Ex-Knicks coach Mike Woodson joins Doc Rivers’ Clippers staff

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Doc Rivers wasn’t going to let Alvin Gentry (Warriors) and Tyronn Lue (Cavaliers) leave the Clippers’ coaching staff without finding high-end replacements.

Former Knicks coach Mike Woodson was a top target, and Rivers landed him.

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com:

Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times:

You can bet Rivers would treat Larry Drew better than his last employer did.

But that’s not the only reason Rivers draws impressive assistants.

He delegates responsibility and has established a culture of valuing input. Lawrence Frank experienced it with the Celtics, and left in limbo in Brooklyn with Jason Kidd demoting him and Lionel Hollins being hired, Frank wants back with Rivers.

Gentry and Lue received raises to leave Los Angeles, and both could become head coaches net summer. That’s Rivers’ influence.

Woodson (Knicks, Hawks), Frank (Pistons, Nets) and Drew (Bucks, Hawks) have each held multiple NBA head-coaching jobs. In one sense, that makes them extremely qualified to work under Rivers. In another, they’re on their last legs as NBA head-coaching candidates. But if anything can boost their résumés, it’s a year working under Rivers.

Woodson has a particularly big challenge ahead. Failing in New York gets noticed. His iso-heavy offense and switch-heavy defense really sputtered with the Knicks. But Woodson earned a lot of respect as a Larry Brown assistant, and there’s no reason he can’t ease back into that role under Rivers.

The Rivers influence would be pretty strong if it lands Woodson a head-coaching job anytime soon. But the Clippers should at least get a good assistant coach.