Doc Rivers said the slow start for the Clippers is “on me” and insisted that the team doesn’t have chemistry problems in spite of heated conversation in the locker room after Sunday’s loss, which dropped the team to 6-7, notes Jovan Buha of Fox Sports (All Twitter links). Rivers’ coaching took some criticism from Hoops Rumors readers in Sunday’s Community Shootaround, as did the roster he assembled as the team’s president of basketball operations. Still, it’s early, and the Clippers have had the poor luck of running into the still-unbeaten Warriors twice so far this season. See more from around the Pacific Division:
- Caron Butler credits the team meeting the Kings had amid the tumult and rumors after they started 1-7 for sparking the club to a 4-2 record since, reports Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times. “Behind closed doors we addressed some things and we came together. Because of that, we’re playing great basketball right now,” Butler said. “It’s about camaraderie; when things go bad, you figure it out. Whatever it is, you figure it out and you move forward, and that’s what we did.”
- Butler has been a free agent four times, but he hasn’t returned to the Lakers since the team traded him away in 2005. Still, he considers Kobe Bryant a “brother for life” and remains in contact with his long-ago Lakers teammate, as he details to Pincus for the same piece. “Being up under the wing of Kobe Bryant and the relationship that we built over that time, I learned a lot about the game of basketball,” Butler said. “I took the things that I learned from him, and that’s why I had the success that I had in my career.”
- Lakers coach Byron Scott is urging patience with top-10 picks D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle, pointing to the end of next season, notes Janis Carr of the Orange County Register. The Lakers are under pressure to win in the near future, as Jeanie Buss is holding brother Jim Buss to three-year timeline for a return to contention. “With D’Angelo, it might be sometime toward the end of next season where he says, ‘Man, I’m starting to get it.’ Same thing with Julius. We’re going to just be patient and keep working them the way we’ve been working them and try to bring them along,” Scott said.