The Los Angeles Clippers and head coach Doc Rivers mutually agreed to let Rivers step down from his front office duties with the organization, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Rivers is still the head coach, and Lawrence Frank is now in charge of basketball operations.
Rivers was the Clippers president of basketball operations and head coach since 2013. Even though he will not work in the front office any longer, Wojnarowski reported that Rivers will still have a strong voice in team and organizational decisions.
The Clippers promoted Frank, a former head coach with the Nets and Detroit Pistons, a year ago to handle day-to-day operations in the front office. Rivers and Frank will now have to report to owner Steve Ballmer.
“I’ve owned the team for three years now, and I really better understand what an owner’s responsibility is — and it turns out that running a franchise and coaching are two enormous and different jobs,” Ballmer said.
Ballmer went on to say that the Clippers need “two functional strong people” to build this team. He also said players need to have a different relationship with the head coach and front office.
“Doc put Lawrence in charge of the non-coaching aspects of the front office last year, and he’s done a fantastic job. I want each of them to dig in and do what they do best. Lawrence has come on so strong in that role, and that has helped us go down this path.”
Rivers can now divert most of his attention to the team. The Clippers just traded point guard Chris Paul to the Houston Rockets in June and will have nine new players to incorporate into their system.
Ballmer told ESPN, “Doc has won a championship, one of only a few coaches in the league to do so. Two-thirds of our lineup will be new, and there’s a huge job to bring everybody along to fit together.”
Rivers has a 217-111 regular season record with Los Angeles, but the team has yet to make the Western Conference Finals. His overall coaching record is 804-584, and he won the 2008 NBA championship with the Celtics.