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REPORT: Rockets also interested in Doc Rivers after Clippers exit

Doc Rivers, Rockets

The Houston Rockets are reportedly interested in hiring Doc Rivers after the head coach’s exit from the Los Angeles Clippers, per Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.

Rivers, who still had two years left in his contract, announced his departure from the Clippers on Monday. In mid-September, the Rockets ended their partnership with Mike D’Antoni after their second-round playoff exit at the hands of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Doc joins a short list of top coaches that the Rockets are eyeing, including Clippers assistant coaches Tyronn Lue and Sam Cassell, as well as Jeff Van Gundy, Kenny Atkinson, Wes Unseld Jr., and Stephen Silas.

Per Feigen: There is interest in Rivers, a person with knowledge of the Rockets’ thinking said. They were expecting and likely still plan to begin requesting permission to speak with candidates or scheduling meetings by Wednesday or Thursday.”

Doc Rivers announced his departure from the Clippers organization almost two weeks after they blew a 3-1 to the Denver Nuggets in the second round of the postseason. In seven years as the LA head coach, Rivers guided the team to six postseason appearances. However, he never made it past the second round and has now blown a 3-1 series lead twice.

According to Faigen’s report, the Rockets are eyeing former head coaches and assistant coaches. Unlike the Brooklyn Nets who hired Steve Nash, the Rockets aren’t necessarily interested in former players with little to no head coaching experience.

The report also pointed out that the Rockets are not in a rush, carefully taking into consideration their future with their two stars.

Despite Rivers’ subpar stint with the Clippers, teams still see much value in the coach. Apart from the Rockets, the New Orleans Pelicans and the Philadelphia 76ers are reportedly interested in hiring Rivers, who won the 2008 NBA title with the Boston Celtics.

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