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Funny that just four years after leaving the Boston Celtics because he didn't want to go through another rebuild Doc Rivers is yet again facing the prospect of bottoming out in Los Angeles. With Chris Paul leaving for greener pastures in Houston and Blake Griffin and JJ Reddick each with one foot out the door it would seem that Rivers is going to have to start from scratch.

When Doc took over in LA back in 2013 he inherited a loaded roster. In fact it was widely regarded as one of, if not the, best starting five in the NBA, and yet in the four years he's served as both Head Coach and President of Basketball Operations in Los Angeles his team has never made it past the 2nd round in the playoffs. Disappointing would be putting it mildly.


Although perennial injuries seemed to derail the Clippers almost every year that Doc has been running the show, the recent news out of LA that has Rivers as the main reason for all-world point guard Chris Paul heading out the door won't be getting him a statue outside Staples Center anytime ever.

According to Michael Eves of ESPN the Paul-Rivers situation deteriorated last summer when Doc turned down a proposed trade to send Paul Pierce, Jamal Crawford, and his son Austin Rivers to New York in exchange for Carmelo Anthony and Sasha Vujacic. Paul believed that Rivers only turned down that deal, which seems like a no-brainer to a team trying to keep up with Golden State out West, because it would send his son across the country to the East coast:

That event led Paul to feel that keeping his son on the roster was more important to Doc than improving the team. So, ultimately, Paul lost both trust and faith in Doc. As one league executive put it, "Chris despises Doc."

Not a good look for Doc, and he's currently got two other key players in Griffin and Reddick that will be fielding offers from other teams come midnight tonight. I don't wish bad things on Rivers but it would be kind of ironic if the team he left us for has to go full rebuild after the short run he's had the wheel there, meanwhile the Celtics are a rising force in the Eastern Conference and might be in the most enviable position in the league outside of the Golden State Warriors.

The jokes are flying on Twitter about Doc high-tailing it out of Los Angeles now that it's looking like a rebuild for the Clippers is imminent, but according to Rivers he's going to stick it out:

"When we look back, the last four years, other than the teams that won the title, we've been as successful," he said. "But this franchise, because of its own history, we don't get the benefit of the doubt. We have not gotten to the promised land. And that's the disappointing part with this group. But now we're gonna write our own new chapter and we're gonna try to do it again."

Hmmm. Where have I heard that before? Oh that's right!

Here's Doc in 2011, after signing his 5-year extension that would keep him in Boston past the Big-3 era and into a rebuild:

Well, I don’t think anyone’s looking forward to that, but I’m willing to do that.I had a group that has been very loyal to me. I think it would have been very easy for me to just run and go somewhere else and chase something else.

It would have been easier to do it the other way; I just don’t think it’s the right thing to do. Coaches talk about loyalty and team all the time. I just thought it was time to show it. And that’s what I did.

But yeah, I'd take him at his word now for sure. Best of luck Doc!


Photo Credit - Mark J. Terrill/AP

Follow Mark on Twitter: @MarkAL401

Mark Allison 6/30/2017 09:03:00 AM Edit
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