It’s been an emotional week for the Los Angeles Clippers. You can’t blame the Los Angeles Lakers for attempting to capitalize on that. In the same hour Mike D’Antoni resigned as head coach, rumors of his replacement and the candidate most likely to lead the Lakers into the 2014/15 season have heat up. One of those names floating around was Doc Rivers until an “eye roll” and immediate debunk shot it down.
As reported by Dan Woike of the Orange Country Register, when asked if there’s any interest in the Lakers vacant head coaching position, Rivers rolled his eyes and responded with “I’m the coach of the Clippers”.
A bold statement to say the least, but one that pales in comparison to his publicly stated disinterest in returning to the Clippers if Donald Sterling is owner. After the NBA banned Sterling for life on Tuesday, it’s unclear as to whether Rivers is appeased temporarily or for the long-run.
In his first season with the Clippers, Doc Rivers led the team to an impressive franchise-high record of 57 wins. Despite regular season injuries to superstar point guard Chris Paul, J.J. Redick, Jamal Crawford and Danny Granger they currently sit in the first round of the playoffs up three games-to-two against the Golden State Warriors. They’ll look to defeat the Warriors and end the series 4-2 tonight in Oakland at Oracle Arena.
It would be a travesty to see Doc Rivers leave the Clippers, especially after historic Clippers success during his most injury riddled and controversial season as a head coach in the NBA. He’s grown tremendously in the midst of the worst adversity any head coach has endured this year (and possibly the last decade). He remains to be the best choice for Los Angeles, just not the other team across the hall.