Clippers reach terms with Rivers on new coaching deal

Los Angeles (AFP) –


Doc Rivers has signed a coaching contract extension with the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers even after they missed the playoffs for the first time since 2011, the team announced Wednesday.

"Doc is one of the top coaches in the NBA, coming off one of his finest seasons since joining the Clippers," Clippers chairman Steve Ballmer said.

"We trust Doc to lead a competitive, tough, hard-working team while upholding a culture of accountability expected to resonate throughout the organization."

Rivers, who coached the Boston Celtics to the 2008 NBA title, has gone 259-151 in five seasons guiding the Clippers, the fifth-best record in the league over that span.

In 19 NBA seasons as a coach, Rivers is 846-624 with the second-most wins among active NBA coaches to San Antonio's Gregg Popovich. He's 14th on the all-time NBA win list.

Rivers, 57, was fired after just over four seasons in Orlando. He took over the Celtics in 2004 and spent nine seasons coaching Boston before the Clippers obtained him in 2013 in exchange for a first-round draft pick.

Rivers guided the Clippers to their best season in club history at 57-25 in 2013-14 but went 42-40 this past season, missing the playoffs himself for the first time since 2007 after injuries and trades forced him into using 37 different starting lineups.

"I'm proud of the success we have had here over the last five seasons, but there is more work to be done," Rivers said. "We are coming off a year where our team battled through many challenges and much adversity, proving deep talent and even greater potential.

"I am looking forward to getting back to work on the court to develop our players and compete with the NBA's elite."

As a guard, Rivers played 13 NBA seasons, including the 1991-92 campaign with the Clippers, before retiring after the 1995-96 season.