Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski has a magnificent story about how Clippers owner Donald Sterling undermined Doc Rivers just weeks after acquiring him to run his franchise.
24 hours after news broke that the Clippers had agreements to trade Eric Bledsoe and acquire Jared Dudley and J.J. Redick, Sterling inexplicably called everything off… without reason.
And Sterling’s irrational decision was not kept inside Clippers offices. Agents and players were made aware that Sterling was pulling the plug on everything.
Doc Rivers was the only man who could salvage the situation:
With Sterling, rational thought and debate aren’t always part of the discussion. Whatever his reasons, everyone else awaited Rivers’ conversations with Sterling. Rivers contract gave him ultimate management authority on deals, and several sources dealing with the Clippers say that Rivers was beyond embarrassed and humiliated. He feared the unraveling of the deal would cost him his credibility and paralyze him in future trade and negotiation talks, sources said.
From the outside, there were those telling Rivers to unite with his superstar, Paul, and let Sterling understand they both could still walk out on him. Paul couldn’t sign his five-year, $107 million contract until July 11, but sources insist that Rivers never brought Paul into the quagmire.
Rivers’ job was to convince the owner – for a second time, in this instance – and there were those who believed a flat refusal on Sterling’s behalf could’ve resulted with Rivers’ resignation.
“It never got to that,” one source told Yahoo Sports, “but it might have had Sterling not come around.”
Welcome to Los Angeles, Doc.