Steve Ballmer spoke to Qui Leonard and Paul George, but the Clippers owner called in Doc Rivers per report


The Los Angeles Clippers sent shockwaves through the NBA world on Monday evening when they spent ways with longtime coach Doc Rivers – a decision that two weeks later led the team to a 3–1 lead for the Denver Nuggets in the second round Came along NBA Playoff.

They now have a major decision to make their next coach, who will now be tasked with bringing a championship to the team that has won the entirety. But as we wait to see what the Clippers will do next, it’s worth seeing how that decision came about.

Although Rivers had guided the team through one of the worst scandals in NBA history, and presided over its most successful era, it was now the second time he had taken a 3–1 lead in the postseason. But this decision was not just about another embarrassing loss, even though it would be understandable. It was, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shellburn and Ohm Youngmisook, that Steve Ballmer decided to take control and shake things up:

But people close to Ballmer knew that it was only a matter of time before the franchise could impose its seal. He made his fortune as a technology entrepreneur through continuous search. And once he learned the ropes as an NBA owner, he would have brought that culture to the Clippers. Employees were urged to come up with new ideas and present evidence to support them.

So when Ballmer and Rivers started discussing what went wrong this season, sources said the instinct prompted Ballmer to question whether there was a new way of looking at the team, or a new voice, Do the Clippers really need it?

It is worth noting that Ballmer consulted several high-level members of the organization, including Qui Leonard and Paul George, but none of them did enough to change their minds.

Ballmer consulted with Frank, minority shareholder Dennis Wong, consultant Jerry West, and general manager Michael Winger. Before making a final decision, sources said Bulmer called several key players – including George and Leonard – to seek their opinion. Nothing the players told him, sources said, changed the bowlers’ minds about moving through the rivers. Ultimately, it was Ballmer’s decision to part with the rivers.

Based on the report, it is unclear whether the two stars also went down the rivers, or simply signed the decision. Given their dominance in the organization, and the fact that they can get out of their contracts and become free agents after next season, it seems unlikely that anyone could force Balmer to change course. Had it been them. But he was not consulted until much later in the process, when it appeared that Ballmer had already made up his mind, and would have had only one courtesy with him in the conversation.

Despite the difference there, it is clear that Ballmer was the driving force to rid the rivers. Although the two have done a good job together, Rimes was already the coach when Bulmer bought the team, and it is not surprising that at some point the richest and most powerful men in the country want to bring in their man. A devastating playoff collapse just happened to present the perfect opportunity.

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