After 7 seasons with the Clippers, in which they failed to reach the conference finals even once, Doc and the Clippers have agreed to go their separate ways. Despite being a very successful coach throughout his decorated career, Rivers stint is LA was disappointing. They let their fans down multiple times in the playoffs. They have blown series leads, lost heartbreaking game 7s, and have been upset numerous times.
Since joining the Clippers, Rivers has always been put in a good position to succeed. They have had stars like Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. They have always had at least one or two star bench players as well, this season being the deepest team in the league. Even with all this talent and promise, teams like Memphis, Houston and Denver have outdone LAC over the years.
Rivers will absolutely be an attractive coach for teams looking to change gears, but this stint could damage his legacy.
He has failed to take heavily favored teams to a conference finals or NBA Finals. This is the second time they have blown a 3-1 lead in the second round of the playoffs. At some point Doc needs to take some heat for these losses, not just his players.
Going forward, Los Angeles’ coaching decision will be a very intriguing one. They need a coach who can handle their superstars, and can get the best out of them. Kawhi joined partially to play for Doc, so ownership must get a coach he respects.
They also have some tough roster decisions, starting with free agent Montrezl Harrell. If he departs, the Clippers lose some of their elite depth, and with a tight cap situation he may walk this summer. This is not an endless championship window, and LAC will have a lot of work if they intend to get over the hump next season.