Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers has stood down from the position with two years remaining on his contract, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Clippers entered the 2019-20 NBA season with championship expectations after two blockbuster moves to acquire Kawhi Leonard and Paul George and finished the regular season with a 49-23 record, the fourth best record in franchise history.
It all came apart in the playoffs however, falling to the resurgent Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Semi-Finals after obtaining a 3-1 lead.
This left Rivers with the unfortunate record of being the only coach in NBA history to lose three playoff series after having a 3-1 lead, the others being with the Clippers against Houston in 2015 and with the Orlando Magic against Detroit in 2003.
Clippers owner Steve Ballmer released a statement on Monday, stating the decision was “mutual” and thanked Rivers for his time at the Clippers.
“Doc has been a terrific coach for the Clippers, an incredible ambassador, and a pillar of strength during tumultuous times. He won a heck of a lot of games and laid a foundation for this franchise.”
Rivers took to his personal Twitter account to personally thank Clippers fans for his time in Los Angeles.
— doc rivers (@DocRivers) September 28, 2020
Rivers took over the Clippers position in 2013, turning a previous struggling franchise into a perennial Western Conference contender behind stars Blake Griffin and Chris Paul.
Rivers finishes his time in LA with a record of 356-208, with a regular season win percentage of 63.1%. He was also the coach for five of the Clippers’ six best season records.
Attention now turns to who will replace Rivers in what will be a highly coveted coaching position. The current favourite for the position is Clippers assistant and former Cavaliers Championship head coach Tyrone Lue, with him also interviewing for the vacant Philadelphia 76ers position this week. ESPN analyst and former NBA coach Jeff Van Gundy is also considered a top candidate for the role.