After a successful nine-year tenure with the Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers chose to leave in 2013 as the team’s ambitions no longer matched his.
He won an NBA championship in 2008 and reached the finals in 2010 during his time with the franchise but with their star players ageing, they decided to offload them and start a rebuilding process.
Rivers wasn’t interested in this as he wanted to continue competing for a title.
In June 2013, he left Boston and was named as the new head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers.
After contending for the first four years of his reign in LA, the team decided to head in a different direction last season when Chris Paul chose to leave and join the Houston Rockets.
Midway through the season, they traded Blake Griffin and after missing out on the playoffs for the first time under Rivers, they chose not to re-sign free agent DeAndre Jordan this summer.
The Clippers are now heading for a full rebuild with some exciting young prospects on their roster.
Rivers is now in a similar situation to the one that he was against in Boston but he has a different perspective this time as he doesn’t see it being the same.
“Yeah, but we’re rebuilding in a little different way,” Rivers told Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald.
“And, you know, it’s easy to rebuild when you haven’t won, you know what I mean? We won in Boston, so rebuilding there is tough. We haven’t won crap in LA, but we’re trying to.
“The goal is to win, and once you win—if you ever do—then I don’t want to rebuild anymore. Then you go to the next one. That’s the way I look at it.”
The 56-year-old makes an interesting point as he enjoyed the highs of lifting the Larry O’Brien trophy in Boston and it’s easy to see why he wasn’t prepared to start from the bottom again with a storied organisation known for winning.
But having signed a contract extension until the 2020-21 season, he’s on board for the task of making the Clippers a winning team again in the coming years.
Losing All-Star trio Paul, Griffin and Jordan mean the team has lost its core but Rivers says it’s what the franchise is known for.
“I know,” Rivers said. “It’s called being with the Clippers.”
The rebuild began with this year’s draft as they selected the promising Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jerome Robinson.
They also traded Austin Rivers to the Washington Wizards in exchange for Marcin Gortat.
Los Angeles is unlikely to make the playoffs next season but they’ll still remain competitive as they possess a decent roster that won’t tank.
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