Culver City Observer -

Clippers: Just Breathe and Believe

Inspirational Coach Rivers Has Them Rising

 


By Bosmat Eynav

Sports Columnist

In these hot playoff days after 82 games this season it became time for the best eight teams in the Western Conference to compete. Four are left. So which team will win?

Not a simple question which has been discussed extensively. Early this season it was clear the battle would be tough because this year there are some truly excellent teams in the conference and for we basketball lovers... this is a real treat to watch - a pure pleasure.

So the first round ended with the Golden State Warriors, the Memphis Grizzlies, the Houston Rockets and our Clippers remaining.

And still, only one of these teams will fight till the end. Is this gonna be the Clippers?

Please be reminded the Clippers’ history did not exactly endow our players with the opportunity to experience the final stages. For years and years the Clippers were at the bottom of the NBA and the only championship they won was in their dreams.

The first turning point came in the 2012-13 season with Coach Vinny Del Negro, who led the Clippers to the playoffs. Right after that experience the team hired Doc Rivers to coach and over two years was dedicated to slowly and thoroughly building up the physical abilities and the winners consciousness among his players, while enhancing self esteem, confidence and the recognition that 'IT'S TIME!!!'

The first move he made was replacing the Lakers’ banners in Staples Center on Clipper game nights. Do you remember the loud reactions that this move had stirred up? By doing this Doc created a fact: Staples Center is the home court of both teams, and the Clippers no longer exist in the Laker's shadow.

Then last season the team absorbed a heavy insult from its owner, Donald Sterling. This was a deep painful crisis that hurt the players’ feelings and trust. How did the Clippers cope with this despicable back stab? They didn't let their spirits fall, and instead chose to respond to this darkness by turning to the higher self with love and dignity that emanate bright lights and came out with the slogan "We Are One"

And indeed that's what we've seen from this team in 2015 which was a great season: a strong confident group with fighter spirit and determination to reach the top which they did, and finished third in the conference’s regular season.

The first battle was with San Antonio, a seasoned military unit that that has won five NBA championships.

The atmosphere was full of doubts - would the Clippers manage to defeat those tough veterans and with an exhausting struggle all the way t o the last minute the answer arrived with the sweet victory, and how Doc infused strength in his players was by using two words: "Breathe and Believe."

"Breathe and Believe" are exactly the key words for the tremendous change this group has been going through. We all know that making real change is much easier said than done - true change requires much courage, strong faith, perseverance no matter what size of boulders appear on the path - one has to keep the chin up and keep pushing ahead to reach the goal. Even with Griffin and Crawford injured at times the team kept running for victory.

Please allow me to share what I see as I've been witnessing with much love and quite thoroughly, observing the positive momentum and development of this team, and how much faith I have that today more than ever the Clippers are ready to raise the championship banner.

The seeds that were planted in their consciousness are about to bear fruit. Doc Rivers as I see him in addition to being a terrific coach who knows how to bring out the best in each one of his players, he is also a charismatic leader who knows how to coach his players toward a tremendous change of perception and attitude.

The values that guide the Clippers’ spirit, team bonding, resilience, a desire for change, Faith, love, high awareness... all these and many other wonderful values deserve to reap rewards.

I believe in the Clippers’ spirit - Go Clippers, Breathe and Believe

And finally, I close with a quote from Pink Floyd- "Breathe"

 

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