The Los Angeles Clippers currently find themselves stuck behind the proverbial eight-ball. Fresh off losing the likes of Chris Paul, J.J. Redick and Jamal Crawford this summer, Los Angeles has taken a major step back in the Western Conference. Sure the team re-signed Blake Griffin to a hefty contract, but they are in no way ready to compete with Golden State out west.
It’s in this that the Clippers and owner Steve Ballmer decided to strip Doc Rivers of his role in the team’s front office. And while Rivers will remain the head coach in Los Angeles, it’s hardly a vote of confidence.
Now comes this report from Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times indicating that Ballmer called up multiple former member of the Clippers before ultimately deciding on Rivers’ future with the team.
“The executive said Ballmer called several of the players who left to ask them why and about their feelings after playing for Rivers,” Turner reported.
The Clippers have earned 50-plus wins in each of Rivers’ first four seasons as the team’s head coach. Unfortunately, the team has yet to make it to the conference finals in any of those four years. Now with Paul in Houston, it’s highly unlikely this will change in 2017-18.
For his part, there was reportedly some tension between Paul and Rivers prior to the former being dealt to the Rockets earlier this summer. Whether that weighed on Ballmer’s final decision remains to be seen. But we can be sure the owner brought it up to Paul when the two talked.