Clippers Make Doc Rivers A Coach Only
August 10, 2017
Clippers owner Steve Ballmer has decided that Doc Rivers should concentrate on coaching and has moved Lawrence Frank into the position of overseeing basketball operations. Rivers and Frank have a long friendship and Rivers will continue to offer opinions on personnel matters. “After owning the franchise for three years I see there’s a tremendous difference between coaching and running a franchise,” said Ballmer.
“Each one requires a lot of time.”The Clippers are expected to have nine new players on their roster for the upcoming season. “To be a championship contender we need two strong people,” said Ballmer. “They have to dig in and do the best job they can.”The change illustrates the Clippers’inability to succeed in the playoffs even though they’ve won at least 50 games in each of the last five seasons. They’ve won 18 of their last 20 games against the Lakers but haven’t won a championship in contrast to the Lakers winning 16 in their history.Rivers has an NBA championship in his coaching career, with the Boston
Celtics in 2009. Frank was a manager at Indiana University for four years when Bobby Knight was the head coach. He later became head coach of the New Jersey Nets and Detroit Pistons in the NBA. When Ballmer became the Clippers’owner he added five years to the contract Rivers had. There’s no question he respects Rivers’coaching. But when teams don’t do well in the playoffs changes often occur.
It helps that Rivers respects Frank and is not likely to be offended by the change. The Atlanta hawks have recently made the same decision, splitting the two positions while retaining their coach. And there’s speculations the Detroit Pistons are considering that too. The Clippers most recently have placed themselves in the four to seven playoff places, trailing the top three, champion Golden State, San Antonio and Houston. With the addition of forward Paul George Oklahoma City now is a strong challenger for the fourth spot.
I see Utah and Memphis as likely playoff teams too,