Doc Rivers will have a little less on his plate this season.
The Los Angeles Clippers announced Friday that Rivers has been relieved of his front office duties and will focus primarily on his responsibilities as the team’s head coach. Lawrence Frank, the team’s executive vice president of basketball operations, will take over Rivers’ duties, though team owner Steve Ballmer told ESPN that Rivers still will have a strong voice in personnel and organizational matters.
“There are different relationships that a player needs to have with the coach and the front office,” Ballmer told ESPN. “Doc put Lawrence in charge of the non-coaching aspects of the front office last year, and he’s done a fantastic job. I want each of them to dig in and do what they do best. Lawrence has come on so strong in that role, and that has helped us go down this path.”
Rivers, who was Los Angeles’ president of basketball operations in addition to serving as the team’s head coach, joined the Clippers in 2013 after spending nine years as head coach of the Boston Celtics. He was head coach of the Orlando Magic for five years before landing with Boston, where he guided the Celtics to an NBA title in 2008.
Rivers, who signed a five-year, $50 million contract extension with the Clippers in 2014, still will be paid under the same deal, two people with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY’s Sam Amick.
The Clippers have gone 328-217 and made the playoffs in each of their four seasons since Rivers joined the mix. They haven’t advanced beyond the Western Conference semifinals, though, and are coming off an offseason in which they lost their best player, Chris Paul, who was traded to the Houston Rockets.
Thumbnail photo via Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports Images
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