Programming note: Clippers-Warriors coverage starts tonight at 7:00 p.m. with Warriors Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.
OAKLAND – The Clippers come to town Wednesday night and Warriors coach Steve Kerr, new to the disdain between the teams, wasted no time reaching for the butter.
As in buttering up his opposite number, Los Angeles coach Doc Rivers.
"Doc is one of the top coaches in the league, with his late-game execution, after time-out stuff. I've watched him for years. He's brilliant coming out of a timeout finding an open shot for someone. And he's a great communicator."
Kerr has known Rivers for more than 20 years, since they were NBA guards in the late '80s and early '90s. Both have worked as television analysts. Rivers is one of the coaches Kerr consulted before deciding to coach the Warriors.
Rivers even tried to get Kerr on the golf course when the Clippers were in the Bay Area to face the Warriors for a preseason game a couple weeks ago.
Kerr had to decline. The Warriors had just returned from a three-game road trip.
So there is a mutual admiration between the rookie coach and Rivers, in his 16th season as coach, with three different franchises.
"He's fun to be around," Kerr said. "He's tough. He'll engage his team and he'll get his team to play. I've always admired him. I want to be a coach who can have that kind of impact on his team."