Los Angeles Clippers

Doc Rivers Dishes on Taking over LA Clippers, Leaving Boston Celtics Behind

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 01:  Doc Rivers of the Boston Celtics yells against the New York Knicks during Game five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on May 3, 2013 in New York City.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
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Dan FavaleFeatured ColumnistJune 26, 2013

Doc Rivers was officially introduced as the head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers, and upon taking the podium, he had a lot to say.

Before he fielded questions about leaving the Boston Celtics and what comes next with the Clippers, Los Angeles' general manager Gary Sacks began the presser by deeming it one of the greatest moments in Clipper history.

He wasn't kidding either, as the conference was apparently more crowded than when the Clippers announced they had acquired star point guard Chris Paul in 2011.

Sacks then went on to declare that the team believed Rivers was the best coach in the NBA and a "perfect" fit for the franchise.

Taking the podium amid a sea of reporters following Sacks' introduction, Rivers made it clear that he hoped this was the last time he was at the center of attention.

Going on to address the question of why he was in Los Angeles and not Boston, Rivers answered truthfully, admitting that the only reason he's still coaching is to win championships.

Was his departure from the Celtics, then, some grand scheme in the making for months or even years? Was joining the Clippers his plan all along?

Absolutely not. It just sort of happened.

Rivers didn't begin to think about coaching in Los Angeles until the position came available. It was then that he became interested in taking the reins because of the talent the team has.

Doc was of course referring to Paul, the best point guard in the league. When asked if he had spoken with the floor general since arriving in Los Angeles, Rivers said he had.

One has to imagine that's a good thing and that there had to be some kind of dialogue before the fact. Rivers' arrival is supposed guarantee that Paul re-signs in Los Angeles. He wouldn't have agreed to work for Donald Sterling, and the Clippers owner himself wouldn't be paying him as much as he is ($7 million annually) if that was the case.

Coaching the Clippers wasn't all about CP3, though. He was also thrilled about having the opportunity to coach DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin, the latter of which he believes can become an elite defender.

If you say so, Doc. You're the best coach in the NBA after all, right?

Actually, Rivers himself doesn't think so, citing his team's absence from the NBA Finals this year.

Humbling sentiments like those are part of the reason why Rivers is so well respected. He doesn't take anything for granted, including his time with the Celtics. He even conceded that he had told Ainge he was ready to come back before the trade went down.

Remember, it's not as if Rivers was hell-bent on leaving because he loathed Boston. Parting ways with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce and the rest of the Celtics was difficult for him.

Rebuilding or not, he liked it there.

Now he has a new home to like and a fresh crop of players to guide, complete with his own jersey.

The Doc Rivers era of Clippers basketball begins now.

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