Doc Rivers out as LA Clippers coach after ‘disappointing’ end to season

Doc Rivers has stepped down as mentor of the LA Clippers in what chairman Steve Ballmer termed a “mutual determination.”

The staff fell well small of its championship anticipations this year right after acquiring All-Stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George very last summertime in what were being NBA-altering moves.

“Doc has been a wonderful mentor for the Clippers, an outstanding ambassador, and a pillar of power throughout tumultuous instances,” Ballmer claimed in a assertion Monday. “He gained a heck of a good deal of online games and laid a basis for this franchise.”

Rivers had two decades still left on his agreement, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Clippers went 49-23 in the standard time, the fourth-finest record in franchise background, but squandered a 3-1 series lead in the Western Meeting semifinals towards the Denver Nuggets, surrendering qualified prospects of 16, 19 and 12 points as the franchise’s Western Convention finals drought achieved 50 decades. Rivers has been the mentor in five of the Clippers’ six greatest frequent seasons.

“Thank you Clipper Country for making it possible for me to be your coach and for all your help in aiding make this a successful franchise,” Rivers mentioned in a assertion posted to Twitter. “When I took this work, my objectives ended up to make this a successful basketball software, a absolutely free agent vacation spot, and convey a championship to this firm.

“Although I was able to complete most of my plans, I is not going to be able to see them all by. While it was a disappointing ending to our period, you are appropriate there and I know what this team is able of accomplishing with your assist.

“Thank you to all the gamers, coaches, and staff for assisting us get listed here. Most importantly, thank you to the lovers. We went via a great deal, and I am grateful for my time here.”

Rivers is the only coach in NBA record to eliminate a 3-1 lead in a few playoff collection, having carried out so with the Clippers in the 2015 West semis from the Houston Rockets and with the Orlando Magic in the initially spherical towards the Detroit Pistons in 2003.

This team, while, was viewed as a championship contender from the instant the Clippers signed Leonard in no cost agency and traded for George.

Soon after the Clippers completely unraveled for a third straight recreation in a 104-89 reduction to the Nuggets in Recreation 7, Rivers mentioned the title anticipations had been not too hefty for his staff, even however the Clippers fell brief of reaching what quite a few imagined all year would be a West finals showdown with the Los Angeles Lakers.

“We failed to meet them,” Rivers stated of the anticipations. “That’s the bottom line. I’m the mentor, and I am going to get any blame for it. But we did not meet up with our anticipations, clearly, because if we had, in my opinion, we might even now be actively playing.”

Rivers took around as Clippers mentor in June 2013 and was later promoted to president of basketball operations in conjunction with his coaching obligations, ahead of offering up that write-up in August 2017.

In Rivers’ seven seasons at the helm, the Clippers went 356-208, profitable 63.1% of their frequent-season game titles — the fifth-greatest file in the NBA and the ideal by any staff without the need of a conference finals overall look.

Rivers went 3-8 in opportunity series-clinching game titles with the Clippers, tied for the worst mark by a solitary coach with one particular crew.

His 943 vocation wins is the 11th most by a head coach all time.

The Clippers’ job results in being the sixth present-day vacancy in the NBA, together with Houston, Indiana, Philadelphia, Oklahoma Metropolis and New Orleans. New York, Brooklyn and Chicago have already filled vacancies in their offseasons.

Rivers’ departure signifies the league also is down to 4 Black coaches with jobs presently: Lloyd Pierce in Atlanta, J.B. Bickerstaff in Cleveland, Monty Williams in Phoenix and Dwane Casey in Detroit. Rivers is the third Black coach to either action down or be fired this offseason, signing up for Nate McMillan in Indiana and Alvin Gentry in New Orleans.

Sam Cassell and Tyronn Lue have been each assistants with this Clippers staff underneath Rivers. Lue presently has won an NBA title in Cleveland, and Rivers has prolonged reported that Cassell is prepared to become a head coach.

“I am immeasurably grateful to Doc for his motivation and contributions to the Clippers and the city of Los Angeles,” Ballmer claimed. “I am also extremely confident in our front business and our gamers. We will obtain the suitable coach to guide us forward and support us arrive at our supreme targets. We will start out the lookup and interview method quickly.”

ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk, ESPN Stats & Info and The Related Push contributed to this report.

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