After a tumultuous year highlighted by a racial issue instigated by former owner Donald Sterling, LA Clippers president of basketball operations and current head coach Doc Rivers will be staying in Los Angeles up to 2019.
This was announced by the team, led no less by new team owner Steve Ballmer, who admitted his excitement at the thought of continuing his working relationship with the former NBA champion coach (2008 with the Boston Celtics). And apparently the aim for Ballmer, Rivers and the Clippers right now is to build a championship culture and snag an NBA title or two.
In a report from ABC News, “This is an important day for this organization,” Clippers owner Steve Ballmer said in a statement. “I am excited to work with Doc for a long time as we build a championship culture that will deliver results both on and off the court. Not only is Doc one of the best coaches and executives in the game, but he continually embodies the hard core, committed and resilient character and winning culture that the Clippers represent. It was one of my top priorities to ensure that he was firmly in place as the long-term leader of this team.”
Rivers came to the Los Angeles Clippers from the Boston Celtics back in 2013, inheriting a loaded lineup which includes Blake Griffin and Chris Paul. However, despite a fully loaded lineup, the Clippers have fallen short of reaching the NBA Finals despite an impressive showing in the regular seasons.
With the team under new ownership, however, all that is expected to change. With Steve Ballmer throwing his full support and trust to the former NBA coach of the year (2000), Rivers may have lesser excuse of falling short, especially with a talented lineup that is more than able to stand up to powerhouses in the league right now, including the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Rivers was not spared from the racial slur which Sterling had made last season, an occurrence which came at a bad time as the Clippers were in the playoffs. The issue caused a severe distraction for Rivers and the team but was eventually settled with the consummated sale of the franchise to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.