PLAYA VISTA, Calif. The Clippers didn't realize it at the time, but the future of their organization hung in the balance as late as last Sunday night.
Doc Rivers had given up any thoughts of becoming their next coach. He turned off his cellphone and left home to watch his youngest son play in an AAU basketball game. He was already convinced he was returning to the Boston Celtics.
"I really had given up," he said Wednesday after he was introduced as the Clippers new coach. "I just thought it was not going to happen."
The fact it did, after almost two weeks of haggling with the Celtics, was important on two fronts: The Clippers got the coach who was at the top their priority list, and they increased their chances of re-signing uber-point guard Chris Paul, whose return still isn't assured but will certainly be aided by Rivers' presence.
"We're just going to have to wait until he makes his decision and signs his contract," team president Andy Roeser said. "All the indications are t...