Rivers unveils banner idea at Staples Center
Clippers Coach Doc Rivers had the Lakers' championship banners covered and had his players' banners draped over them instead at Staples Center.
Rivers said it will be done whenever it's the Clippers' home game in the arena they share with the Lakers.
The Lakers have 12 championship banners — Minneapolis has its five titles on one banner — and 10 retired jerseys, including Chick Hearn's microphone retired jersey.
"Well, I didn't look at it as the banner thing," Rivers maintained. "I just look at it as putting our guys up."
Rivers had the banners of Jamal Crawford, Blake Griffin, J.J. Redick, DeAndre Jordan, Jared Dudley, Chris Paul and Matt Barnes all put up on the wall.
The Kings' championship banner was still up on the opposite side of the arena.
Rivers was asked why he didn't put up his banners on the same side as the Kings' banner.
"Listen, I think this is our arena when we play," Rivers said. "So I just thought it would be good that we show our guys. No disrespect to them. But when we play, it's the Clippers' arena as far as I know."
Jordan has been with the Clippers for five seasons and he always wondered why the Lakers had their banners at the forefront.
"You've got to give those [Lakers] guys credit. They won championships so they have the right to put them up," Jordan said. "But at the same time, it doesn't say Lakers Arena outside. It says Staples."
Clippers behind in some things
Rivers said the Clippers are behind in working in some of their the small-ball system.
"We haven't worked on it offensively or defensively," he said. "So if I had one thing that I would say that has been disappointing, that's been it, because I think you have to be really good at that."
When Rivers does go to his small-ball team, Barnes or Dudley could be the power forward with Griffin or Jordan at center.
"We don't want the small-ball to be the game of chicken where let's see who can outscore," Rivers said. "We want to score every time and get stops."
Darren Collison had 31 points, but it wasn't enough to keep the Clippers from dropping a 94-84 exhibition game to the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night at Staples Center. Griffin, who missed the last two exhibitions because of a sore right ankle, had 18 points and six rebounds. Damian Lillard led Portland with 16 points. … Willie Green didn't play, but Rivers said he is expected to play Saturday night against the Denver Nuggets in Las Vegas. Crawford started at shooting guard, but he's not expected to play Saturday night.