Everyone is going to the Lakers — or at least that’s what the rumor mill might lead readers to believe. The latest subject of Lakers-related speculation was Doc Rivers, as there were whispers that he might be considering leaving the Clippers for the club’s intra-city rivals. Rivers dismissed that idea today.
“I have a job and the Lakers have a coach,” Rivers said, via Ben Golliver of the Washington Post (Twitter link). “I’m going nowhere. I can tell you that, straight, up front. I’m going to be here until [Clippers owner] Steve Ballmer says get out. I plan on being here a long time.”
Ballmer previously reworked Rivers’ contract, allowing him an opt-out in 2019. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link), that extension has been again reworked into a longer deal.
“This summer, we decided to extend my contract,” Rivers explained. “…[Steve] did something I don’t think any owner would do. He gave me an out where I could opt out this summer.
“We wanted to test each other, we thought this was the right fit, but we wanted to make sure. As my dad said, ‘Trust everybody, but cut the cards.’ It was one of those things.
“Early this year, we both decided let’s end this thing, take this out, extend it and make it a longer deal. We’ve long decided on that but we chose not to say anything about it.
“…Steve was a man of his word. He gave a coach a chance to do what he wanted to do. This coach chose to stay right where he’s at and I’m very happy about it.”
The exact terms of the extension have not yet been made public, but Rivers said that his job “is not done,” adding that one of the reasons he came to the Clippers was to win a championship. Another goal was to make the franchise a free agent destination.
What’s clear is that Rivers plans to be part of the Clippers’ free agent pitches this summer as they compete with the Lakers and many other teams for top available talent.