Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Boston Celtics [Print without images]

Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Snapshot: Rivers in LA

By Chris Forsberg

Doc Rivers was officially introduced as the coach of the Los Angeles Clippers during an afternoon press conference at the team's practice facility. Here's a look at the post-conference photo-op in which Rivers held up a Clippers jersey with his old number on the back (screenshot from Fox Sports West):

Doc Rivers in LA (Fox Sports West)


During the conference, Rivers said that, for much of the negotiations with Los Angeles, he expected to be back in Boston next season. But the Clippers met Boston's desire for a first-round pick and ended more than a week's worth of posture-heavy talks.

"As early as Sunday, [Celtics president of basketball operations] Danny [Ainge] and I were talking about our roster," said Rivers. "Then, on Sunday night, this deal was agreed upon. That’s how volatile this thing was and has been."

Rivers said its been whirlwind ever since. He wore a polo shirt to the press conference and explained, "All my suits are back in Boston."

After negotiations between the Celtics and Clippers had died roughly four times in a week's span, Rivers told Ainge to end talks and that he was planning on returning to Boston next season. Then the Clippers upped their ante.

"I kinda pulled out myself -- not from being mad or anything, I had had enough of it," said Rivers. Later he added, "It’s funny, I called Danny and said, 'I'm staying, I'm coming back, I’m coaching, let’s move forward.' Then two hours later, he called and said, 'No, you’re not staying, you’re going.'"

As for his motivation for leaving, during a television interview with Fox Sports West, Rivers noted, "I had been [in Boston] nine years -- 'Have they heard everything that I have to say?' You look for new challenges. For me, the difficult part was leaving Boston. It was funny, I went there to coach the Celtics, then you fall in love with being there. Change is hard; you have to be motivated to change."

Earlier, during the press conference, Rivers offered more insight into his decision when he noted, "Quite honestly, at this point in my life, that's the only reason I'm coaching: To win titles."

Hop HERE to listen to the full podcast courtesy of ESPN LA.