Clippers sign Doc Rivers to 5-year extension

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Clippers sign Doc Rivers to 5-year extension
New Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer, right, shakes hands with head coach Doc Rivers after speaking at the Clippers Fan Festival on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
New Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer, center, fires up the crowd as he speaks at the Clippers Fan Festival on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
FILE - In this Aug. 18, 2014, file photo, new Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer, right, and head coach Doc Rivers share a laughter during a news conference held after the Clippers Fan Festival in Los Angeles. Rivers is staying with the Los Angeles Clippers for another five years. In Ballmer's first big move since taking over as the team's new owner last week, he has locked in Rivers through the 2019 season. Ballmer said Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014, it was one of his top priorities to ensure that Rivers remains as the long-term leader of the team. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
New Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer listens to questions from the media during a news conference held after the Clippers Fan Festival on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, in Los Angeles. Ballmer paid a record $2 billion for the team in a sale that was confirmed by a judge last week. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
New Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer applauds after speaking at the Clippers Fan Festival on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
New Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer pauses for a moment after speaking at the Clippers Fan Festival on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, in LA. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 29: Steve Ballmer attends an NBA playoff game between the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on April 29, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 11: Steve Ballmer (L) and NBA Commissioner Adam SIlver attends an NBA playoff game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on May 11, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/GC Images)
FILE - In this July 23, 2011 file photo, Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer cheers during a charity basketball game in Seattle. For decades, Steve Ballmer has been Microsoft's biggest cheerleader with his big, booming voice and energetic high-fives, which are famous around Seattle. Now that he’s agreed to buy the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion, the former CEO of the technology giant is expected to bring that boosterism to the hardwood down south. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Shelly Sterling is congratulated outside the courthouse in Los Angeles on July 28, 2014 after a ruling was made in the case between her and her husband Donald over the sale of the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers basketball team. A California judge gave the go-ahead to the $2 billion sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer, ruling that embattled owner Donald Sterling could not block the move. AFP PHOTO/Frederic J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
Shelly Sterling steps to the podium to respond to questions from the media outside the courthouse in Los Angeles on July 28, 2014 after a ruling was made in the case between her and her husband Donald over the sale of the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers basketball team. A California judge gave the go-ahead to the $2 billion sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer, ruling that embattled owner Donald Sterling could not block the move. AFP PHOTO/Frederic J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 12: Shelly Sterling (C) and her legal team Pierce O'Donnell (2nd R) Bob Bardaran (R) Bert Fields (L) and Los Angeles Clippers new owner Steve Ballme's lawyer Adam Streisand (2nd L) participate in a news conference after finalizing the the $2 billion sale of the Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on August 12, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. Ballmer's USD 2 billion purchase of the Los Angeles Clippers was finalized today, August 12. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 12: Former Los Angeles Clippers owner Shelly Sterling speaks during a news conference as Adam Streisand (L), lawyer for Los Angeles Clippers new owner Steve Ballmer, looks on on August 12, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. Ballmer's USD 2 billion purchase of the Los Angeles Clippers was finalized today, August 12. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 12: Former Los Angeles Clippers owner Shelly Sterling (C) reacts as her lawyer Pierce O'Donnell (R) and Adam Streisand, the lawyer for Los Angeles Clippers new owner Steve Ballmer, look on during a news conference on August 12, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. Ballmer's USD 2 billion purchase of the Los Angeles Clippers was finalized today, August 12. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 10: Max Blecher, attorney for Donald Sterling, arrives to Los Angeles Superior Court for the non-jury trial over whether Shelly Sterling has the authority to sell the Los Angeles Clippers over the objections of her husband, Donald Sterling, on July 10, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. Shelly Sterling claims that she has to right to sell the basketball team to former Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer for a record $2 billion because her 80-year-old husband Donald Sterling, who has owned the Clipper for 33 years, is longer mentally competent to manage his his team and business empire. The NBA has fined Donald Sterling $2.5 million and banned him from the league for life for racist comments made in private. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 29: Steve Ballmer attends an NBA playoff game between the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on April 29, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 8: Max Blecher, attorney for Donald Sterling, arrives to Los Angeles Superior Court for the non-jury trial over whether Shelly Sterling has the authority to sell the Los Angeles Clippers over the objections of her husband, Donald Sterling, on July 8, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. Shelly Sterling claims that she has to right to sell the basketball team to former Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer for a record $2 billion because her 80-year-old husband Donald Sterling, who has owned the Clipper for 33 years, is no longer mentally competent to manage his team and business empire. The NBA has fined Donald Sterling $2.5 million and banned him from the league for life for racist comments made in private. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
FILE - This file photo taken Nov. 19, 2013, shows then Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer during the company's annual shareholders meeting in Bellevue, Wash. An individual with knowledge of negotiations to sell the Los Angeles Clippers said Shelly Sterling has reached an agreement to sell the team to Ballmer for $2 billion. The individual, who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly, told The Associated Press on Thursday, May 29, 2014, that Ballmer and the Sterling Family Trust now have a binding agreement. The deal now must be presented to the NBA. Ballmer beat out bids by Guggenheim Partners and a group including former NBA All-Star Grant Hill. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
FILE - In this Jan. 25, 2014, photo, then-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, left, shakes hands with former NBA players Bill Russell, right, and "Downtown" Freddie Brown as Omar Lee looks on during an NCAA college basketball game between Washington and Oregon State in Seattle. Ballmer is officially the new owner of the Los Angeles Clippers. The team says the sale closed Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014, after a California court confirmed the authority of Shelly Sterling, on behalf of the Sterling Family Trust, to sell the franchise. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
FILE - In this Oct. 18, 2011, file photo, then-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer speaks at the Web. 2.0 Summit in San Francisco. With the potentially record-breaking $2 billion sale of the Los Angeles Clippers hanging in the balance, a trial beginning Monday, July 7, 2014, will focus on whether Donald Sterling's estranged wife had the authority under terms of a family trust to unilaterally negotiate the deal. Shelly Sterling struck a deal to sell the Clippers to Ballmer after Donald Sterling's racist remarks to a girlfriend were publicized and the NBA moved to oust him as team owner. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)
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LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Doc Rivers is staying with the Los Angeles Clippers for another five years.

