The Los Angeles Clippers and head coach Doc Rivers have mutually agreed to part ways.
“Thank you Clipper Nation for allowing me to be your coach and for all your support in helping make this a winning franchise. When I took this job, my goals were to make this a winning basketball program, a free agent destination, and bring a championship to this organization,” Rivers wrote in a statement.
“While I was able to accomplish most of my goals, I won’t be able to see them all through. Though it was a disappointing ending to our season, you are right there, and I know what this team is capable of accomplishing with your support,” the statement continued.
Rivers, who won an NBA championship with the Boston Celtics in 2008, earned Clippers’ franchise records for most coaching wins (356) and highest winning percentage (.631) during his seven seasons at the helm. However, he failed to translate his team’s success into the playoffs and only accumulated a 27-32 postseason record.
The 58-year-old’s most recent playoff disappointment saw the Clippers squander a 3-1 series lead to the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference semifinals. The longtime bench boss has lost three series in which his team held a 3-1 advantage during his career, which stands as an NBA record.
“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,” Clippers chairman Steve Ballmer said through a team press release.
Critics were pegging the Clippers as legitimate championship contenders after acquiring superstars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George this past offseason. The franchise still hasn’t made a conference finals appearance in its 50-year history.
Rivers had two years remaining on his contract, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
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