Jerry West explains Chris Paul, Blake Griffin trades and praises Clippers coach Doc Rivers

first_imgGoing into the 2017-18 season, the Clippers enjoyed the greatest success the franchise has known, advancing to the playoffs six consecutive times and winning 50 games or more five straight seasons. The Clippers failed to get past the second round of the playoffs, though.Clearly, change was in order, according to West.“This was not a championship-caliber team,” he said. “Chris Paul, a tremendous player. chose to leave here (and the Clippers granted his trade request by sending him to the Houston Rockets in a multi-player deal), and when it happens, it opens up everyone’s eyes, OK?“What can we do to make us better? Or, what can we do to make us more sustainable?”The Clippers believed that by trading Paul and receiving guards Patrick Beverley and Lou Williams and forwards Sam Dekker and Montrezl Harrell in return last June 28, they had remade their roster in a way that made them serious playoff contenders again. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Injuries, including to Beverley, wrecked their plans. Trading Griffin to the Detroit Pistons on Jan. 29 was another way to retool the franchise in order to set it up for greater successes in the future. The Clippers wanted to become a better shooting team, and an improved defensive one, too, West said.It also enables the Clippers to go on a free-agent spending spree in the summer of 2019, a stellar class that could include Jimmy Butler of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs and Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors.“Anything you do in life you need the flexibility and, certainly, this trade gives us flexibility,” West said of sending Griffin, Brice Johnson and Willie Reed to the Pistons in exchange for Avery Bradley, Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic and two draft picks in June.Of the picks, West said, “I’ve always felt that drafting is the life blood of any organization.”Responding to questions about Rivers’ future with the Clippers, West said any speculation about it had come directly from reporters and not from anyone within the organization. He also said, “The only one who said (Rivers’ job isn’t safe with the Clippers) is the media.”“He’s done one of the best coaching jobs I have ever seen, ever seen,” West said, repeating himself for emphasis. “We have had so many injuries, it was amazing. When we came out of training camp, this team was really going to surprise people. It was going to win a lot of games.“Pretty soon, you look around, and it looked like a hospital ward. The job he’s done to keep these guys playing has been fantastic. … You could look at him and say, ‘You know, this guy might be a candidate for Coach of the Year.’ He’s done a great job.”center_img Jerry West acknowledged recently that the Clippers were not a championship-caliber team, which was why they traded Chris Paul during the offseason and Blake Griffin at midseason and might seek to complete further deals before Thursday’s NBA deadline.West, the Clippers’ special consultant, also praised Doc Rivers for the job he’s done in coaching the injury-depleted team this season, calling him a Coach of the Year candidate during a wide-ranging conversation recorded last week for the “Not Just Sports with Suzy Shuster and Rich Eisen” podcast.In addition, West spoke to Shuster about Clippers owner Steve Ballmer’s vision for the franchise’s future, saying, “If you’ve been as successful in life as he has, he doesn’t want something mediocre. He he wants something special, and that’s the assignment this front office has been given.“Frankly, it gives you a reason to get up in the morning, Suzy, it really does.”last_img read more

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US$80M to Reform Education Sector

first_imgMinster Werner told journalists at the dedication of the Kinston Weagba Public School in Tarjourwon District in Sinoe County on Tuesday that government needs US$80 million to successfully reform the sector.This amount, he said, will include the construction of modern schools in all parts of the country; training of teachers and their quarters; science laboratories and many other administrative initiatives.The Kinston Weagba Public School, located in the One Way Community, Tarjourwon, has everything that is required of a modern school facility.Minister Werner told reporters that MOE will need pretty close to US$80 million to implement all of the strategies for the education sector and to build schools to particularly decongest places like Monrovia.He said this will help to drastically reduce the appalling student-to-teacher ratio, which currently stands at 50, 75 or 100 students to a teacher depending on the places.“In our own strategy for the reform, we need the money to build schools across Liberia that will also help in cutting down the student population of places that are overcrowded, like Monrovia and other places. We need to reduce the ratio to at least 40:1.”The government, he said has an agreement with the Global Education Partnership and the World Bank to construct 41 modernized schools across the country. 27 of the 41 are nearing completion, with the Kinston Weagba Public School being one of them. The project is a US$40 million agreement between the three partners and comes to an end next year.The cost of construction of the Kinston Weagba Public High School, which the minister termed as the flagship project that he would want for all schools in the country, is US$500,000.“We want to build modern schools that have the facilities we want in all of our schools. For example, the bathrooms here for the females will have showers. There are also teachers’ quarters that will be well furnished, laboratories and others. All the teachers will need to do is to bring their suitcase. You will meet the furniture and you will leave the furniture when you are re-assigned.It’s great to see the future right here, he said, “When this school is fully completed, the labs and everything will be equipped. There will be desks, textbooks, library, labs, teachers’ lounge and everything that is require of a modern school.Reforming Liberia’s “Messy” education system, which seems to be the most debated public policy issue of recent, “requires the collective efforts every Liberian and commitment on the part of the government and partners, because the task is monumental and the cost is as well exorbitant,” Minister of Education, George Werner, said.Since the thought of reforming the system was brought out by Minister Werner when he called for the premature closure of schools to prepare for the commencement of the reform exercise, there have been lot of debates in the public sphere about sincerity, rationale behind this call, with many terming it as belated.This skepticism is especially apparent giving that the current administration is only left with two more years, but Minister Werner, who desires to leave a legacy on the sector, continues to stress that every long journey begins with a single step and much could be achieved in the next two years if all of the stakeholders work on a concerted and unified front.“What you see here is what we would like for our schools to look like when the reform is put on track and fully implemented,” he said.In selecting the communities that will be beneficiaries of the 41 schools under the project, the Minister said there was a demographic survey done to select the site.It is important to provide a very safe environment for students to learn like the construction exercises that are ongoing, Minister Werner noted, but there are needs for qualified teacher. Liberia currently has just 17 percent of its teachers that have first degree, while the rest do not have.“Just a minute percent of our teachers have their first degrees; the rest are high school graduates or no high school certificates at all. So we do have a monumental task,” the minister said.“We are to make sure that we train teachers. We are working with the universities, the University of Liberia and the Tubman University in Maryland County to train more teachers. At the moment we are recruiting science and mathematics teachers, but the recruitment is very slow,”He hopes that young Liberians, who have degrees in the sciences, can apply, because we aim at paying them well. If they have to relocate them we will have to give them in addition to their salaries, relocation allowances,” he said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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