Doc Rivers would easily be considered the best coach in Los Angeles Clippers history. Most wins. Most playoff appearances. Top winning percentage. And now he’s out. Rivers announced in a statement posted to Twitter on Monday that he is not returning as coach. The move comes about two weeks after the Clippers wasted a 3-1 series lead and lost to the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference semifinals. “Doc has been a terrific coach for the Clippers, an incredible ambassador, and a pillar of strength during tumultuous times,” Clippers Chairman Steve Ballmer said in a statement.
“He won a heck of a lot of games and laid a foundation for this franchise.” The Clippers said Rivers and Ballmer came to the decision jointly. Rivers spent seven seasons with the Clippers, making the playoffs in six of them – major success for a once-woebegone franchise. This season’s team, with the summer 2019 additions of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, was expected to compete for a championship. But losing three closeout opportunities to the Nuggets cost the Clippers a chance to play the Los Angeles Lakers in the West finals, and likely played a role in Rivers not remaining as coach.