Pacific Notes: Rivers, J. Green, Kings, LeBron

Within the last few years, the practice of an NBA head coach holding general manager duties has become less common — Mike Budenholzer, Stan Van Gundy, and Tom Thibodeau held those dual roles in Atlanta, Detroit, and Minnesota respectively, but ultimately parted ways with those organizations.

The only coach who had his front-office duties removed but still remains with the same team is Doc Rivers, who continues to coach the Clippers despite no longer serving as the club’s GM. Speaking to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (podcast link), Rivers admitted that the GM job was “too big” to do on his own, adding that he felt comfortable transitioning out of it as long as he still had some input in personnel decisions.

The fact that the Clippers promoted Lawrence Frank to run their front office, rather than making an outside hire, also allowed Rivers to feel comfortable making the adjustment.

“I’m the one who brought Lawrence in,” Rivers told Wojnarowski. “It would have been interesting if they said, ‘We’re taking your power away and we’re going to hire someone else.’ … There’s no way I would’ve been here without Lawrence staying.”

The change in title for Rivers has been a success, as his work on the sidelines for the 2018/19 Clippers represents perhaps the best coaching performance of his long career.

As we wait to see how far Rivers can take the Clippers in the postseason, let’s round up a few more Pacific notes…

  • Moving from the Grizzlies to the Clippers at last month’s trade deadline will pay off financially for forward JaMychal Green, who secured a $200K bonus when L.A. clinched a spot in the postseason on Tuesday, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks. That incentive had been included in the two-year deal Green signed with Memphis back in 2017.
  • In an Insider-only piece for, Marks previews the Kings‘ offseason, which will see the team facing decisions on a handful of key contributors. Bogdan Bogdanovic and Buddy Hield will become eligible for contract extensions, while Willie Cauley-Stein will reach restricted free agency.
  • After never missing more than 13 games in a season during his first 15 years in the NBA, LeBron James will miss at least 20 in 2018/19 due to injuries and rest. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst explores whether this season is a blip on the radar for James, or whether the Lakers should plan on nagging injury concerns becoming the “new normal” for the 34-year-old going forward.
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3 thoughts on “Pacific Notes: Rivers, J. Green, Kings, LeBron

  1. Codeeg

    Brian Windhorst needed something to write about and it’s not even topical.

  2. To answer Windy’s question, yes. As I stated last year, a freaking great year for James, “The lightbulb is brightest right before it burns out”. Some5hing my grandpa use to tell me.

    The 2017-18 season will be remembered as the best year for James and the last year he got to the finals. May also be the last time he got to the playoffs as well.

    Hate to be a negative Nancy but this laker team is a mess. They are horrible. And yes, James messed up by leaving Cleveland. Too bad Kyrie left as well. He’s ruing the Celtics team as well.

    • x%sure

      You quoted your grandpa before the year even began, a year James finished 8th in PER, 5th in BPM, and in a measure that includes minutes played, 10th in VORP. This is not burn-out or rapid decline or whatever phrase negative nancy might use. Being 34 means naggy little stuff, like a swelling knee four days after a slip-n-fall.

      Except for KCPope, the young Lakers were getting injured right and left.

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