In Steve Ballmer's first big move since taking over as the new owner, he gave Rivers a contract extension through the 2018-19 season.

Ballmer said Wednesday it was one of his top priorities to ensure that Rivers remains as the long-term leader of the team. Rivers was a stabilizing force for the franchise during the upheaval created by former owner Donald Sterling's racist remarks that led to his ouster after 33 years of ownership.

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"Not only is Doc one of the best coaches and executives in the game, but he continually embodies the hardcore, committed and resilient character and winning culture that the Clippers represent," Ballmer said, repeating the "hardcore" theme he uttered during last week's fan rally.

Interim CEO Dick Parsons testified during Sterling's court battle with his estranged wife to keep the team, saying Rivers would quit if Sterling was successful.

"I didn't think I was going to have to, honestly," Rivers said last week. "But I think a lot of us would have been willing to, for sure."

Now, Rivers can settle in knowing he has a new owner who is passionate about the game and eager to support the team.

"With Steve's leadership, we have this opportunity to be this great organization," Rivers said last week. "That's probably what makes me the most excited because I know if you get that part right, the basketball part will become easier in some ways, and that's good."

Rivers joined the team in June 2013 and added president of basketball operations to his responsibilities two months ago.

The 52-year-old coach guided the Clippers to the best record in franchise history at 57-25 and a second straight Pacific Division title last season. They lost to Oklahoma City in the second round of the playoffs.

Rivers has a career regular-season record of 644-498 and a 70-64 playoff mark, with previous head coaching stints in Boston, where he won the 2008 NBA title, and Orlando.

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