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Monday, July 13, 2020

Clippers strip Doc Rivers of front office responsibilities

The Los Angeles Clippers are going to let Doc Rivers focus exclusively on coaching.

Clippers owner Steve Ballmer told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that the organization has returned Rivers to the singular role of head coach, removing his front office responsibilities so he can better focus on coaching the overhauled team.

“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. “The notion that one person can fairly focus on them and give them all the attention they need isn’t the case. To be as good as we can be, to be a championship franchise, we need two functioning strong people building teams out beneath them. There needs to be a healthy discussion and debate with two strong, independent minded people.”

Rivers will maintain a major say in personnel, but executive vice president Lawrence Frank will oversee all basketball operations.

“There are different relationships that a player needs to have with the coach and the front office,” Ballmer said. “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.”

The moves comes less than a month after it was reported that Rivers’s work ethic in both roles was not up to par. We’ll never know if that may have had anything to do with this ultimate outcome.

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