Doc Rivers is doing much more than studying X’s and O’s in his quest to help bring the Clippers the organization’s first championship.
He’s added meditation to his coaching arsenal.
And the best part is that he’s picked up some meditation tips from someone in the NBA coaching fraternity; Zen Master Phil Jackson.
"I didn’t go to Phil. We just were talking about it one day," Rivers said. "(He was) talking about (doing it) during games at times. I can’t do it then, but just in general how important it can be for you. Then I’ve heard from a couple other people who did it. I actually did all the research myself. I’m working on it. I’m not there, but I’m working on it."
Rivers coached the Boston Celtics to the 2008 NBA title.
He’s hoping he can find the right combination with Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and Co. to get past the second round of the playoffs, which has been the recent achilles’ heel for the Clippers.
Sharing meditation tips with Jackson, the New York Knicks president and former Lakers coach, might sound strange to some. Not to Rivers.
"He’s won 11 championships," Rivers said.
Rivers has used many techniques with the Clippers, one of which was renting a suite for the Kings opener because that was the day they raised the championship banner at Staples Center.
He’s encouraged players to take up golf to relax and take their minds off basketball, even during the NBA Finals. He’s using visual techniques as well.
Meditation isn’t just something Rivers is preaching to his players — he’s meditating as well.
"Hopefully, it relaxes me," Rivers said. "The subconscious mind is so powerful. You only use 90 percent of your mind. The rest is subconscious a lot of the times. If you can access into that, maybe I can be smarter, calmer and wiser at the end of the day. Who knows?"
Meditative prowess won’t reveal itself on a stat sheet, but it could mean plenty for the Clippers and Rivers’ disposition as he begins his second season as Clippers coach with an NBA championship on his mind.