Doc Rivers was introduced as the head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday afternoon, ending the crazy odyssey that surrounded his long-rumored move away from the Boston Celtics.
Confirmation came June 25 that Rivers would be stepping away from the Celtics head coaching position for the same job with the Clippers.
Negotiations had been ongoing for several days involving a trade between the Celtics and Clippers that would include Celtics forward Kevin Garnett and Rivers and potentially Clippers guard Eric Bledsoe and forward DeAndre Jordan. It came as a surprise to most people that a head coach was being included in trade talks. There did not seem to be any speculation when Boston’s season ended that Rivers might be on his way out.
In Rivers’ nine seasons as coach, Boston made seven playoff appearances, winning one NBA title and losing in the 2010 NBA Finals.
When the Clippers parted ways with former coach Vinny Del Negro at season’s end, rumors swirled that there was mutual interest between the Clippers and former Pacers associate head coach Brian Shaw. Shaw publicly expressed his desire to take over a Clippers team filled with talent in Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Jordan and Jamal Crawford.
However, negotiations began quickly between Clippers general manager Gary Sacks and Rivers. Those talks ultimately set Shaw aside and eventually eliminated his as a candidate. Shaw has since been hired as head coach of the Denver Nuggets.
Rivers is expected to earn $21 million over three years with Los Angeles. No active players were shipped in the trade, instead Boston will receive a 2015 first-round pick in exchange for Rivers.