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Report: Doc Rivers to “no longer pursue” effort to become Clippers coach

Jun 21, 2013, 5:42 PM EDT

Boston Celtics v Houston Rockets Getty Images

Looks like Doc Rivers will not be coaching the Los Angeles Clippers next season.

The on-again-off-again negotiations between the Clippers and Celtics are off again, and Rivers wants off the roller coaster as Boston officials feel there is no deal to be made, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

After talks failed again on Friday, the Boston Celtics’ Doc Rivers will no longer pursue the Los Angeles Clippers’ coaching job, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

Rivers will make a choice between returning to the Celtics for his 10th season as coach or leaving for television, sources told Yahoo! Sports.

“The deal is completely dead,” a source directly involved in the talks said Friday.

I would paraphrase Miracle Max from “The Princess Bride” here: This deal is “mostly” dead. When the Clippers hire Brian Shaw, Lionel Hollins or Byron Scott as their coach, then I’ll call it dead. This thing has come back more times than Freddy Krueger, I’m not ready to say it fully dead. Especially since the Clippers are not willing to call it dead.

Even if the talks are deceased, I would  caution anyone who thinks this is going to have a big impact on Chris Paul’s decision to stay with the Clippers this summer as a free agent. There is no indication that he will do anything but re-sign with the Clippers — he would have to leave $30 million on the table, leave a 56-win team with the potential to be a contender with a couple moves, and he would have to leave all the opportunities that a major media market provides if he leaves Los Angeles. You think there is a “Cliff Paul” if he’s playing in Atlanta or Dallas? Nobody around the league thinks CP3 is going anywhere.

It also is the Clippers could try to strike a deal to trade just for Garnett, but it is unclear if he would waive his no trade clause for a coach other than Rivers.

The Clippers and Celtics were on the verge of a deal that would have sent Kevin Garnett to the Clippers for DeAndre Jordan then make a second move that would have sent a pick or two to Boston for the rights to sign Rivers once Boston let him out of his contract.

However, David Stern said that the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement does not expressly allow teams to trade players for a coach. While the Celtics and Clippers wanted to split it into two separate deals, nobody was buying that they were separate. So the Clippers latest plan was to work out a compensation deal with picks for Rivers (that is allowed) and then try to figure out a separate Garnett deal in a couple weeks.

But apparently the two sides disagreed on the pick for Rivers — the Celtics wanted a first rounder, the Clippers were only offering a second.

As the Clippers first round picks the next few drafts are likely to be only a few away from the second round anyway, it makes you wonder how serious they really were about getting a deal done?

The Clippers have Shaw, Hollins and Scott on their radar; the decision is owner Donald Sterling’s.

Rivers is scheduled to have a press conference in Boston Monday. It is possible that if Rivers decides he wants to come back to the Celtics — which admittedly seems a real long shot now — that Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce would be back for one more run. But the more likely outcome is the Celtics bring the Big Three era to an end.

  1. nycalldayz - Jun 21, 2013 at 5:52 PM

    I’ll believe when the Clippers hire someone other than Doc Rivers. This Clippers/Celtics back-n-forth is ridiculous.

  2. crimepedrankings - Jun 21, 2013 at 5:53 PM

    Boston is overplaying it’s hand.

  3. mrrooch - Jun 21, 2013 at 5:55 PM

    I wonder how much David Stern’s rhetoric that he’d veto the trade, played in killing the deal. Until he leaves, Stern is the emperor and what he wants goes. In the end, the Clips should just hire George Karl. Best coach on the market, knows the Pacific like the back of his hand.

    • rushbacker - Jun 22, 2013 at 4:43 AM

      They’re trying to get deeper into the playoffs, not lose in the first round.

  4. elcapitanfiscal - Jun 21, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    Well that’s awkward..

  5. pmx8411 - Jun 21, 2013 at 6:03 PM

    that escalated quickly

  6. adoombray - Jun 21, 2013 at 6:27 PM

    the entire “story” has been nothing but citing anonymous sources the whole time. Like I said when news first broke, I’ll believe it when it happens, but right now it just looks like a bunch of NBA writers tossing hypotheticals back and forth across the internet for page views and i’d be surprised if there was ever anything more than a couple of phone calls between Ainge and… whoever it is that Ainge would call in LA.

  7. saint1997 - Jun 21, 2013 at 6:54 PM

    Any news on whether talks will still be pursued regarding KG or will he not sign his trade clause if Doc stays in Bean-Town?

  8. pacific123ocean - Jun 21, 2013 at 6:59 PM

    Someone forgot to tell Doc that Chris Paul is calling all the shots. And, Doc will no longer be pursuing the Clippers job only when CP says so.

