As the Los Angeles Clippers head toward a rebuild, it may be time to part ways with Doc Rivers, who was brought in for a vastly different purpose.
Lob City was in full effect, with both Griffin and DeAndre Jordan performing highlight dunks on a nightly basis.
Despite their League Pass appeal, after a disappointing first round exit at the hands of the Memphis Grizzlies, the Clippers wanted to make a change to elevate their title hopes.
Head coach Vinny Del Negro simply wasn’t the man for the job, so the Clippers worked out a deal to acquire Doc Rivers from Boston.
At the time the deal seemed like a fantastic move for the Clippers, one that would put them over the top. Rivers had won a championship in 2008 with Boston and had experience with managing the egos of the Celtics’ Big 4 of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Rajan Rondo.
The Clippers never quite lived up to expectations, with end-of-game collapses and injuries playing the biggest role. After four seasons with that core, the Clippers have shipped away both Paul and Griffin, with Jordan likely to become a free agent this offseason.
They’ve restocked their cupboard with young talent and draft picks and are slowly building from the ground up.
When the Cleveland Cavaliers brought in David Blatt in the summer of 2014, they wanted him to develop the young talent they had in Kyrie Irving and Andrew Wiggins. Then LeBron James decided to come back to Cleveland, which was something the Cavs’ front office was hoping for but was in no way expecting.
James coming back to Northeast Ohio was the best thing to happen to the franchise up until that point, but it put the Cavs in an awkward predicament.
Blatt was brought in for a rebuilding project, and suddenly he’d been thrust into the spotlight as the head coach of a Finals contender.
Cleveland’s agenda had changed and it should’ve acted accordingly, but the optics wouldn’t have been good if they’d fired their head coach before he spent a minute on an NBA sideline. So the Cav’s kept him on board for a year and a half filled with eye-rolling remarks, a lack of respect and a general feeling of awkwardness within the organization.
Doc Rivers is a veterans’ coach. He’s not the type to nurture the young guys on a team while helping them reach their full potential. He’s best competing for championships with veterans who share the same goal.
The Clippers used to be chasing a title, but that ship has sailed. They’re now headed in a different direction.
Both Paul and Griffin are gone, with Jordan likely to follow. The Clippers have done almost everything possible to align themselves with this new agenda. It’s time they take the same approach with their head coach.