In the hours leading up to the Clippers game against the Lakers last night, Clippers head coach Doc Rivers admitted that he’s not going to miss Kobe Bryant when he retires from the NBA later this month. He revealed that he’s “really happy about it” because of some of the battles that he’s endured with Kobe in the past.
“I’ll be very happy when Kobe retires,” he told the Los Angeles Daily News. “He’s inflicted pain on me personally, and so I’m looking forward to it. Everybody else is lying. They’re saying, like, they want Kobe to keep playing and that’s not true. The guy, he’s inflicted pain on all of us.”
Rivers also told a pretty great story about one of the many times that Kobe scared him. He remembers keeping his starters in during Game 6 of the 2008 NBA Finals between the Celtics and Lakers, even though his team had a 42-point lead late in the fourth quarter. According to him, he didn’t want to risk having Kobe go off in the final six minutes of the game, so he left Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and the rest of his stars on the court to ensure that Kobe couldn’t complete the most incredible comeback of all time. Here’s Rivers’ story, courtesy of ESPN.com reporter Baxter Holmes:
The Celtics went on to win Game 6 by a score of 131-92, which helped them clinch the series win and the NBA championship. But if you want to know why Rivers won’t miss Kobe, look no further than that story.
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[via Baxter Holmes]