Doc Rivers was introduced as the new coach of the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday. The NBA approved a deal that will send Rivers to L.A., as the Clippers will send a 2015 first round pick to the Boston Celtics as compensation. Rivers will also take over as the Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations.
One coach that will be joining Rivers’ staff will be former Phoenix Suns head coach Alvin Gentry. He was also added on Wednesday and will serve as an assistant to Rivers.
Forwards Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce however will not be joining their former coach in Los Angeles. The trade prohibits any players being traded between the Celtics and Clippers until 2014-2015.
Rivers’ stint in Boston included a 416-305 record, highlighted by a 2008 NBA Championship in nine seasons with the team.
Rivers will become the highest-paid NBA coach with his new deal. He will receive $21 million over the next three seasons. He will also have more control of the team with his VP of Basketball Operations role.
Bringing Doc Rivers to L.A. will most likely lure Chris Paul back to the team. Rumors have swirled claiming that Paul would like to go elsewhere and team up with Dwight Howard. Chances are that will be put to bed because Paul will most likely not want to pass up the chance of playing for a guy like Doc Rivers. Paul could still recruit Howard to the other side of L.A. and leave the door open for a possible sign-and-trade with the Lakers involving current Clippers C DeAndre Jordan to create room for Howard. A great leader like Rivers could set Howard straight and help him reach his full potential if he were to join the Clippers.
However, Rivers is more concerned right now in getting acclimated to his new location and getting started with the roster he has right now. He stated in his press conference today that:
“I am here to win titles. That is the only reason I am coaching. This team has proved they can get to the playoffs, now we just need to prove we can win some series.”
Rivers is clearly focused on one thing: trying to bring a championship to the Clippers organization. This is why the Clippers traded for Rivers and have now made him the highest-paid NBA coach. They clearly feel that his leadership and hunger to win at the head coaching level will get them to that ultimate goal. They finally got their guy after weeks of negotiations. Let’s see if the Clippers can finally put it together and capture that elusive title they so desperately desire.