INDIANAPOLIS — One advantage that comes along with holding a virtual offseason workout program for the Indianapolis Colts is the ease with which head coach Frank Reich can bring on special guests to talk to the team on occasion.
And in recent weeks, the Colts' special guests have featured more of an NBA flavor, as Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers and Hall of Fame sharpshooter Ray Allen have been among those who have spent a few minutes delivering a special message to Indy's players and coaching staff.
Rivers, who had a 13-year playing career in the NBA with the Atlanta Hawks, Clippers, New York Knicks and San Antonio Spurs from 1983 to 1996, started his coaching career in 1999 with the Orlando Magic, where he was named the NBA's Coach of the Year in 2000. He then moved on to the Boston Celtics, leading the franchise to its 17th NBA championship in 2008, as well as another trip to the NBA Finals in 2010.
Rivers in 2013 was named the head coach of the Clippers, where he has won an impressive 63.1 percent of his games over the last seven seasons. Rivers' overall head coaching record in 21 seasons is 938-678 (.580).
We were able to get our hands on a few minutes of Rivers' presentation to the Colts team, which you can watch in its entirety above. But here's what he had to say in full about what he's learned over the years about championship teams:
» "I don't think people understand that … I think people think champions don't get hit. Like, you know, I always use boxing, because boxing, for whatever reason, my dad was a big boxing fan, and so I grew up watching boxing matches, and the biggest misnomer is that champions only hit. It's just not true. Champions get hit all the time. And then it comes to a point — how many times are you willing to get hit and keep moving forward and still punch, so you can win? That's what it's gonna come down to: you are going to get hit. You just are. Alright? But you have to be willing to take the punches, you have to be willing to keep moving forward and keep going."
» "Let me tell you: like, I was 0-for-13 as a player in trying to win a title. Every year — every year — I wanted to win. But when I look back on my career, of those 13 years, realistically — realistically — I had two chances. Two. Out of 13. Now, some of these guys are lucky; you know, they get with the right group, right team. But I literally had two chances of my 13: once with the Knicks — you just saw that last Sunday on Last Dance; I hated that episode, by the way, because we were up 2-0 on the Bulls. We were the only time (Michael) Jordan's been down 2-0, was against us, with the Knicks. And then we have that four-day break where the media is (berating) him with the gambling stuff, and then they came back and beat us. And then I had one year with the Spurs where I thought, 'You know what? We could win it.' And we lost to the Rockets in a Game 7 to go to the Finals. So you don't get many chances, men. And I'm telling you guys: if you're on the team — and I hear a lot about you guys this year; like you guys are one of the favorites this year — don't think it's gonna happen next year. You better go for it now. Because when you've got a chance, you have a chance."
» "I'm going to end with this … I don't know if you remember the Oklahoma Thunder, when they had Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, James Harden, (Serge) Ibaka, they lost to Miami in the Finals. And I remember in that last game Jeff Van Gundy and Mike Breen were saying, 'Well, it's a tough loss for Oklahoma, but they'll be back here every year.' They've never been back. You cannot take it for granted."