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Report: New Clipper owner Ballmer to talk contract extension with Doc Rivers

Aug 12, 2014, 4:57 PM EDT

Doc Rivers already is just one of a handful of coaches with the power position to have say over players and personnel too. Gregg Popovich has it (although that’s a unique relationship with R.C. Buford). Stan Van Gundy has it. But the list is short.

Often when a new owner comes in the coach and team president should feel nervous about their job security — owners want the people they trust in the positions of power.

It’s going to be the opposite for Rivers with new Clippers owner Steve Ballmer, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

In the wake of owner Steve Ballmer gaining governorship control of the Los Angeles Clippers, discussions on a contract extension for Doc Rivers are expected to commence soon, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Ballmer and Rivers had been eager to forge a long-term partnership, and a California court confirming the authority of Shelly Sterling to sell the franchise on behalf of the Sterling Family Trust has cleared the way to work toward a new deal.

Rivers already was making $7 million a year, making him one of the highest paid coaches in the NBA. He’d be happy to extend that, I imagine.

When the Donald Sterling situation, um, hit the fan last playoffs, Rivers did his best to stand in front of the team and deflect as much of the storm as he could off the players. He shouldered as much as could be asked, and it wore on him and the team.

This sale is a parting of the clouds. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are happy. Rivers has a real contender on his hands and a team with a very underrated offseason pickup in Spencer Hawes (remember in the playoffs last year Glen Davis was the first big off the bench, Hawes is lightyears ahead of him).

For a few years now the Clippers have been doing things right off the court in spite of their owner (because he stepped back and let others make the decisions on the basketball side). Ballmer is smart not to fix what isn’t broken. Keep Rivers in the big chair.

  1. 4thquartermagic - Aug 12, 2014 at 5:30 PM

    Ballmer opened his press conference by stating his respect for Rivers’ basketball acumen.

    But things got awkward when Ballmer stated he wanted to extend the coaches contract to quote; “continue supporting him and giving him food, and clothes, and cars, and houses.”

    … too soon?

  2. caeser12 - Aug 12, 2014 at 8:24 PM

    Doc ” I never knew that Donald Sterling and his Wife Shelly were racist” Rivers.


    • sportsfan18 - Aug 12, 2014 at 9:06 PM

      they all knew it back in the late 80’s…

      OLD news that he was racist.

      very old news

  3. campcouch - Aug 12, 2014 at 9:49 PM

    Sounds good and PC, but this is still a business. This guy didn’t hire Rivers to coach or be the President of Operations. That was done by Sterling and the temp hired by the NBA. Whatever goodwill or accolades garnered during the previous regime has to be re-accomplished for the new boss. This guy should see if Doc can at least get the Clippers to the WCF before extending or offering a raise. Barely escaping the Warriors and only mustering 2 wins versus the Thunder doesn’t mean pay the man.

    • loungefly74 - Aug 13, 2014 at 9:40 AM

      uh…thank you! as you pointed out, 2 insignificant playoff appearances…big deal. win a title…or at least get to the WCF…especially for Doc who we all know is capable of elevating the team…but do it first.

      • bkbell3 - Aug 13, 2014 at 5:55 PM

        When did doc ever elevate a team to win anything? Oh you mean the year they picked up 2 hall of famers to pair with their in house hall of famer to win one chip and then go down hill from there? Him and ainge were on their way out of boston if it wasn’t for that trade that saved both of their jobs. Both guys are overated. Look at the talent on the clips, best point guard in the league and a top 5 pf. The mistake doc made was getting the white 2 guard and the small foward that are good 6-7-8 guys and putting them in the starting line up.

  4. saint1997 - Aug 12, 2014 at 10:00 PM

    Just glad this time didn’t have to blow up and lose all the hard work’s effort that they would have done had Sterling still owned the club

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