,” Rivers said of Ballmer. “It’s been the biggest savior for me. You look at now – look at our front office, we have like 50 people in the front office. I think we had what, four? Just the changes and the things that Steve has allowed us to do, everything’s first class. We do things right. We treat everybody right. It’s nice. It’s been great.”

The question is, “Will Fiz get the same amount of time to build this Knicks team and develop a culture that sustains winning at a high level?” If the Knicks do not make a big splash in free agency, “How will that impact the front office’s direction and plans going forward?”

Fizdale, to his credit, certainly has some feathers in his cap. The development of players like Damyean Dotson, Mitchell Robinson, and Emmanuel Mudiay have been pleasant surprises, and it’s possible that at least one of those players stand to play a major role in the future of the franchise.

Patience has been word shouted from Steve Mills and Scott Perry’s offices since the beginning of the season. Yet as the city continues to yearn for meaningful basketball played in April, the panic for a short-term fix may be too much to bear.

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