Doc Rivers, Clippers Agree to Contract Extension

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistMay 23, 2018

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 29:  Doc Rivers of the LA Clippers reacts to a call during a 133-124 Clipper win over the Washington Wizards at Staples Center on March 29, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.  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 Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Doc Rivers will return as the Los Angeles Clippers' head coach for the foreseeable future. 

The Clippers announced Wednesday that Rivers agreed to a contract extension with the team, though terms were not disclosed. 

"Doc is one of the top coaches in the NBA, coming off one of his finest seasons since joining the Clippers," Clippers owner Steve Ballmer said in the release announcing Rivers' return. "We trust Doc to lead a competitive, tough, hard-working team while upholding a culture of accountability expected to resonate throughout the organization."

The 56-year-old Rivers had one year remaining on the five-year contract he signed with Los Angeles in August 2014. 

Rivers joined the Clippers prior to the 2013-14 season, and his arrival in Southern California was a big part of a prosperous era for a franchise that had previously been considered a punch line. 

With Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin at his disposal, Rivers helped lead the Clippers to four straight 50-win seasons between the 2013-14 and 2016-17 campaigns. However, the team was plagued by a lack of postseason success. 

L.A. bowed out of the playoffs short of the Western Conference Finals during all of its trips on Rivers' watch, including first-round exits in 2016 and 2017. 

The Clippers could have conceivably flirted with 50 wins again last season had their core remained intact, but an offseason blockbuster that sent Chris Paul to the Houston Rockets and Blake Griffin's midseason shipment to the Detroit Pistons dashed those hopes. 

As a result, Rivers was left with a patchwork group featuring Jordan, Lou Williams, Tobias Harris, Austin Rivers and Milos Teodosic as his most dependable contributors down the stretch. 

Rivers, to his credit, coached that group admirably and kept them competitive despite the jarring amount of turnover in the personnel department. They finished 42-40, extending their streak of consecutive winning seasons to seven.  

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