Doc Rivers surprised by exit despite official release claiming ‘mutual decision’
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Monday that Doc Rivers and the Los Angeles Clippers agreed to part ways. However, according to Dan Woike and Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times, the 58-year old was surprised by his exit, even though the official release stated it was a “mutual decision” by both sides.
And Monday, the Clippers did it again, cutting ties with coach Doc Rivers after seven seasons and six postseason trips. The official release said the sides reached a “mutual decision,” but people with knowledge of the situation said Rivers was surprised to learn the Clippers wanted to move on.
Rivers took to Twitter to express his gratitude to the Clippers organization and its fans. The one-time champion coach had spent the last seven seasons with the franchise, where he made six trips to the postseason.
Despite leading the Clippers to their best stretch in franchise history, Rivers has been on the wrong side of disappointing playoff exits throughout his tenure. The latest came this season with L.A. considered as one of the heavy favorites for this year’s NBA championship.
As everybody knows, the Clippers flamed out in this year’s playoffs after they squandered a 3-1 series lead to the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference semi-finals. For Rivers, this is the second 3-1 lead he blew as Clips head coach, with the first one coming in the 2015 conference semis against the Houston Rockets.
Despite Rivers’ shocking departure, the Clippers still have title aspirations and should remain among the top contenders next year. Reports suggest that current assistant Ty Lue and ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy are among the top candidates for the vacant Clippers job.