  9. bender4700 - Jun 21, 2013 at 7:09 PM

    Yeah, adoombray, they were totally just guessing. Had nothing to do with the two teams actually working a deal. Ya know. when several people in both organizations were confirming the talks. The commissioner commenting on it, Celtic’s brass talking with Doc. It was definitely all fake and the media.

    Please tell us what else didn’t happen that did happen! I await your all knowing insight. By all knowing meaning know nothing.

  10. bostonian13 - Jun 21, 2013 at 8:22 PM

    Maybe Doc wants to leave Boston because he knows Ainge does a crappy job when it comes to surrounding Doc, Rondo and the vets with talent. I mean other than the Big Three trade he hasn’t done anything that’s worth noting. Yeah the Perk trade for Green seems like a solid move but that came at a time when the Cs were the best team in the NBA, and were rolling. Chemistry was great until that move screwed it up. Both Perk and Green were gonna be free agents after the season, we could’ve took our chances after the season. Oh, and when KG goes down with the knee injury following the championship season Ainge goes out and signs Mikky Moore over a player like Drew Gooden…..really!?!? Oh, and let’s not forget about the Marbury playing the backup point. SMDH. If anyone has to or should go it’s Ainge!

  11. onbucky96 - Jun 21, 2013 at 8:55 PM

    Hey idiot, dumb article. You know in 2days he’ll be in talks w/the Clippers, again. Waste of space article, all that’s missing is a Tebow reference…

    • gofinsgoheatfloria - Jun 23, 2013 at 9:26 PM

      Great call onbucky96!    “It’s done: Clippers reach agreement with Celtics on a deal to hire Doc Rivers as head coach” – this forum, precisely two days later.

  12. volcom2143 - Jun 21, 2013 at 9:06 PM

    Donald sterling is the worst

    • badintent - Jun 21, 2013 at 10:45 PM

      Ah, no. That title goes to Jimmy Buss now.Bar none

      • rushbacker - Jun 22, 2013 at 4:54 AM

        Awww. Has poor little Lakerfan had to put up with a couple years of bad management? I feel terrible for ya! Because you guys just DESERVE better.

        Actually, all sarcasm aside, I devoutly hope you do end up suffering as long and as badly under Fredo as Clips fans have suffered under Sterling. That would be hilarious.

      • badintent - Jun 23, 2013 at 12:30 AM

        Wow. First time I got dissed as a Laker fan. seeing how this is your first time on PBT this season, All my posts give MY KNICKS the kudos first, then other classy teams like Spurs. I was dissing Jimmy for being the clown he is. I guess you are part of the same circus, clown.Go back to HBT son

      • bowltr - Jun 22, 2013 at 6:13 AM

        Hey rush I find it amusing that a Clipper fan is mocking Lakers fans. I hate the Lakers I’m a Celtics fan but when a fan of what is arguably the worst franchise in the history of the sport mocks what is at worst the 2nd best franchise in the history of the sport, well it makes me laugh and even feel a bit sorry for you.
        Enjoy your time in the sun. FYI………….I think both LA teams lost in the 1st round this year……….didn’t they?

      • jimeejohnson - Jun 22, 2013 at 10:24 AM

        You put avocado on your lobstah roll and the divide between Lakers and Celtics fans is bridged.

      • badintent - Jun 23, 2013 at 12:35 AM

        Have no knowledge of that. Being a KNICK fan for 10 months on PBT with a shout out to Clippers for a great season shows no loyalty to Beantown

  13. bellerophon30 - Jun 21, 2013 at 10:31 PM

    Why would any coach with other options choose to work for Donald Sterling? Especially given that once he’s fired he’ll have to sue to get the remainder of his contract paid.

  14. pantsfreezone - Jun 21, 2013 at 11:56 PM

    But Ray Allen is the traitor. The guy who was a free agent, not the two guys under contract trying to jump off the sinking ship? Boston fans probably feel pretty dumb right now.

  15. 00maltliquor - Jun 22, 2013 at 2:46 AM

    Was I the only one who busted up when reading, “this thing has come back more times then Freddy Kruger”?

    • jimeejohnson - Jun 22, 2013 at 10:24 AM


  16. rajbais - Jun 22, 2013 at 9:02 AM

    Wow, Stephen A. Smith is correct about a prediction that Adrian Wojnarowski, a major coverer of this story, was wrong about.

    Doc will be back in Boston.

  17. bills4 - Jun 22, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    Stern is an idiot, an ugly idiot!!

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