Doc Rivers has been relieved of his front office duties with the Los Angeles Clippers and will now focus all of his energies on coaching the team.
“I’ve owned the team for three years now, and I really better understand what an owner’s responsibility is — and it turns out that running a franchise and coaching are two enormous and different jobs,” Clippers owner Steve Ballmer told ESPN. “The notion that one person can fairly focus on them and give them all the attention they need isn’t the case. To be as good as we can be, to be a championship franchise, we need two functioning strong people building teams out beneath them. There needs to be a healthy discussion and debate with two strong, independent-minded people.
“There are different relationships that a player needs to have with the coach and the front office,” Ballmer added. “Doc put Lawrence (Frank) in charge of the non-coaching aspects of the front office last year, and he’s done a fantastic job. I want each of them to dig in and do what they do best.”
With the loss of perennial All Star point guard Chris Paul and having to incorporate nine new players into next year’s Clippers squad, Rivers will have to be at his absolute best to make the team gel while in the early stages of its new construction.
“Doc has won a championship, one of only a few coaches in the league to do so,” Ballmer said. “Two-thirds of our lineup will be new, and there’s a huge job to bring everybody along to fit together.”
In 18 NBA seasons as a head coach with the Magic, Celtics and Clippers, Rivers has an 804-584 (.579) record and is 82-79 (.509) in the playoffs. He reached the NBA Finals twice with the Celtics, winning the 2008 NBA championship.