LOS ANGELES — Doc Rivers is losing his dual roles with the Los Angeles Clippers, keeping his position as coach while Lawrence Frank takes over Rivers’ responsibility for basketball operations.
The team announced the changes Friday, saying the moves are “aimed at bringing the team to a new level of excellence by creating separate roles.” The team says the change came as a result of discussions between Rivers and owner Steve Ballmer.
Rivers and Frank will be equals in the Clippers’ power structure, with each reporting directly to Ballmer.
Last year, Frank was promoted to oversee day-to-day operations of the front office although Rivers retained his title as president of basketball operations. Frank and Rivers have a strong relationship and they worked together to make hires and changes in the front office structure.
Frank has had previous NBA head coaching jobs in New Jersey and Detroit.
“Doc knows how to win championships. That is what we prioritize, and that is what Doc will focus on,” Ballmer said. “Lawrence is someone I learn from every single time I hear him talk. He gets recruiting, talent development and identification, salary cap strategy — he gets it all. With these two guys at the helm, we will have great success.”
Rivers said he’s “excited to focus on the coaching side” since two-thirds of the team’s roster will be new next season. In June, All-Star guard Chris Paul was traded to Houston. This month, the Clippers re-signed All-Star forward Blake Griffin and acquired forward Danilo Gallinari from Denver.
Rivers was hired by the Clippers as president and coach in 2013. He has a 217-211 regular-season record. Rivers guided Boston to the 2008 NBA championship while coaching there for nine seasons.