Monday was supposed to be the day that the NBA approved the deal between the Celtics and Clippers that would allow Doc Rivers to coach in Los Angeles next season.
It hasn’t happened yet, but it isn’t because of a holdup on the league’s part. The deal has yet to be finalized and sent for approval, and the reason why may involve a much bigger role for Rivers with the Clippers beyond just being the team’s head coach.
A report from A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com states that the reason for the delay is due to the Clippers working through the details of Rivers’ new contract, and Mark Heisler (writing for Sports City) gives us some insight into the particulars.
SportsCity has learned Doc Rivers will not only become coach, he’ll take control of the basketball operation without title, like Gregg Popovich in San Antonio.
This would explain the reason for the holdup, and would obviously be huge news for the Clippers organization.
L.A.’s historically junior professional basketball team has lacked legitimacy essentially since the beginning of time. It’s been nothing but one losing season after another, until just recently.
With Blake Griffin and likely Chris Paul in the fold for seasons to come, along with the Kobe Bryant era coming to an end for the Lakers in the next couple of years, it appears the franchise is finally ready to take the necessary steps that could set them up to compete for multiple championships. Should that happen, the potential would be there to not only reach the demanding NBA fan base in Los Angeles, but to captivate them, as well.
Getting one of the league’s top five head coaches is a great start. But putting a tenured and respected person like Rivers in charge of personnel would spark an organizational culture change that would take things to another level entirely — as long as ownership stays out of the way and actually lets the basketball people make the basketball decisions.