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Clippers coach Doc Rivers denies rumors of interest in Lakers, reveals secret deal to stay

first_img“We wanted to test each other, make sure that this was the right fit. We thought everything would work right, but we wanted to make sure. As my dad said, ‘Trust everybody but cut the cards,’ you know?“And then early this year, we both decided, let’s end this thing, take this 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.“So, I’m here,” Rivers concluded. “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 was to make this place a place where people respect and want to come to. I think we are accomplishing that, but not the first part – yet. And so that’s my goal.”Before extending his contract last year, Rivers was entering the final season of a deal that was paying him more than $11 million.Entering Tuesday’s game against the Pacers, the Clippers had a 41-30 record with the eighth-best record in the Western Conference; Rivers has been mentioned as a candidate for NBA Coach of the Year. He’s also been mentioned recently by Stephen A. Smith as someone the Lakers would target this offseason, when they’re expected to part ways with current coach Luke Walton. The chatter on sports talk shows about such a move was again incited this week by Peter Vescey’s report Monday that Rivers would be interested in leaving for the Lakers.“According to a confidant,” Vescey wrote, “he almost always has wanted to leash the Lakers. In conversations over the years, Doc frequently expressed an ardent ambition to coach either them, or the Knicks before retiring, if for no other motivation than their worldwide brands.”But Rivers said Tuesday he’s sure he won’t make that move.Related Articles LOS ANGELES — Clippers coach Doc Rivers denied rumors that he’s interested in the Lakers’ coaching job, insisting that he’s committed to his current team – emphasizing as much by breaking the news that earlier this season he and team owner Steve Ballmer verbally agreed to a multi-year extension.“Well, I have a job and the Lakers have a coach, No. 1,” Rivers said before Tuesday’s game against the Indiana Pacers. “And I’m going nowhere, I can tell you that. Straight. Up front. I’m going to be here until Steve says, ‘Get out.’“Let me end this right now,” added Rivers, who last May signed a contract extension with the Clippers. “Magic Johnson and I are very close friends, as you know. And that’s what we are. We’re good friends. I have great respect for him. But the whole history of everything is Steve Ballmer and I have a great relationship.“And you know, this summer, we decided to extend my contract and he did something – and I’m going to throw this out because … it tells you a lot about Steve – he did something that I don’t think any (other) owner would do: He gave me an out, where I could opt-out this summer if I wanted to. For Lakers’ LeBron James, Jacob Blake’s shooting is bigger issue than a big Game 4 victory Clippers hope they can play to their capabilities, quell Mavericks’ momentum Clippers vs. Mavericks Game 5 playoff updates from NBA beat reporters center_img Kristaps Porzingis ruled out as Clippers, Mavericks set for Game 5; Follow for game updates What the Clippers are saying the day after Luka Doncic’s game-winner tied series, 2-2 “I didn’t wonder about not being here,” said Rivers, who, with the Clippers’ victory over Brooklyn on Sunday, became one of just seven NBA coaches to win 300 or more games with two or more franchises.“We have this saying, ‘You go first,’ ” Rivers said. “We tell our players this all the time (when) a player will come to me and complain about something we should do more, we should play better defense, or we should pass more. I always say, ‘Well, you do it first. You play defense first.’ And so we say the same thing in our organization, ‘You lead first.’ Or, ‘you commit first.’ and so I’m going first, I’m committed.’ ”Whether free agents take that type of commitment from the coach as a positive signal about the organization, Rivers wouldn’t say, but he added that he’d be fine with it.“I don’t know that, (but) I hope so. I really do,” Rivers said. “This is a great destination, it really is. And so if that will help someone, that’s fine by me, I’m all for it.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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