Rivers: ‘D.J. is the best defensive player in the league’
Clippers head coach Doc Rivers clearly doesn’t believe in hyperbole when discussing center DeAndre Jordan.
About a week ago, Rivers was asked about Jordan’s candidacy for Defensive Player of the Year, and told reporters that Jordan was "clearly" the frontrunner before adding: "If anybody else gets that award, we need to have an investigation. What he’s doing defensively, if he was doing that offensively, he would be recognized as the MVP or one of them, but because it’s defense, no one notices."
So before Sunday’s matchup between the Clippers and Golden State Warriors, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was asked about his thoughts on Jordan being "clearly" the frontrunner in comparison to the Warriors’ own candidate, Draymond Green.
Kerr joked that Green was "clearly" the Defensive Player of the Year, and then went on to praise Jordan.
"They’ve both been phenomenal," Kerr said. "They’re different, obviously. They do different things. DeAndre (Jordan) has been fantastic. He’s all over the place and covers so much ground."
Kerr continued, claiming that Green guards "everybody" and is the "modern day Dennis Rodman," which is an "incredibly unique and important" skill-set.
Upon hearing Kerr’s comments and the suggestion that Green could be the co-favorite with Jordan for the award, Rivers stood his ground.
"No. I just believe that D.J. is one," Rivers said. "I don’t think there’s a two. I do. I mean, Draymond Green is great. I love his energy. He’s phenomenal, but D.J. is the best defensive player in the league. I just really believe that."
Jordan went on to play a mediocre game, by his recent standards, on Sunday, posting just 6 points, 14 rebounds, 1 steal and no blocks. Meanwhile, Green filled up the box score with 23 points, 3 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal and 1 block.
It will be interesting to see what affect Rivers’ propaganda has on the Defensive Player of the Year award race, if any at all.