Doc Rivers is an outstanding basketball coach with a long history in the National Basketball Association, but recently made the surprising announcement that he would be leaving the Los Angeles Clippers to coach the Philadelphia 76ers instead.
Doc Rivers began his NBA career as a player, not a coach, and he certainly had a tenacity for defense. Upon ultimately transitioning to a permanent role on the bench, he began his coaching career with the Orlando Magic and stayed there for four years. Although this may seem like a short tenure, he actually won the “NBA Coach of the Year” award during his first year as a coach!
After leaving the Orlando Magic, Rivers became a coach for the Boston Celtics from 2004 to 2013. This included coaching the beginning of the big three era with Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Rajon Rondo. During this tenure he received his one and only championship ring. From there he coached the Los Angeles Clippers from 2013-2020. However, in a shock to the sports world, he announced that he would not be returning as the Clippers coach for the 2020-2021 season.
If you remember reading the Paul George article about his speech leaving a sour taste in the locker room, one could only wonder if this atmosphere led to Doc Rivers’ decision. The Clippers are certainly not a bad team by any means, they have a star studded lineup led by Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. However, in a press conference from just this morning, Rivers states that he was simply bothered by the fact that the Clippers could not close out their three to one series lead that they held over the Denver Nuggets.
He also mentioned that he met with the Clippers owner, Steve Ballmer, and decided that he did not like the direction in which the franchise was headed. In the end, it will be exciting to see how the 76ers perform with their new head coach.