Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge spoke at a press conference Tuesday. He offered a time line of the Doc Rivers departure he also included some kind words on behalf of the Celtics organization.
“Doc Rivers is going to be the coach of the Los Angeles Clippers,” said Ainge. “I would first just like to thank Doc for nine years of friendship and great coaching. He was a great teammate and the Clippers have a really good coach. We don’t have a championship without Doc Rivers in 2008 and he did an unbelievable job making it to the Finals in 2010; a long history of great success with us over the last nine years and we wish him the best in Los Angeles.
“On May 3rd, our season ended [with a first-round playoff exit against the New York Knicks]. And there was some uncertainty as to whether Doc would return to the Celtics or not at that time — I wasn’t aware of it then, but [the media] made me aware of it… I had every reason to believe that he would come back, but coaching is hard, and it’s draining, and what people say at the end of a long season, you don’t take to heart.
“On May 8th, Doc and I had a conversation about his future and I was curious about which way he was leaning and why… He was uncertain still at that time, but wondered what his options were.
“On May 9th, we sent him a letter saying that we expected him to be our coach, and he was under contract to be our coach for three more years. That was our intention all along and that’s what we hoped he would do. And then in subsequent weeks, conversations started as he still had uncertainty as to what he would do.
“[Soon after], we had a conversation, him and I, as friends and partners over the last nine years, and a guy that I really trust, we had a conversation that we discussed the possibility of him trying to get the Clippers job. There were other teams that were interested in hiring Doc, [but] we didn’t allow any of them to talk to Doc that had inquired. But the Clippers was one that intrigued him a little bit. I’m sure their great mix of talent had a lot to do with that, and his friends Skip and Al — his golfing buddies out in Bel-Air — had a lot to do with that. But with the idea that, if it wasn’t going to be a win-win-win situation, if it wasn’t good for the Celtics — which is what my job is: Do what’s best for the Celtics — and if it wasn’t good for him, it wasn’t good for the Clippers, we just wouldn’t do a deal. And he’d come back and coach [the Celtics].
“That’s the way it was from that point on, all the way until today when the deal was finalized. So today a deal was finalized, we were compensated a first-round pick in 2015 from the Los Angeles Clippers, Doc was let out of contract and reached an agreement with the Los Angeles Clippers. And we will move forward, and find a very good coach who can lead us into the next phase.”