Doc Rivers Speaks Up, Addresses Los Angeles Clippers Exit Rumors
Future hall of famer coach Doc Rivers has nixed rumors that he is leaving the bright lights of Los Angeles to sign with the Orlando Magic. It was with that team when he won coach of the year in 2000 with the talented roster of Tracy McGrady, Ben Wallace and Grant Hill but lost to the first round of the playoffs against the Milwaukee Bucks.
A report from Orange County Register quoted the former Atlanta Hawks All-Star that he is contented about his past with the Orlando Magic, which he coached from 1999-2003. However, he quickly added that he could not see a future with that franchise because he is focused on leading the Los Angeles Clippers.
Rivers is also still in the middle of his five-year contract with the Clippers, a team which gave him plenty of clout as in charge of basketball operations. He can hire and fire personnel, which is what happened when he advocated for his son, Austin Rivers.
Despite criticisms of nepotism, he was proven right since the 6-foot-4 point guard is averaging 12.1 points, 2.8 assists and 2.1 rebounds this season. Austin Rivers also served as a very capable backup to Chris Paul.
The 55-year-old said that when he agreed to a contract with the Clippers, his main goal was to bring home the championship trophy. "I haven't accomplished that yet. That's my goal that drives me to make this a destination that you want to come to and have pride in," he said.
The rumors about Rivers leaving the Clippers for the Magic was first reported by Marc Stein of ESPN who claimed that the coach and the franchise will "explore a reunion down the road." There was no other source that could verify this speculation, though.
"I think we've improved it greatly," Rivers added. "I haven't reached my goal at all, and I'm fully aware of that."
His stint with the Magic was a fairly successful one, with a .504 winning percentage. It was with the Boston Celtics, however, when he won a championship and established a pedigree as one of the better coaches in the NBA.
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