Doc Rivers has lost his role in the Los Angeles Clippers’ front office, but will remain the head coach of the team next season.
The Los Angeles Clippers’ rollercoaster of an offseason continues, as owner Steve Ballmer has relieved Doc Rivers of his front office role with the team, according to an Adrian Wojnarowski report. He will now go back to being just the head coach, while Lawrence Frank will overtake his role of head of basketball operations.
Despite the demotion, Rivers will “continue to have a strong voice in personnel and organizational matters”, but he won’t have the final say any more.
Steve Ballmer delivered a statement to ESPN, saying “The notion that one person can fairly focus on them and give them all the attention they need isn’t the case. To be as good as we can be, to be a championship franchise, we need two functioning strong people building teams out beneath them.”
Of course, Ballmer would never admit to this decision being anything but strictly business. However, with an influx of players that will come in and learn a new system this year, it’s clear that Doc’s main focus has to be on coaching.
Ballmer gave Lawrence Frank a glowing review when he said “Doc put Lawrence in charge of the non-coaching aspects of the front office last year, and he’s done a fantastic job. I want each of them to dig in and do what they do best. Lawrence has come on so strong in that role, and that has helped us go down this path.”
Only three teams remain that have a coach with the final say in basketball matters now — the Spurs, Pistons, and Timberwolves. By far the biggest loser of this move is Austin Rivers, since his dad no longer has the final word on whether or not he should be traded.