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Doc Rivers signs contract with Clippers through 2019

Aug 27, 2014, 12:21 PM EDT

Doc Rivers, Steve Ballmer Doc Rivers, Steve Ballmer

The Clippers paid a high price to get Doc Rivers, sending a first-round pick to the Celtics for the coach with front-office control.

One year in, the results have been mixed.

The Clippers went a franchise-best 57-25, but they also lost in the second round, falling short of expectations. Off the court, Rivers guided the team through the Donald Sterling mess – even though the coach wasn’t certain he’d stay for the long haul. Safe to say, neither side has been completely thrilled with the arrangement – though Rivers has far, far, far, far, far more reason to gripe.

But with Steve Ballmer even more firmly in charge of the franchise, Rivers isn’t going anywhere.

First, he got a promotion. Now, he has a new contract.

Clippers team release:

The Los Angeles Clippers today announced that President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Doc Rivers has agreed to a contract that will keep him with the team through the end of the 2019 season. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“This is an important day for this organization,” Clippers owner Steve Ballmer said. “I am excited to work with Doc for a long time as we build a championship culture that will deliver results both on and off the court. Not only is Doc one of the best coaches and executives in the game, but he continually embodies the hard core, committed and resilient character and winning culture that the Clippers represent. It was one of my top priorities to ensure that he was firmly in place as the long-term leader of this team.”

Rivers took over as head coach of the Clippers in June 2013 and led Los Angeles to the best record in franchise history (57-25, .695) and a second straight Pacific Division title. He became President of Basketball Operations on June 16, 2014.

“Steve has shown a clear and determined desire to make the Clippers one of the most elite, first-class and championship organizations in all of professional sports,” Rivers said. “We know we have work to do to get there, but I am motivated by the challenge and thankful for the opportunity to stand together with Steve as we continue to move toward our goal of winning an NBA title.”

Rivers’ fingerprints are all over the Clippers. He’s teaching Chris Paul and Blake Griffin how to win at the highest levels. He’s turning DeAndre Jordan into a borderline star. And he’s even occasionally making bad front-office decisions. Even if the on-court results weren’t immediate, Rivers is clearly laying a positive framework.

All of this is a work in progress, and Rivers deserves a chance to see it through. His basketball acumen drew the Clippers in the first place, and Rivers’ knowledge of the game hasn’t slipped as the team has been sold. Ballmer sees it, too, and that’s why he prioritized keeping Rivers.

So far, because of Sterling, Rivers hasn’t gotten what he’s bargained for in Los Angeles. But now, Rivers will have a real chance to build the championship team he set out on creating.

  1. succulentnipples - Aug 27, 2014 at 12:39 PM

    Big John Football congratulates Doc.

  2. sportsfan18 - Aug 27, 2014 at 1:10 PM

    Doc IS a very good coach… no arguments from me there…

    But it is too soon to begin calling Doc one of the best executives in the game as he’s only been in that capacity for one season.

    It takes longer than one season to become the best executive in the league or even one of the better ones.

    Just like MJ, LBJ and Kobe weren’t the best players for many seasons after beginning in the league.

    Now, Doc very well might end up being one of the best executives in the league, but we don’t know that yet…

  3. jerdogthompson - Aug 27, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    Smart move

    Anyone that says the DTS situation didn’t have an affect on the the outcome of the OKC (even the GS series) is clearly hallucinating. With the dust settled and a new owner we can all look forward to seeing the true attributes of a top 3 coach in the league.


  4. ProBasketballPundit - Aug 27, 2014 at 1:56 PM

    Doc is a great coach and he handled the Sterling situation like a boss. But I don’t think I can ever root for his teams again after what he did to the Celtics. His little rivalry with Bill Simmons made him look absolutely foolish. And I’d be glad to provide proof for anybody who doesn’t believe it.

    @jcmeyer10 You got my back on this one, right?

    • sportsfan18 - Aug 27, 2014 at 2:31 PM


      I don’t know jcmeyer… but you’re right that Doc messed up when leaving the C’s.

      Now what Doc did isn’t the worst that’s been done out there but he didn’t handle it the way he should have.

      Don’t forget about KG leaving the C’s either. There are quotes from KG to the press where he said that if it was up to him, he’d stay or finish his career with the C’s.

      Well, when KG said that, he had only one of like 4 complete no trade clauses in his contract in the entire league.

      So it HAD to be HIS decision to leave the C’s when he was traded.

      Then the whole Ray Allen leaving for Miami thing when KG was upset… Sure, get disappointed but he acted childish.

      Compare how KG treated Ray Allen to the way D Wade handled Lebron leaving Miami for Cleveland…

      I’d like to think Doc would do it differently if he could.

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