Marreese Speights has made a little bit of habit for calling out his teammates, and while he waited until he was out the door to go at the Golden State Warriors, he had to deal with the fallout in the Los Angeles Clippers’ locker room.
Speights suggested the Clippers need to stop nagging the referees, and focus on being mentally tougher when things don’t go their way. Both Clippers coach Doc Rivers and power forward Blake Griffin were quick to dismiss that line of thinking.
“The officiating thing, I don’t think, is our issue. I will say that,” Rivers told reporters Thursday, according to Micahel Duarte of NBC Los Angeles. “If that were the problem, then Golden State would be struggling. They’ve been No. 2 the last two years in techs, too. I think we need to point fingers in another direction than that.”
Rivers also rejected the implication that the Clippers get too caught up in individual grievances and lose sight of the team concept.
“That’s the other thing I didn’t like,” he said. “I don’t think we have an agenda team. I think we’ve proven that.”
Griffin, meanwhile, took issue with Speights’ assertion that “the scouting report when you play against the Clippers” is “hit them a couple of times and their spirit is going to be down.”
“I mean you could say that about any team,” Griffin said. “The scouting report for us when we go against an opponent is to break their spirit. That’s like saying the scouting report is to score more points than the other team.”
Speights, who was perhaps unprepared to actually have to face the backlash from his comments, walked them back after hearing how his coach and teammate reacted.
“It’s just sometimes, I should have just said it in different kind of way,” he said, according to Dan Woike of The Orange County Register. “I’m on the team, man. I’m biased to this team. Every time I step on that court, I’m going to play hard for Doc, for this city, for this team. I’m not trying to call nobody out. The will to win … you just want to win. You just want to do it the right way. You want to do it for a great coach like Doc and the city of L.A. That’s something that maybe I should have said a little different. I’m not calling nobody out.”