The moment Clippers’ Steve Ballmer knew he had to part ways with Doc Rivers
Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer was “furious” after the team blew a 3-1 series lead to the Denver Nuggets in the second round of the 2020 playoffs and the billionaire knew he had to part ways with head coach Doc Rivers, per Sam Amick of The Athletic.
Ballmer and his associates started talking about moving on from Rivers as soon as the Clippers fell to the Nuggets in embarrassing fashion down in Walt Disney World.
According to The Athletic’s Sam Amick, talk about Doc Rivers possibly being removed started soon after the loss to Denver. Sources close to the Clippers said that owner Steve Ballmer was understandably furious at the embarrassing finish, but making matters worse was the fact that it was a troubling trend for Rivers.
In 2003, his Orlando Magic gave up a 3-1 lead to Detroit in the first round. It happened again in 2015, with Rivers’ Clippers blowing a 3-1 lead to Houston in the Western Conference semifinals. Rivers is the only coach in NBA history whose team blew multiple 3-1 playoff leads and it has now happened three times.
It’s finally a new era for the Clippers. Rivers had been with the franchise since 2013 and never led the team past the second round of the playoffs despite coaching talented players such as Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Jamal Crawford, Lou Williams, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
Moving forward, expect Ballmer and the Clippers to do their proper due diligence around the league before hiring a new coach even though Tyronn Lue and Sam Cassell are on the team already as assistants.