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Rivers Downplays Lakers Rivalry

Written by Michael Gordon   
Thursday, 31 October 2013 19:03
NBA BettingLos Angeles Clippers coach, Doc Rivers, has played down his new team's rivalry with the Lakers, insisting every game is as important as the last.

Rivers is no stranger to being a rival to the Lakers, having coached Boston for nine seasons. The most recent battles between the teams include a championship win for the Celtics in 2008 and the Lakers gaining revenge two years later.

The 52-year-old is not building Tuesday's game at Staples Center up to be anything more than the opening game of a long season, despite the excitement of fans in the Betfair forums.

"Obviously, the Celtics-Lakers thing, you're not going to duplicate that anywhere. But I always look at everybody as the opponent. I really have a hard time trying to beat my opponent," he said.

"It's not personal, but it's personal — always. It's the other teams, and after the Laker game, we're going to have another opponent. So yeah, that's how I look at it more." According to the stats on Betfair, the Clippers will take on the Lakers four times in all in the Pacific Division, a division Rivers' new franchise won for the first time ever last season. He is determined to build on that historic achievement in his first campaign in charge, with conference glory his goal.

"I'm not thinking about the Lakers, honestly. I'm thinking about the West. Is there a trophy to get if you win LA? We don't get a bell or anything like that," Rivers added.

While Rivers insisted he was not thinking about rivalries this week, he did admit he "loves the opener. I don't know what the word is, if it's emotional or excited," he said.

"It's just nice also for them [the players] because it's real live basketball and you have a different opponent and now everything counts. So I think it's just a different vibe."
Last Updated on Monday, 12 October 2015 15:31
 
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