The Los Angeles Clippers will do anything to keep Doc Rivers from leaving. Apparently, that includes moving his name up the masthead.
The Clippers intend to make Rivers a “full-fledged partner” in the franchise, new team CEO Dick Parsons said Friday, according to ESPN.com. Parsons, who was appointed to take control of the organization after owner Donald Sterling was banned from the NBA for life, told ESPN that he intends for Rivers to have a large voice in basketball decisions.
“Here’s what I spoke to Doc about,” Parsons told Ramona Shelburne. “When he went out (to L.A.), as he put it to me, one of the factors was that the then-management said, ‘We don’t know that much about basketball. You come, you run the basketball operations, we’ll run the business.'”
Rivers’ official title is senior vice president of player personnel, in addition to head coach. Parsons described the relationship he will have with Rivers as a “partnership,” although Parsons unequivocally will be the boss.
“At the end of the day, somebody is going to have to sign off on all these decisions, and that’ll be me, because I’ll be the CEO,” Parsons said. “But I plan to make him a full-fledged partner in this.”
The Clippers organization has been surrounded by controversy ever since an audio recording of Sterling’s racist comments went public in late April. NBA commissioner Adam Silver banned Sterling three days later and has promised to force Sterling to sell the team, despite whatever legal obstacles the league might face.
Reports indicated Rivers would resign as coach if Sterling remained in control of the franchise. Rivers has been noncommittal on whether he would stay if Sterling’s wife, Shelly, retains control as she intends.