Downstairs, Kawhi Leonard, Patrick Beverley and several Clippers youngsters were at work Friday, preparing for the forthcoming 2019-20 NBA season in the recently renovated, newly christened “Honey Training Center: Home of the L.A. Clippers.”
Upstairs, Coach Doc Rivers and team executive Lawrence Frank entertained a conference room filled with media members curious to learn how the team will handle the newfound championship buzz that has followed a blockbuster offseason.
“I don’t manage expectations,” said Rivers, who coached the Boston Celtics to the 2007-08 NBA title. “I’m not gonna be out in the front yelling, ‘We’re gonna win it!’ and all that, but I’m fine if that’s how everybody thinks; I’m good with that.
“Why run from expectations? I’ve never understood that. I think it’s a privilege. Players rarely get themselves in a position where they actually have a chance and same thing with coaches. So when you get your opportunity, you shouldn’t run from it.
“I don’t want any of our guys running from expectations. I also don’t want them up on the mountain top yelling what they are, you know?”
Inside a brighter, more open facility, replete with brand-new Sorinex exercise equipment, Rivers offered only that “we will have a clear goal, let me put it that way.”
Outside the building, the Clippers are considered among the contenders in a Western Conference that’s more wide open than it has been years.