Clippers coach Doc Rivers announces extension, shuts down Lakers rumors: ‘I’m going nowhere’

Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers will not be leaving to coach the City of Angels’ other NBA team. 

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday evening ahead of his team’s game against the Indiana Pacers, Rivers shut down rumors about him potentially coaching the Los Angeles Lakers. Per Rivers, he’s already agreed to an extension with Clippers owner Steve Ballmer. 

“Let me end this,” Rivers said. “[Lakers president of basketball operations] Magic Johnson and I are very close friends … but Steve Ballmer and I have a great relationship … I’m going nowhere. I’m going to be here for a long time.”

Rivers’ comments came after some rather vague rumors that were much closer to speculation than actual reports. It seemed to all begin a few weeks ago with Stephen A. Smith saying, “I’m also hearing that Doc Rivers may potentially be pursued,” during a conversation on First Take about the Lakers’ future. Veteran NBA reporter Peter Vecsey then apparently stoked the flames with a report on his Patreon page in recent days.

Such is the media ecosystem these days, where players and coaches are shooting down rumors that many people may not have even heard in the first place. It happened to Blake Griffin ahead of the trade deadline, and now this scenario with Rivers. 

In any case, it’s not all that surprising that Rivers would prefer to stay with the Clippers. While the Lakers may have LeBron James, the Clippers have a better team right now, and are set up well for the future. They have some really nice young players in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Landry Shamet, solid veterans like Lou Williams and Danilo Gallinari, as well as plenty of cap space and draft picks. Plus, as we’ve seen over the years, coaching a LeBron-led team doesn’t exactly offer the most job security. 

Also, lost in all of this is the fact that Luke Walton is still the head coach of the Lakers. It’s a pretty weird situation when everyone is openly speculating about who the Lakers’ new coach should be when they don’t even have an opening right now. That has to be a strange feeling for Walton. 

Categories: National Sports

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