Doc Rivers and the Clippers have agreed to go their separate ways after seven seasons with the 58-year-old man who ran the series in Los Angeles, ESPN reported.
The move, described as a “mutual decision” by team president Steve Ballmer, comes after Rivers and the team lost a 3-1 playoff lead, the second time LA has it. done with the veteran coach at the helm.
“Doc has been a tremendous coach for the Clippers, an incredible ambassador and a pillar of strength during turbulent times,” Ballmer said in a statement Monday. “He won a lot of games and laid the foundation for this franchise. “
Prior to arriving in Los Angeles, Rivers had previously lost a 3-1 playoff lead while coaching the Orlando Magic in 2003 and is the only coach in NBA history to take such a advance to the playoffs three times.
Although the Clippers went 356-208 in the regular season under Rivers, they were 3-8 in potential series games under his leadership, tied for worst score by a single coach with a team.
“Thank you Clipper Nation for allowing me to be your coach and for all of your support in helping to make this franchise a victory,” Rivers said in a statement posted on Twitter. “When I took on this role, my goals were to make it a winning basketball program, a stand-alone agent destination and bring a championship to this organization. Although I was able to accomplish most of my goals, I will not be able to achieve them all. Even though our end to the season was disappointing, you are there and I know what this team is capable of accomplishing with your support. “
Parting with Rivers is a potentially disastrous decision, as Kawhi Leonard and Paul George can become free agents next summer and leave the team if they wish.
Knowing this, one would have to think that Ballmer had the blessing of both players to part ways with Rivers, who still had two years on his contract, and will seek the advice of the two superstars before signing a new coach for the team.
“I am immensely grateful to Doc for his commitment and contributions to the Clippers and the City of Los Angeles,” Ballmer said. “I am also extremely confident in our front office and our players. We will find the right coach to move us forward and help us achieve our ultimate goals. We will immediately begin the search and maintenance process.
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