The Los Angeles Clippers and head coach Doc Rivers have mutually agreed to part ways.
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the 58-year-old head coach, who has been with the Clippers organization since 2013, is out after the Clippers blew a 3-1 series lead to the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Semifinals.
The Clippers were early preseason favorites to win the NBA Championship, and finished with the second-best record in the Western Conference at 49-23. However, they never seemed to have an opportunity where the whole roster was healthy and on the court at the same time to gel and develop chemistry.
They lost three consecutive games while holding double-digit leads against the Nuggets in the second round, and afterwards Rivers mentioned how Denver's team had been together as a reason for their success and his team's struggles.
Rivers posted a message on his own Twitter account minutes after it was announced he would no longer be the head coach.
Rivers helped guide the organization through many difficult times during his tenure, including the Donald Sterling scandal, and the Black Lives Matters protests that erupted across the world in the wake of the George Floyd murder. Rivers' father was a police officer in Chicago.
The Clippers released a statement on Monday afternoon from owner Steve Ballmer:
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“Doc has been a terrific coach for the Clippers, an incredible ambassador, and a pillar of strength during tumultuous times,” Ballmer said. “He won a heck of a lot of games and laid a foundation for this franchise.”
In his seven seasons in Los Angeles, Rivers became the most successful head coach in franchise history with a record of 356-208. In those seven seasons, the Clippers made the playoffs six times, and reached the Western Conference semifinals three times.
“I am immeasurably grateful to Doc for his commitment and contributions to the Clippers and the city of Los Angeles,” Ballmer added. “I am also extremely confident in our front office and our players. We will find the right coach to lead us forward and help us reach our ultimate goals. We will begin the search and interview process immediately.”