Clippers owner Steve Ballmer said executive vice president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank will oversee basketball operations with Rivers still having personnel input.
“Doc has always been a great partner,” Frank said, per Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times. “This is something that he thought was really, really good.”
Turner reported Rivers will still earn his salary of over $10 million this season.
Ballmer further explained his reasoning behind making the move:
“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. 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.
“There are different relationships that a player needs to have with the coach and the front office. 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.”
Rivers has served in a dual role since joining the organization in 2013, and while the Clippers have reached the playoffs every season under him, they have failed to advance beyond the second round.
The Clips have had an eventful offseason, starting with hiring Jerry West as an executive.
Rivers is still under contract as head coach through 2018-19, per Hoops Hype.
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