LA Doc Rivers is out of Los Angeles as head coach of the Clippers.
Huge news came out of the LA Clippers organization on Monday as seven year head coach Doc Rivers and the organization parted ways after the Clippers were eliminated by the Denver Nuggets in the conference semifinals after holding a 3-1 lead and multiple double-digit leads in the games that followed.
Rivers led the Clippers to being in a place they’d never been, playoff contention and just beneath the cusp of championship contention, but Rivers could never get passed the second round with the likes of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Deandre Jordan, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
The news came from Adrian Wojnarowski on Monday.
Rivers had a fine Clippers career, never winning under 42 games as the head coach, leading a valiant squad in 2018-2019 when the team of underdogs took a strong Warriors team to six games in the first round.
Rivers also had a 3-1 lead against the Houston Rockets in 2015 before blowing that lead with a chance to face the Warriors in the conference finals and arguably the best chance at a title during his tenure.
The move seems to be made due to Steve Ballmer’s relationship with Rivers falling out over the past week as talks of parting with Rivers have been in place since last Wednesday.
Reports also surfaced this season that a plethora of the Clippers role players, including Lou Williams and sixth man of the year Montrezl Harrell, that Paul George was not held accountable for his poor play in the postseason as much as he should have by Rivers.
I would describe Rivers’ tenure as a 3/5 star restaurant, good to go back and eat at and better than anything you make at home, but nothing to write home to your parents about. Rivers consistently met regular season expectations but could never get over the hump of the second round, something the Clippers have never been able to do in their 50 years of existence.
The firing may also help keep Kawhi Leonard in his upcoming free agency in 2021 and could mean the departure of Paul George if the Clippers decide his presence in the locker room could cause a rift between players, coaches and the franchise as a whole.
Rivers will now be available to the open market with teams such as the Oklahoma City Thunder and Philadelphia 76ers look for coaches at the moment. Rivers will get a job elsewhere no doubt, but it was time to move on for the LA Clippers.
The Clippers will now be in the market for head coach, and to put it out there, Tyronn Lue is an option in house, but I would love to see the Clippers take a risk and hire Mark Jackson out of retirement from ESPN.
Nevertheless, a new era of LA Clippers basketball is upon us once again. Only time will tell how the franchise chooses to move forward with its new leader calling the plays.