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Monday, June 24th, 2013 at 9:25 am  |  73 responses

Doc Rivers Reaches Deal to Coach the LA Clippers


by Marcel Mutoni @ marcel_mutoni

After weeks of stalled negotiations, which left hurt feelings on both sides, it appears that Doc Rivers has finally decided to leave the Boston Celtics for the LA Clippers.

The C’s 9-year relationship with the popular head coach is over, and pending League approval, Rivers will be pacing the sidelines in Los Angeles next season.

Per the Boston Globe and Herald:

Rivers, who was the second-longest tenured coach in the NBA behind San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich (17 seasons), was under contract to coach the Celtics for three more seasons, during which he stood to make $21 million. But in a deal that was agreed upon Sunday night, the Celtics will let Rivers, 51, out of his contract in exchange for a 2015 first-round draft pick. Though Celtics center Kevin Garnett was involved in previous incarnations of this deal, he is not involved in the current package.

Rivers, who had left Boston for Orlando in frustration Friday, convinced that the deal was finally dead, now gets his wish to coach a team with a much brighter future than the Celtics. But the source said that as of last night, Rivers had yet to finalize a contract with Donald Sterling, though the Clippers owner is reportedly willing to offer Rivers a five-year deal worth $35 million – the same contract he signed with the Celtics two years ago. Indeed, the word “dead” became the most commonly used term to refer to the dealings between Ainge and Clippers owner Donald Sterling, whose unpredictable reputation still had the Celtics on alert tonight, despite finally having an agreement in place.

This is a major coup for the Clippers, as the hiring of Doc Rivers not only secures one of the NBA’s best coaches, but also likely guarantees free agent superstar point guard Chris Paul’s return. As for the Celtics, their immediate future is uncertain if not bleak.

Rivers finishes his tenure in Beantown with a 426-315 regular season record, and went 106-59 in the Playoffs, the second most postseason wins for a Celtics coach behind Red Auerbach.

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  • shockexchange

    The NBA should have a rule … anybody who steals another team’s coach should be made to keep him.

  • OfftheWall87

    Can’t really call it stealing when Boston ownership and management were all behind it.

  • shockexchange

    The Shock Exchange thinks the NBA should have a rule … anybody thirsty enough to trade a 1st round pick for another team’s coach should be made to keep him.

  • Solito

    How will this not be nixed by David Stern, after he said that the CBA does not allow Coaches to be traded? I have never heard of a coach trade for players, picks or cash. And especially, if a secondary deal is looming for KG and DA Jordan…

  • OfftheWall87

    Doc Rivers is the 2nd best coach in the league. He was willing to leave Boston. The Celtics were willing to let him go. Nothing wrong with that at all. The Clippers won’t need a 1st round pick in the near future…the Celtics will since they’re rebuilding. No harm done.

  • OfftheWall87

    KG for Jordan won’t be allowed because Stern still sees that as a deal connected to the Rivers deal.

  • Lloyd

    Well damn…sorry Celtic fans! Looks like some hard times up ahead!

  • Basketball Coach

    why would it be? i read an article that maybe Ainge would coach the Celtics, and he’s one pretty good coach too.

    http://basketballcoach.ca/

  • shockexchange

    And the Clippers should be made to keep him too.

  • OfftheWall87

    Again, the Clippers won’t be needing that pick. The 2nd best coach in the league for a pick you don’t need? Great deal for them especially when Chris re-signs because he now has a great coach to play for.

  • shockexchange

    Blake still doesn’t have a mid-range game and DeAndre Jordan’s only defining quality is that he’s tall. If the Clippers were championship material then Phil Jackson would have taken the job. (Denny Green voice) “The Clippers … they were who we thought they were.”

  • underdog

    It seems like, the Clips will be more dangerous next season, now that they have at last a coach.

  • Pingback: SLAM ONLINE | » Doc Rivers and Rajon Rondo Reportedly Almost Fought

  • OfftheWall87

    Dude who coached KG, one of the most skilled big men to ever play, has two extremely athletic big men to work with. Chances are great, he’ll make them better and bring in guys to help.

