Doc Rivers spent last season atop the Clippers’ basketball operations organizational flowchart, and he’ll stay there – with a better title and re-arranged cast beneath him.
Rivers – who, in addition to coaching, held the the title of Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations – is now President of Basketball Operations.
That “senior” in his previous titles distinguished him from Gary Sacks, who was Vice President of Basketball Operations. But the line between Rivers and Sacks is even clearer now.
Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today:
Clippers coach Doc Rivers now president of basketball operations (was senior VP of bkb ops) and Kevin Eastman is now VP of bkb ops.— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) June 16, 2014
Also, Dave Wohl is now the Clippers' general manager. Gary Sacks now the assistant GM in overhaul of Clippers' front office.— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) June 16, 2014
David Wohl was previously Director of Professional Scouting, so this is a promotion for him. He leapfrogs Sacks, who was No. 2 in the front office behind Rivers.
Wohl was an assistant coach for Rivers with the Celtics and Magic, and he became an assistant general manager in Boston while Rivers was there.
Sacks, on the other hand, is a longtime Clippers employee who became their equivalent of general manager before Rivers arrived.
Rivers likely has a greater comfort level with Wohl, and that’s why Rivers – one of four president/coaches in the NBA along with Gregg Popovich, Stan Van Gundy and Flip Saunders – is entrusting Wohl to run day-to-day operations for the Clippers front office.
With owner Donald Sterling banned for life and president Andy Roeser on an indefinite leave of absence, Sacks’ days with the Clippers might be numbered. No knock necessarily on Sacks, but the people who hired and promoted him aren’t around, and Rivers isn’t as familiar with him.
Whether Shelly Sterling or Steve Ballmer or someone else owns the team next season, Rivers will almost surely remain in place. So, he’s using his power to craft the organization as he sees fit, and the next owner will go from there.