The LA Clippers had a very good season last year and although it was derailed by their former owner Donald Sterling, there was always one constant voice…Doc Rivers.
The coach was not only a responsible voice in the locker room during the debacle at the end of their campaign, but he acted as a father-figure and manager wrapped all in one.
New owner Steve Ballmer said he had to make his first priority Rivers’ contract and he did just that. Ballmer signed Rivers to a five-year, reported $50 million dollar contract extension, which means he will be around with the organization until 2019.
“Not only is Doc one of the best coaches and executives in the game, but he continually embodies the hardcore, committed and resilient character and winning culture that the Clippers represent,” said the Clippers owner who has been promoting the new “hardcore” culture of the Clippers.
Doc said he was more than pleased about the extension but even more excited about Ballmer becoming the new owner.
“With Steve's leadership, we have this opportunity to be this great organization,” says Rivers.
The 2008 Finals winning coach was able to coach the “Clips” to a 57-25 (which was also the franchise’s best record ever) while also taking the Pacific division crown for a second consecutive season.
But the Los Angeles Clippers head coach continually referred to the great feeling of having an owner who is passionate about the game and eager to support the team.
Helps the team on the court
“That's probably what makes me the most excited because I know if you get that part right, the basketball part will become easier in some ways, and that's good,” said Rivers, who went on to say that the team can now move forward.
The LA Clippers can truly turn things around this time though, with an always deadly duo of Chris Paul and Blake Griffin as well as Deandre Jordan. This squad still has the core pieces to make a run.
Pieces for the postseason
The team also added solid role players through free agency such as crafty Center Spencer Hawes and former LA Laker Point Guard Jordan Farmar. The key thing is that the Sterling exit made sure the roster of last year stays put and that they strive for bigger and better things this year.
And hopefully for Doc Rivers and his players, they will be able to start well and make a strong playoff push to the NBA Finals.