LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Doc Rivers has stepped down as the head coach for the Los Angeles Clippers following a “disappointing end” to the 2020 season, the team announced Monday.
Rivers, 58, confirmed the report on Twitter saying, “Thank you Clipper Nation for allowing me to be your coach and for all your support in helping make this a winning franchise.”
“When I took this job, my goals were to make this a winning basketball program, a free agent destination, and bring a championship to this organization. While I was able to accomplish most of my goals, I won’t be able to see them all through.”
— doc rivers (@DocRivers) September 28, 2020
He went on to say, “Though it was a disappointing ending to our season, you are right there and I know what this team is capable of accomplishing with your support.”
“Thank you to all the players, coaches, and staff for helping us get here. Most importantly, thank you to the fans. We went through a lot, and I am grateful for my time here,” he wrote.
The Clippers were eliminated from the playoffs by the Denver Nuggets, despite building a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series before falling in three straight games. Denver advanced to the Western Conference Finals but lost to the Lakers in five games.
It was a bitter end for the Clippers, who were picked by many pundits as a favorite to reach the NBA Finals this year — ahead of the rival Lakers — thanks largely to the off-season acquisition of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
According to the team, Chairman Steve Ballmer and Rivers reached a mutual decision that Rivers would step down as head coach.
“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.”
Rivers was the most successful head coach in Clippers history, compiling a record of 356-208 over seven seasons. Under his direction, the Clippers made the playoffs six times and reached the Western Conference semifinals in 2020, 2015, and 2014.
Before arriving in Los Angeles in 2013, Rivers spent nine seasons with the Boston Celtics, winning a championship in 2008.
“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.”
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)