Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers put the lid on speculation that he would be coaching elsewhere after the season, revealing Tuesday that he and the Clippers verbally agreed to a longer-term contract extension earlier this season.
Rivers, responded to a question about his potential candidacy for the Los Angeles Lakers’ head coach position, if the franchise decides to move on from Luke Walton following a disappointing season, Rivers shut down any idea of him moving to L.A.’s other NBA team.
“Well, I have a job and the Lakers have a coach, No. 1, and I am going nowhere,” Rivers said before the Clippers’ win over the Pacers Tuesday night.
“I can tell you that. Straight and up front, I’m going to be here until [Clippers owner] Steve [Ballmer] says get out. I plan on being here a long time.”
He added that Ballmer agreed to a contract extension last summer which included the option for Rivers to get out of the contract this summer if he chose to. But Rivers said he and Ballmer already have verbally agreed to forgo the option and work out a longer extension, which is pending the completion of paperwork.
“Just so we won’t talk about this for a while, let me end this right now: [Lakers president] Magic Johnson and I are very close friends, as you know, and that’s what we are,” Rivers said. “[But] early in this year, we [Ballmer and I] both decided let’s end this thing. Take this [option] out and extend and make it a longer deal. We’ve long decided on that. We just have chosen not to say anything about it. I’m here. My job is not done here.
“I came here for a lot of reasons, and one of them was obviously to win a world championship, and the other one was to make this a place that people respect and want to come here. I think we are accomplishing that part, but not the first part, yet. That’s my goal and that’s it. We don’t need to go on this anymore, thank you, please. I’m going to be here and I am looking forward to the future.”
Rivers is in his sixth season with the Clippers, arguably his best coaching job. Although the Clippers entered the season with low expectations they are in eighth place in the Western Conference, winning eight of their last nine games.