  • shockexchange

    And when those “chances” don’t turn into reality, the Clippers should be made to keep him. A proxy for which teams are capable of winning the chip – which is what the Clippers’ expectations have been raised to – is which team(s) Phil Jackson wants to coach. If Phil didn’t want the job then that should tell you something right there.

  • OfftheWall87

    And you know those chances won’t turn into reality…how? If there is one coach in the league not named Popovich who could turn Blake into a superstar and Jordan into a solid offensive center, it’s Doc.

  • shockexchange

    (Denny Green voice) “The Clippers … they are who they are player.”

  • OfftheWall87

    If they are the same old Clippers, what did Doc see in them that made him want to coach them? We’ll see when the season starts.

  • LobCity

    He said coaches couldn’t be traded for players or couldn’t be apart of side deals contingent on the exchange of players (KG for DJ). Coaches can be released in exchange for picks and a limited amount of money. So this deal will go through, but a KG for DJ trade down the road wouldn’t.

  • LobCity

    Whoops, I meant to reply to Solito’s comment

  • shockexchange

    He originally thought KG was coming also. Besides, he knows there’s only so many more years Pierce and KG have left.

  • spit hot fiyah

    stan van gundy went from miami to orlando for picks or cash (i believe it was a pick) so there is a precedence for it. that was during the old cba though, i don’t know if that rule in particular changed. like offhtewall said, the problem now is the garnett trade that might be nixed if it is considered connected to this deal

  • LobCity

    It tells you he’s banging the Lakers owner and isn’t going to help another LA team win a title. Phil probably wouldn’t take ANY job outside of the Lakers, so is that really a good argument against the Cippers’ opening? This move is big

  • Solito

    Ah… true. I remember that one. Good times :)

  • Solito

    “The league sees the deal as the Clippers trading Jordan for Garnett –
    player for player, which is allowed – and two picks for Rivers, which is
    not allowed.” – LA Times

    http://www.latimes.com/sports/sportsnow/la-sp-sn-stern-celtics-20130620,0,5927106.story

  • shockexchange

    It’s headline grabbing. It’s definitely a test to see if a championship caliber coach can win a chip with a team without championship caliber players. Does the coach make the players or do the players make the coach? We shall so find out.

  • Mike Gilbert

    did rondo run out ray allen and doc?

  • Max

    no

  • LakeShow

    yes

  • OfftheWall87

    He’s there now and he knew KG wasn’t coming before he agreed yesterday.

  • The Philosopher

    He has been wanting to coach Chris Paul for a long time, now.
    Prediction: Clippers make the Finals next season.

  • spit hot fiyah

    maybe the problem was that that a coach and players were part of the same deal

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    The LA Times is wrong. That’s how simple that is.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    If its two separate trades it is legal. The league can’t just make an assumption based on a rumor. The league has no grounds to nix any part of this deal.

  • shockexchange

    The owners’ mantra is “might makes right” and they can and will nix the trade if enough owners complain about it. Before Stern’s public statement about nixing an add-on trade for KG, he had already circled the wagons.

  • Evan Boland

    I wouldn’t say he’s the 2nd best coach in the league.

  • ErnieD

    I would be fine with Brian Shaw as the next Celtics. He would actually be somebody Pierce PLAYED with. It would be a great PR move for the C’s, and he would probably be a coach they listen to and respect even more than Rivers. I got a feeling players were starting to tune him out… and not just Rondo. Got nothing to lose next year. If Boston doesn’t trade KG or Pierce, Danny may have decided that the problem wasn’t the players… but the coach.

  • Evan Boland

    OKC

  • Hart26

    LAC finally does not do the Clipper thing to do. Great job

  • KingBenjamin

    I never understood that SVG deal, how could they trade him for picks if he had already resigned as coach and Pat Riley took over?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    No. The owners have no grounds to stop any trade/transaction that is legal. Review by the league office is just to examine if there are any league violations. The owners have no right to vote. The only reason that has happened in the past, is because “the league” (aka, the 29 owners) owned the Hornets. That is the ONLY reason the trade was vetoed a couple years ago.

