It just took a while to make that happen.
Almost two weeks of haggling, negotiating and wrangling were required for the Clippers to finally pry Rivers away from the
And it took several more hours for Rivers and his representatives to finalize the deal Tuesday with Clippers owner
There were details and language in the contract that needed to be cleared up before Rivers agreed to a three-year, $21-million deal — the same number of years and dollar figure that were left on his Boston contract.
According to NBA executives, Rivers had to make sure he had the standard NBA coach's arbitration clause in his contract. The executives, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the matter, said the clause states that if Rivers is fired and has any disputes, Sterling has to pay all the legal fees.
Rivers signed the contract Tuesday before he boarded a flight to Los Angeles, the executives said.
Rivers, 51, was also given the title of senior vice president of basketball operations, meaning he'll have a significant role in personnel decisions. Gary Sacks remains in his role as the Clippers' vice president of basketball operations.
The Clippers scheduled a news conference Wednesday to introduce Rivers as the man replacing
Rivers is one of only four active coaches who have won an NBA title — with Boston in 2008. His Celtics also reached the Finals in 2010, losing to the
"Of all the coaches that were available, he was the best in my opinion," All-Star forward
With Rivers officially on board, the Clippers' next priority is to re-sign
When the Clippers and Celtics first began negotiations, the proposed deal had Rivers and forward
But NBA Commissioner
Danny Ainge, the Celtics' president of basketball operations, confirmed to reporters in Boston on Tuesday afternoon that the NBA will not allow a trade between the Celtics and Clippers involving players until after next season.
So for now Jordan, who averaged 8.8 points and 7.2 rebounds and made only 38.6% of his free throws last season, is with the Clippers.
"I don't want Doc to be like, 'Oh, we couldn't get KG here.' As long as Doc wants me here, I want to be here," Jordan said. "I know he's one of the best coaches out there. I want to play for Doc. I feel like Doc can help me become the defensive player of the year. I know he really preaches defense."
Rivers is hoping to hire former
Rivers will bring assistants Kevin Eastman and
"I think the Clippers organization is showing that they will do whatever [needs] to be done to put us in position to compete for a championship," guard