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Are the Lakers waiting for Doc Rivers to quit the Clippers?

Chuck - Red's Army July 24, 2014 Around the NBA, Doc Rivers 17 Comments

Doc&Paul

I’ve been doing my best to ignore the tweet-by-tweet coverage of the Donald Sterling legal proceedings, but one tidbit of news caught my attention this week:

The interim CEO of the Los Angeles Clippers testified in state court Tuesday afternoon that coach and team president Doc Rivers has told him on multiple occasions that he doesn’t think he wants to continue as coach if Donald Sterling remains owner of the team.

There’s ZERO chance Doc Rivers resigns if Donald Sterling remains owner. ZERO.

Doc is doing his best to pressure the league to somehow influence the process and get the Clippers out of Sterling’s racist mitts.

The comments about Doc, along with the lack of movement on the coaching front by one particular organization, has spawned a silly conspiracy theory:

Amid all the unanswered questions who the Lakers will hire as their next head coach and when, two team sources strongly disputed that any delay stems from waiting out to see if Clippers coach Doc Rivers will become available because of embattled owner Donald Sterling prolonging a costly litigation battle.

ESPN’s Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose each brought up that prospective theory on why the Lakers have gone three months without hiring a coach since Mike D’Antoni’s resignation on April 30. Clippers interim Chief executive Dick Parsons also testified in court Tuesday that Rivers does not want to continue to coach if Sterling still owns the team next season.

Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak stood before a bunch of microphones, tape recorders and cameras, but his presence on Wednesday at the team’s practice facility in El Segundo hardly cleared up the uncertainty on where the team stands with its coaching vacancy.

Let’s play along and say Doc quits his current gig with the Clippers. A gig that includes total control of basketball operations on a championship caliber team.

You want me to believe that he would take a demotion with the Lakers – a team with a bumbling owner and aging, overpaid superstar that’s headed for a major overhaul?

No freakin’ way.

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  • Curt Hays

    If I’m Doc, and I quit, then I go coach in Orlando. Just go home.

  • mojojojo

    He knew what he signed up for when he went to the Clippers. Why act so righteous now? I bet now he’ll want to coach for the Wizards. Young talent, plus Paul Pierce?

    • bill_nair

      This is my biggest issue with this. Doc has always came across as someone who takes a alot of pride in being an advocate against racism. If he truly is than theres not a chance in hell he didnt know about Sterlings past. Now its an issue to work for him?! Doc is doing whatever he can to hurry this up. If he quits I highly doubt he can just go work for another team this season, but I dont know all the details on coach contracts.

      • Mojo Jojo

        I don’t know the details either, but I also doubt he can coach another team this season. The only way I see that happening is if that team trades a pick for him and he’s willing to coach there.

      • Rich Jensen

        Right. If there’s anything that the last few years have taught us about Doc, it’s that he’s adept at saying what needs to be said at the moment, regardless of how he really feels. He said he was committed to a rebuild when he signed his last contract with the Celtics, even though he wasn’t.

        If he was that opposed to taking money from Don Sterling, he wouldn’t have taken the job last year. Doc’s been in and around the NBA for 31 years. He was in this league when Don was stiffing coaches and running a $100 training camp in San Diego. He was in this league when Don shamelessly fired Elgin Baylor. He was in this league when Don and Shelly were sued first by tenants and then by the federal government for racist leasing practices. Doc knew exactly who Don was when he went to work there.

        Nothing has changed, but once again, Doc is saying what he feels needs to be said, regardless of what he really thinks.

  • CallingBatman

    I wouldn’t assume there’s zero chance he resigns. He’s got a ring, he’s probably built up a significant bank account. He could do it. The cynical could point out that’d make him a basketball martyr and probably even more marketable as a coach. Or he could do it for deeply held beliefs. Either way, never say never.

    • CFH

      He also can have a tv commentary job any time he wants one if he wants to make more millions while waiting for the right coaching gig.

  • Rich Jensen

    Dumbest conspiracy theory ever.

    Probably, the reason why the Lakers haven’t hired a coach is because they don’t need a coach. They could hire an actor to do coachy things on the sidelines during games, and would achieve the same results this team is likely to achieve.

    • nerissapartington

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  • bill_nair

    Can someone with knowledge of contracts answer this: CAN Doc just up and quit on his team and than work for another team? Can he even just “quit” on the team?

    • adam

      He probably could, but would be penalized. I am sure they write it in there. He also might not be able to coach for a year or two. Whatever is written in the contract about it.

  • wil

    okc could use some doc rivers

  • Fitzy

    Doc will probably have to sign a no-compete if he resigns so I don’t see this happening.

  • KGino

    Whoa whoa whoa clippers are a championship caliber team now? I didn’t get the memo. If by championship caliber you mean perennial 2nd round of playoffs exit, then right you are.

  • Lee in Oregon

    The Laker rebuild is worse than the one he walked/ran away from…

  • dontevertreadonme

    Doc’s an opportunist. he cant even coach. he rode PP, KG and Rays coattails to any success he had in Boston

  • Bochie

    If Doc gets out and CP3 sits out the season, the C’s might benefit since they have the Clips’ unprotected first rd pick for 2015.