After a disappointing playoff tour for the Los Angeles Clippers, Doc Rivers was no longer the team’s coach, he said Monday.
“Thank you Clipper Nation for letting me be your coach and all your support to help make this franchise a winner,” Rivers He said in a statement on Twitter. “When I took on this job, my goals were to make this a winning basketball program, a free agent destination, and bring a tournament to this organization.
“While I was able to achieve most of my goals, I wouldn’t be able to see them all.”
A statement from the team referred to the separation from Rivers as a “joint decision”. Steve Palmer, owner of the Clippers, said he was “very grateful” to Rivers.
Palmer said, “Doc has been a great coach for the Clippers, a great ambassador, and a pillar of strength during turbulent times.” “He won a lot of games and laid the foundation for this franchise.”
The Clippers, who did not reach the Conference Finals in the playoffs, entered the season with their best-ever roster, which dates back to the 1970-1971 season when they were known as the Buffalo Braves. Last summer, they acquired Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, giving the fearsome duo to go toe-to-toe with another pair of stars from Los Angeles, LeBron James and Anthony Davis of the Lakers.
But the clippers seem to have a hard time taking shape throughout the season. However, they were the number two in the Western Conference and were on the cusp of the Conference Finals, leading 3-1 over the Denver Nuggets. But in the second series in a row, the Nuggets scored three straight wins to advance to the next round, which shocked the Clippers.
Rivers joined the Clippers in 2013, five years after winning the Boston Celtics Championship. In his first year, he led the Rivers Clippers to 57 wins and wins in the first round. This will be the most successful season for him.
The following year, Rivers was promoted to chief of basketball operations – giving him rare authority over individuals’ decisions and play on the court. But in 2017, Rivers lost his front-office job after the Clippers continued to falter in the playoffs, even with all-stars Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and Denery Jordan in their primaries.
Rivers was a coach in the NBA for two decades and set a regular season record from 943-681. In 2000, his first year as a coach, he won the Coach of the Year award with the Orlando Magic. With the Clippers, Rivers went to 356-208, with a 0.631 win ratio. He led the franchise to its best extension in its history: six season trips in seven seasons, and three postseason series winners. But Rivers also has a questionable distinction: he is the only NBA coach to lose three series of seven matches after leading, 3–1.
He cemented his reputation as a coach to players after the 2008 tournament with Boston, when he combined three stars – Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen – who had not found success leading their teams separately. He also won praise for leading the Clippers after former team owner Donald Sterling was recorded making racist remarks and had to sell the team to Palmer. Rivers also played the point guard in the NBA from 1983 to 1996 and appeared in the All-Star Game in the 1987-88 season.
Clippers functionality will be highly desired yet. The nominees will likely include current team assistants Tyronn Lue and Sam Cassell. Lue won a championship as a coach for James’ led the Cavaliers in 2016. Cassel played with the Clippers for nearly three seasons starting in 2005, and has been an assistant in the NBA for more than a decade. Just this month, Cassel received a vote of confidence from Rivers himself.
“Sam Castle has to be a head coach,” said Rivers.