Tech Talk: Rivers Addresses Team About Technical Fouls, Pledges To Be Better
LOS ANGELES – Head coach Doc Rivers addressed his Clippers team about being better with officials, and he said it starts with himself.
Minutes after overcoming a double-digit halftime deficit to beat a Western Conference rival while playing shorthanded Wednesday night, Rivers’ first postgame comments had nothing to do with that particular game, but instead about the conversation he had with his team that afternoon regarding the number of technical fouls they’ve accumulated.
“I had a long talk with the team today, and I don’t share a lot of stuff when I talk about the team,” Rivers said. “But I told them, after a day and a half off and watching literally every tech that the team has gotten this year – including me – I told them that doesn’t represent us, and I made a pledge to them. Number one, I’ve been thrown out of three games this year.I told them that’s not me and that’s not going to happen, and I have to be the leader of this team. My actions have to go first.”
Rivers has been whistled for six technical fouls this year, while the Clippers’ players have been called for 18 technical fouls, placing the team in the top 10 in the league in techs. Those statistics aren’t including team techs, such as defensive 3-seconds or delay of game whistles.
“One of my things that I started this year, I told them that I would do the fighting and they would do the playing,” Rivers said. “After watching it, that doesn’t work, because they still doing the fighting and I am doing the fighting…Now, I told them, I’m getting no more and I’m holding everyone accountable, including me, if anyone gets a tech.”
Rivers pledged any fine he receives for a technical foul will go to the Violence Intervention Program, a community mental health center for victims of abuse and neglect.
“It’s retroactive,” Rivers said. “So, all of the money that I have been fined is going to them now, and any tech after that is going to them. Any tech the players get, I want them to find their group and give it to an organization, because we have to be better.”
Rivers said he chose to address the team now because he finally had time to go back and look at all of the technical fouls as a busy December schedule drew to a close, and it’s something he said he’s been thinking about for a while.
“At the end of the day, when I watch the techs, I just didn’t like the look of it,” Rivers said. “I didn’t like the look of me, but more importantly, I didn’t like our team. We are better than that.”
Individually, DeAndre Jordan’s eight technical fouls this year ties him for the second most among players in the league, while Austin Rivers’ four techs are tied for 16th in the NBA. Jordan said it’s tough to stay level during the course of an emotional game, but he admitted the Clippers need to do better.
“We’re on the officials a lot,” Jordan said. “Even if we don’t agree with the call, we’ve got to let stuff go and just play.”
Much like Doc, Austin also pledged that he’s seen his last technical fouls of the season.
“For the rest of the year, I’m not getting any more,” Austin said. “I’ve never been a guy to get a lot of technicals. I’ve never been that type of dude. I guess it’s just emotion. We’re competitive, we’ve just got to channel it in a better way…that’s definitely not something I’ve ever done and I don’t want to get into that.
“Even today, I think there were multiple times where something happened, I went and talked to the ref…Instead of getting angry at them, just talk to them, and a better outcome will come out of it. That’s the best way to go.”
Doc said he’s never going to change as a person. He said he’s still “Glenn from Maywood” and will be feisty and fight for his team, but that doesn’t mean techs have to follow.
So far, Doc is 1-for-1 since his talk with the team.
“No techs, and the team was good tonight,” Rivers said. “We have to just keep doing that.”