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Clippers promote Doc Rivers

Jun 16, 2014, 7:00 PM EDT

Coaches Rivers, Wohl and Pressey Getty Images

Doc Rivers spent last season atop the Clippers’ basketball operations organizational flowchart, and he’ll stay there – with a better title and re-arranged cast beneath him.

Rivers – who, in addition to coaching, held the the title of Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations – is now President of Basketball Operations.

That “senior” in his previous titles distinguished him from Gary Sacks, who was Vice President of Basketball Operations. But the line between Rivers and Sacks is even clearer now.

Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today:

David Wohl was previously Director of Professional Scouting, so this is a promotion for him. He leapfrogs Sacks, who was No. 2 in the front office behind Rivers.

Wohl was an assistant coach for Rivers with the Celtics and Magic, and he became an assistant general manager in Boston while Rivers was there.

Sacks, on the other hand, is a longtime Clippers employee who became their equivalent of general manager before Rivers arrived.

Rivers likely has a greater comfort level with Wohl, and that’s why Rivers – one of four president/coaches in the NBA along with Gregg Popovich, Stan Van Gundy and Flip Saunders – is entrusting Wohl to run day-to-day operations for the Clippers front office.

With owner Donald Sterling banned for life and president Andy Roeser on an indefinite leave of absence, Sacks’ days with the Clippers might be numbered. No knock necessarily on Sacks, but the people who hired and promoted him aren’t around, and Rivers isn’t as familiar with him.

Whether Shelly Sterling or Steve Ballmer or someone else owns the team next season, Rivers will almost surely remain in place. So, he’s using his power to craft the organization as he sees fit, and the next owner will go from there.

  1. mcfleezy12 - Jun 16, 2014 at 7:20 PM

    I cant wait until they draft lol

  2. pukpokito - Jun 16, 2014 at 7:26 PM

    This is a great promotion for all the politically correct reason. Not a bad way to do a PR Job. The Players trust him, he is a competent brother. The Clippers have the right man going forward.

  3. mackcarrington - Jun 16, 2014 at 7:35 PM

    I remember Whol as a player with the Trailblazers and the Buffalo Braves.

  4. adoombray - Jun 16, 2014 at 8:28 PM

    who made the call on the promotion then? the NBA administrator Silver sent?

  5. loubearkane - Jun 16, 2014 at 8:44 PM

    Who’s the owner?

    • sportsfan18 - Jun 16, 2014 at 8:56 PM

      David Stern…

  6. montrealknowledge - Jun 16, 2014 at 8:59 PM

    Legal battle isn’t even done yet.. But Rivers seems fine with excepting a promotion, way to stick to your beliefs. Unbelievable that Doc clearly worked for a racist old man, yet I feel Doc is full if crap.

    • mackcarrington - Jun 16, 2014 at 9:18 PM

      With the money and authority Rivers got, He must have thought, “Well, as long as he doesn’t call me “Boy” to my face, I’ll deal with this guy.” I think most of us would.

    • adoombray - Jun 16, 2014 at 9:19 PM

      There is no universe where Sterling gets to keep that team.

  7. campcouch - Jun 17, 2014 at 12:27 AM

    So what happens if Sterling ties the NBA up in legal limbo. As president,Rivers would have to deal with the prospect of his players boycotting and he’ll be part of the negotiations…I mean,they declared some pretty strong convictions a few months ago…or does he just quit too? If the NBA ceases operation of the team because hey,Sterling still owns the team,he hasn’t divested control yet. what happens to the players,coaches and Rivers? Does the league void the contracts and essentially destroy the franchise? Who gets to sign Rivers and the players? Is he considered front office or coaching staff? I’m not even sure how this even works. At some point,Sterling’s signature is on a paper somewhere that originally stated Rivers’ position on the team and how much he’d be paid. How can someone else promote him? I want to see who blinks first in the courtroom.

    • mackcarrington - Jun 17, 2014 at 12:47 AM

      You’re forgetting that they placed Richard Parsons in charge of the team.

  8. redbaronx - Jun 17, 2014 at 1:16 AM

    Maybe they should make him……(drumroll please):

    **Emperor of Basketball Operations** or…
    **Supreme Leader of Basketball Operations**

  9. addict2sport - Jun 17, 2014 at 10:03 AM

    Sure Parsons was placed in charge of the team but there’s no doubt who still owns the team. This thing will be caught up in the court system for some time. But…As long as Doc gets his raise and title with the promotion. Who cares right? Geez. A helluva lot changes in a matter of a few weeks. I bet half the players threatening the boycott would pull a Doc and accept more money to stay and work for the racist too. More than a few steps back in what we all thought were huge steps forward towards equality a few weeks ago.

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