Doc Rivers Wouldn't Allow C.J. McCollum To Play, and Then Laughed Right In His Face After Beating The Blazers
Uproxx- By now, most of you have heard about the bizarre set of circumstances that led to C.J. McCollum’s overt truancy during Wednesday night’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers at the Moda Center in Portland. McCollum, Portland’s dynamic leading scorer when Damian Lillard missed six games over the last couple of weeks, was left off their active list an hour before the game.
But what you probably don’t know is that Clippers head coach Doc Rivers was given the final say as to whether or not McCollum could play. Doc nixed the idea because why wouldn’t he?
What's that they say about what goes around? Oh yeah, watch your ass because that shit is unquestionably coming back around. Listen, if these two teams, and specifically head coaches, had no history whatsoever then I would still support Doc Rivers decision to tell Terry Stotts and his star shooting guard to kick rocks. You play to win the game, and if that game doesn't feature C.J. McCollum then the Clippers stand a far better chance of winning it. It's not Doc Rivers fault that the Trail Blazers are a mediocre organization that can't figure out how to hand in a valid roster without pissing down their own leg. Rules are rules, and if you sign off on negligence then you are just as guilty as the person that was negligent in the first place. I have had coaches and officials stop youth hockey games to rip someone off the rink for not being on the active roster. Why would a billion dollar business like the NBA be any different? Remember last year when bogus playoff seeding forced a 56 win Clippers team to play the San Antonio Spurs in round one? If they had one more win they would have played a vastly inferior Dallas Mavericks team. That's how small the margin for error is in the NBA. Every victory counts. You worry about your own organization and what gives them the best opportunity to attain those victories, even if it comes at the expense of another organization's best chance to be successful.
People that are criticizing Doc Rivers not only don't understand that these teams have a very recent, very contentious past, but they don't understand how catty people involved in professional sports can be. Think back to this preseason when Doc Rivers and Terry Stotts got into it over DeAndre Jordan chirping C.J. McCollum from the bench. Too insignificant for you? How about a month later when Terry Stotts decided to hack DeAndre Jordan (to the extent of THIRTY FOUR foul shots) for the last 5 minutes of a game that wasn't even moderately close? That decision was drenched in spite. Petty is as petty does. The biggest critique you can make of Doc Rivers here is that he doesn't seem like the type of person to let go of a grudge. You push then he's going to push back. You try to sit on a 15 point deficit for a half hour then the next time he has the opportunity he is going to pull the chair out from underneath you. Karma is a bitch, so maybe next time don't leave the door wide open and let her in.
I am glad Doc Rivers mockingly shared a laugh with C.J. McCollum postgame. C.J. McCollum has no one to be mad at but his own employer. Doc has nothing against him, he has something against his head coach, and even if he didn't then his refusal to let C.J. McCollum play was nothing more than a sign of respect. Not only his respect for a young, talented scorer, but his respect for how difficult it is to win in his profession.
P.S. If this happened in a playoff game I would change my tune completely, but alas, it did not.