When the Los Angeles Clippers ended there season last month, basketball was not the main concern for coach Doc Rivers or owner Steve Ballmer. Coach Rivers has not been quiet about his current contract situation, and during the season Steve Ballmer never worked to address the head coaches future. After several seasons of disappoint in the postseason with lob city, this year was supposed to be a revamp for the team. After trading Chris Paul in the off-season and updating the roster, the clippers completely bought into Blake Griffin. In addition, Clippers made assistant coach Lawrence Frank head of basketball operations, finally letting Doc just coach. The season went left after another Blake Griffin injury, and he ended up in Detroit midway through the season. Doc Rivers was not thrilled about entering the final year of his contract as a lame duck with no extension. He expressed some of his frustrations to Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times during the season.
“I love what I do, but that doesn’t mean you keep doing it every year, you know what I mean?” he said.
However in basketball, like in life, time heals all wounds. Steve Ballmer and Doc Rivers have been moving in the right direction since the end of the season. In fact, while this was Doc Rivers ended the 42-40 (worst clipper record in tenured), you can make an argument he coached his best season with the Clippers. The Clippers after trading Blake Griffin, rotated players not just in and out of the lineup, but the roster itself. Injuries were a real problem, and the team was playing more than 3 players from there D-league affiliate, and sometimes starting them. The Clippers still were in the playoff hunt till the end of the season, Louie Williams had his first all-star season at age 31, none of this went unnoticed. According to Bill Plaschke of the LA Times, Clippers owner Steve Ballmer and coach Doc Rivers have reached an agreement on a multi-year contract extension that will keep Rivers in Los Angeles for the next couple of years.
“Although nothing has been made official, all indications are that Rivers and Ballmer have reached an agreement on a multiyear extension that will keep Rivers here for a remodeling job that will begin soon.”
While the exact amount on the contract is not clear, Doc Rivers is very confident on the years ahead.
“It feels like the start of something,” Rivers said this week. “I feel like we’re on a level playing field, not only on the floor, but off the floor. Steve understands what it takes to make an organization solid, he wants to do the right thing”