Clippers coach Doc Rivers is working for an owner (Steve Ballmer) who demoted him last summer and a team president (Lawrence Frank) who didn’t hire him (though Rivers hired Frank). The Clippers are on their way to their worst record since before Chris Paul arrived.
Rivers said he’s not worried about being on the hot seat, but is that just his attitude, or does he have no reason to fear for his job?
Three people with knowledge of the situation say Rivers is likely safe for this season, with his championship resume still held in high regard and the injuries to four of five opening-night starters having made it unfair – in Ballmer’s eyes – to accurately judge his coaching performance this season.
Rivers will be coaching around injuries the rest of the year.
Does that mean he’s safe for next season?
That the question even must be asked speaks volumes. The Clippers are clearly deemphasizing Rivers. There will always be reasons to keep him. He has won a championship and is still widely respected. But at some point, the reasons to oust him might add up for Ballmer and Frank.
There were rumors last year about Rivers preemptively leaving L.A. for another job. I wouldn’t be surprised if those pop up again.