Steve Ballmer is on a roll.
Less than two weeks after rocking the Staples Center crowd with his best Hulk Hogan impression, the new Los Angeles Clippers owner locked up Doc Rivers until
we get flying automobiles 2019. The five-year extension will pay the organization’s head coach and president of basketball operations more than a whopping $10 million a season.
Clippers president and coach Doc Rivers’ extension will be worth more than $50 million over five years, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) August 27, 2014
Rivers becomes far and away the highest paid coach less than a month after he suggested he would leave the organization if the Sterlings were still in control of the team. The man credited with keeping the organization afloat during the “clutter” still had two years and $14 million left on a deal he signed last year upon arriving from the Boston Celtics. That $7 million average annual salary was temporarily tied with Stan Van Gundy’s as the richest contract for a head coach when Van Gundy became Rivers’ equal with the Detroit Pistons earlier this offseason.
“This is an important day for this organization,” Ballmer said in a statement. “I am excited to work with Doc for a long time as we build a championship culture that will deliver results both on and off the court. Not only is Doc one of the best coaches and executives in the game, but he continually embodies the hard core, committed and resilient character and winning culture that the Clippers represent. It was one of my top priorities to ensure that he was firmly in place as the long-term leader of this team.”
Since being promoted from vice president of basketball operations to top dog, Rivers has signed Spencer Hawes and Jordan Farmar and orchestrated a trade this week to clear over $4 million in cap space next summer.
The Clippers finished a franchise-best 57-25 en route to their second straight Pacific Division title in Rivers’ first year.