Doc Rivers freed of Clippers front-office responsibilities
Doc Rivers has been freed of front-office responsibilities by Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer.
Rivers will focus on coaching the team but will still have a say in the day-to-day particulars of the roster and on players the team would like to acquire or let go.
He will be relieved in the front office by former Detroit Pistons and New Jersey Nets coach Lawrence Frank, who has been working to become familiar with the Clippers in the last year as the team's executive vice-president for basketball operations. Both men will report directly to Ballmer.
Rivers took over as the team's coach and president of basketball operations in the aftermath of the Donald Sterling scandal and has led the Clippers to two Western Conference semi-final appearances and a 217-111 regular-season record.
"Doc knows how to win championships. That is what we prioritise, and that is what Doc will focus on," Ballmer said in a release.
"He is key to integrating our new players with our returning players and taking us to new heights on the court.
"Lawrence is someone I learn from every single time I hear him talk. He gets recruiting, talent development and identification, salary cap strategy — he gets it all. I know the team will be well positioned with him leading the front office.
"It is great to have two independent voices — and two of the league’s absolute professionals — working in partnership for our team. With these two guys at the helm, we will have great success.”
Rivers' moves have been put under the microscope this off-season as a report came out that the way he treated his son Austin — after he acquired him and paid him a hefty salary — was a factor in Chris Paul deciding to leave the franchise.
Paul was traded to the Houston Rockets for an assortment of players before he was able to hit free agency. The point guard denied the report, but there was more than one complaint about how Rivers went about building the team and his inability to get the Clippers to the Western Conference finals when Los Angeles had one of the best rosters in the NBA.
The most damning of moments was blowing a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference semi-finals to the Rockets in 2015. Rivers is 18-22 as a head coach for the Clippers in the play-offs.