  • OfftheWall87

    Many would. His name is mentioned more than anyone else’s after Pop.

  • OfftheWall87

    Apparently so.

  • Junior Taylor

    This automatically makes the Clipps better given that they went from VDN to Doc but the Clipps’ championship dreams rests on BGriff’s shoulders. CP is a great player but it has been almost 2+ decades since a team won a championship with their PG as it’s best player. The Clippers won’t be winning anything until Griff becomes more of a scoring threat down low. They are still looking up to OKC/Mem/SA and maybe Hou (if Howard goes there) out West.

  • spit hot fiyah

    good question, he must have still been under contract somehow

  • spit hot fiyah

    since isiah? i guess saying parker is not fair since duncan was the best player on those teams. chauncy has an argument, not the strongest one though. also, are u saying that mario chalmers is not the Heat’s MVP?

  • Junior Taylor

    Parker’s probably the closest but I have always felt that Duncan was the best player during all the Spur’s championship runs even in 07 when Parker won FMVP.

  • Evan Boland

    Yeah I’m aware that people say that. I just don’t buy it. The C’s are amazing at blowing large leads and the guy seems to have pushed both Allen and Rondo’s buttons. He’s a good coach, but I don’t see this changing squat for the Clippers. We shall see. Blake Griffin ain’t carrying any team to the Finals.

  • shockexchange

    “No grounds to stop any trade/transaction that is legal.” Oh, they can just either (i) make it illegal or (ii) financially punitive in the next CBA. His bad.

  • OfftheWall87

    Rondo pushed Ray’s buttons, not Doc. Which is why Ray went over to Doc and hugged him when the Celtics visited the Heat in the first game this season. I saw no such show of affection between Ray and Rondo. If you don’t think this changes anything for the Clippers, you’re basically saying that Vinny Del Negro and Doc Rivers are the same caliber of coach and that’s a pretty wild thing to say. Doc isn’t a good coach, he’s a great one.

  • blackthought

    doc leaving beantown – that realy sucks. great deal for the clippers thou, & u can`t blame doc – lac got a brighter future than the c`s. danny ainge hit the rebuild buttom. we might see some ugly trades…

  • roscoe

    Unless Doc has a magic rabbit in his hat that fixes bad FT shooters…

    dez LAC… ain’t making it to the finals anytime soon…

    No FT… no way… Time to trade some peeps.

  • roscoe

    ray = yes

    doc = no [a rebuild w/ losses in BOS would have resulted in DOC getting fired]

  • spit hot fiyah

    i think billups was the closest. i think the difference between duncan and parker is greater that the diffence between which ever piston was better than billups (if there was on better than him) and billups.

  • Junior Taylor

    You’re right even though I think that Piston’s team was special. That was probably the only championship team that had 2-3 guys carrying an equal amount of load.

  • Mrsexamme1965

    мy coυѕιɴ ιѕ мαĸιɴɢ $51/нoυr oɴlιɴe. υɴeмployed ғor α coυple oғ yeαrѕ αɴd prevιoυѕ yeαr ѕнe ɢoт α $1З619cнecĸ wιтн oɴlιɴe joв ғor α coυple oғ dαyѕ. ѕee мore αт…­ ­ViewMore——————————————&#46qr&#46net/kkEj

    You’re right even though I think
    that Piston’s team was special. That was probably the only championship
    team that had 2-3 guys carrying an equal amount of load.

  • Evan Boland

    Nor did you see the same affection between KG and Ray. PP, KG and Rondo were all upset with Ray. He’s a traitor.

  • Stainless

    Brian Shaw, Nuggets Head Coach!!!

  • Lloyd

    No way is Ainge a better fit for this group than Rivers is (or any group for that matter). Like to see him trying to handle Rondo for instance. Leading a really good Suns team for a couple of seasons doesn’t necessarily make you a “pretty good coach”

  • Lloyd

    Doc Rivers had nothing to do with KG being one of the most skilled big men to ever play. Jordan won’t improve at all this year, and Blake may improve slightly.

