Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer made the final call to cut ties with Doc Rivers, but he didn’t act alone.
ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Ohm Youngmisuk shared some details on Tuesday from the days leading up to the divorce between Rivers and the Clippers.
ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Ohm Youngmisuk reported Tuesday on Ballmer’s process and the steps that led to Rivers’ departure, which was ultimately sealed when the two sides couldn’t come together on a vision for next season.
One of those steps involved consulting with stars, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
It’s unclear if the All-Stars vouched for Rivers to keep his job, but according to Shelburne and Youngmisuk, they were told that nothing either play said changed Ballmer’s mind.
Ballmer bought the Clippers in 2014 and admitted he knew very little about running an NBA team at the time. He vowed to take his time and learn about the organization before making any major changes, but as expectations changed for the franchise, so did his patience for results.
The Clippers mortgaged their future on the signing of Leonard and George. The goal for the team was to win a championship within a two-year window. Once, year one ended without making it to the Western Conference Finals, Ballmer felt he had to make a change and Rivers became the scapegoat.