Clippers coach Doc Rivers favors ‘prodigy rule’ for elite prep players to enter draft

first_imgThe New Orleans Pelicans played a more complete game from start to finish, beating the Clippers and reminding them what it takes to play a 48-minute game well. Flashes of brilliance took the Clippers only so far, although they did enable them to rally from a 20-point deficit.It was another teachable moment.“We picked up our energy, played with more aggression,” Williams, a backup guard, said when asked about the late comeback. “We started getting stops. We showed glimpses of the type of team we’ve built so far this year, but consistently, I don’t think we did enough to win this game.”The Clippers’ margin for error is thin and getting thinner.Losing to the Pelicans 121-116, after taking a 113-109 lead with 2:05 to play, seemed like a missed opportunity. The Clippers could have vaulted past the Denver Nuggets and into solo possession of the eighth and final playoff spot in the chaotic conference race.Instead, they remained in ninth place, a half-game behind the Nuggets going into Wednesday.“We fight every night and you just have to wonder if you would’ve played with the same approach the whole game what would have been the outcome, but you can’t afford to do that,” guard Austin Rivers said. “We have to keep going … we’re right there, but we just have to keep going.”What’s next? The Clippers complete a six-game homestand by playing host to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday and the Orlando Magic on Saturday. They hit the road for nine of their next 11 games before ending the season with five of their final six at home. Coach Doc Rivers has made no secret over the years of his disdain for the NCAA’s one-and-done rule, a mandate that requires even the most talented basketball players leaving high school to play at least one season in college or abroad before entering the NBA draft.He said he favors a so-called prodigy rule, which would enable the best of the best scholastic standouts to go directly to the draft. Players such as Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Kevin Garnett, Moses Malone and the Clippers’ own Lou Williams jumped directly from the preps to the pros.Then the rule was changed.“Every year the teams vote for five guys … who could come straight out of high school, because there are prodigies in every profession, including ours, and some of those guys don’t need to go to college,” Rivers said. “The other ones do and maybe they could stay one or two years. “There are a lot of things I would love to change.”In addition, Rivers said he would like to see the NBA’s G League expand so each of the league’s 30 teams has an affiliate. Top high school players who aren’t drafted by NBA clubs could sign with a G League team and continue developing there.He also said he agreed with Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr’s suggestion that players who aren’t drafted should be allowed to return to their college teams. As it stands now, players who declare for the draft and hire an agent cannot play again in the NCAA.“College coaches will hate me for saying this, but I think guys should be able to transfer (without sitting out for a season) whenever they feel like it,” he said. “I don’t want to hear that it’ll show they’re quitters. No, they’re tired of you and they want to go somewhere else. There’s nothing wrong with that. I’ve seen how some of these kids are treated and they should have the right to leave.”ANOTHER LESSON LEARNED?The Clippers went haywire Tuesday. They didn’t play the game that brought them to the brink of a playoff spot in the Western Conference. They didn’t trust each other. They didn’t follow their game plan and they got frustrated and, ultimately, were defeated.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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