  • OfftheWall87

    No, he’s now a 2 time champion. Jason Terry was signed in Boston to replace Ray so he left and went to the best team in the league who had a place for him. Smart decision. If you’re going to come off the bench, back up D-Wade, not Avery Bradley.

  • OfftheWall87

    Didn’t say Doc had something to do with it. He witnessed him work and how he worked. He can give tips to both Blake and DeAndre and he can bring in retired players to help both. Saying what will happen without knowing whether it will or not isn’t too smart. I don’t do predictions. I’d rather wait and see when next season starts.

  • Lloyd

    Really if Doc didn’t help him improve, to point to him coaching KG and assuming that may translate to improvements in Blake’s and DJ’s respective games is a faulty prediction in itself. So I guess I’ll word it like you: “CHANCES are Jordan won’t improve at all this year and Blake may improve slightly”.

  • grgeblck

    Celtics is slowly breaking apart. All Ray Allen is doing this summer is smiling.

  • OfftheWall87

    To say that Blake and DeAndre won’t improve at all or that chances are Jordan won’t improve with Doc Rivers coaching them is a faultier prediction.

  • Lloyd

    Hardly. Point me to one player who Doc Rivers has improved? (Don’t say Rondo because that’s just not right) Intelligent basketball coach, but he’s just not known for player developement.

    On the other hand, my prediction is based on Blake and DJ being known for their inability, or maybe rather unwillingness to improve, especially DJ. You thinking that they will this year just because Doc is there is either misguided hope or a complete fabrication.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    No they cannot just make it illegal. Lol that’s incredibly ignorant.
    .
    The next CBA? What would that have to do with a trade happening 5 years before its even discussed again? That’s just a stupid idea.
    .
    Par for the course

  • spit hot fiyah

    agreed, that was a unique situation. it keep giving teams like the nuggets hopes that they can win it all when it seems to happen once every 2-3 decades.

  • i_ball

    The Heat should give him a ring

  • OfftheWall87

    “Don’t say Rondo because that’s just not right” What? lol. Doc got him to the point where he could run a game by himself and you’re saying he didn’t help with his improvement. Pretty silly. The 2nd best coach in the league won’t influence Jordan and Griffin to want to improve? Yeah…we’ll see. You’re basically saying Doc will have no effect on the Clippers.

  • shockexchange

    We’re just have to agree to disagree. If the owners don’t like the concept of a “KG add-on trade which hasn’t happened yet,” they will find a way to disallow it.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Nope. It’s legal to trade a coach for assets. It’s legal to trade players for players. If they are two separate deals, there is no amount of dislike in the world that would be able to stop the trade. The NBA has never changed rules to appease coaches. Why? Because that would open them up to lawsuits, lawsuits they would stand no chance to win. Which is exactly the kind of press the NBA doesn’t want any part of. .
    It’s really just common sense that the league won’t blatantly change rules to stop one action. It really is

  • Lloyd

    Rondo is uncoachable. Doc just gave him the ball because literally the alternatives would’ve been an old Sam Cassell or trigger happy Eddie House. Rondo just proved extremely capable. Not to say that Doc didn’t help him along the way, but let’s not attribute Rondo’s success to him. Granted, he did put a lot of faith in him and let him shoulder a lot of responsibility which Rondo lived up to, something a lot of coaches are unwilling to do.

    Regardless though, that’s a PG who Doc could help out since he knows what it takes to be one in the NBA. So let’s assume that Rondo emerging as the floor general for the C’s was all Doc’s doing, what BIG did Doc ever help develop?

    Yes I’d be basically saying that…if the coach’s only job was player development…He’s good at managing a team because he’s a guy players respect and want to play for. Also, he’s pretty good at managing personalities (like Phil was). He knows the game better than VDN ever could, and his rotations will be immensely better. The Clippers aren’t bringing Doc in to develope Blake Griffin or DJ (the latter of which has probably hit his ceiling). They’re bringing him in because he’s mother effing Doc Rivers. Maybe he’ll use their given skill sets better, but to assume Blake and DJ will improve substantially because of Doc’s arrival…pretty silly.

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