Clippers HC Doc Rivers mistakenly alludes to Steve Ballmer as the reason why Los Angeles let Joe Ingles go
Utah Jazz forward Joe Ingles has become one of the most valuable players in the league. Before he became a key figure for the Jazz, the Australian was waived by the Los Angeles Clippers, a mistake the franchise regrets to this day. On Wednesday, Clippers coach Doc Rivers recounted the time when his team waived Ingles, implying that the team’s owner was at fault, per Mike Sorensen of the Deseret News.
“I said it the day we released him that this was a bad decision and that we’re going to regret it. Unfortunately I was working for someone who said we couldn’t eat a contract. We were begging to eat one contract and they said that will never happen and we had to let him go.”
Rivers isn’t hesitant to throw his boss under the bus here. This wouldn’t be a questionable move if he was referring to Donald Sterling, who was disgraced when he was recorded saying racist slurs. However, the owner at the time Ingles was waived was actually Steve Ballmer, who is Rivers’ current boss.
Dan Feldman of NBC Sports hypothesizes that Rivers misremembered the timeline and meant to bash Sterling, not Ballmer. However, Ballmer will more than likely let the comment slide.
The one thing Rivers is right on is letting Ingles go was a terrible mistake. the 31-year-old vet is currently averaging 11.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 4.9 assists per game on 44 percent shooting from the field and 36 percent from downtown. He easily could have helped Los Angeles shoot the ball even better and grind out more gritty Clippers wins that have become their trademark.