But the longtime Celtics coach slightly wavered from that description a moment later.
“That 2010 banner, I’ve got to say I don’t like seeing,” Rivers said of the banner celebrating the Lakers’ last win over Boston in the NBA finals. “I can `fess up to that part.”
QUESTIONS, ANYONE?: Coach Mike D'Antoni is just as eager as the Lakers’ fans to see what his team looks like this season.
“We’ve got about, I would say, seven or eight question marks,” D'Antoni said. “You hit on five of them, you’ll have a really good season.”
SHAWNE’S TURN: Forward Shawne Williams was the Lakers’ starting power forward for the season opener.
The well-traveled former first-round pick is on his fifth NBA team after playing in China last season. D'Antoni is excited about Williams’ potential _ and the Lakers don’t have anybody better to take the starting spots vacated by Dwight Howard and Metta World Peace.
“He fits in exactly with what we want to try to do, in the sense of spacing the floor, giving Steve Nash and Pau a lot more room to operate,” D'Antoni said. “He makes 3’s. I’ve coached him for a year (in New York). I can trust him. I know what he’s going to do defensively. He’s going to battle.”
HOME COOKING: Paul George and Roy Hibbert picked up where they left off last season leading Indiana to a 97-87 win over Orlando. The two-man tandem looked every bit as dominant in the season opener as they did leading the Pacers to the Eastern Conference finals last season.
George’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter gave Indiana a 69-64 lead and sparked the decisive 17-4 run to open the fourth.
Hibbert nearly matched his career-high for rebounds (17) in the first half. He had eight points but left the game midway through the fourth quarter after injuring his knee in a spill underneath his own basket. Team officials said it was not serious and he could have returned.
But it was George’s 3 that provided the spark Indiana needed to seize control.
“I just think tonight was opening night nerves and jitters and feeling a different environment and different vibe for the first time,” Pacers coach Frank Vogel said.