Steve Ballmer, former Microsoft CEO and the owner of the LA Clippers fired Doc Rivers partly because of Micheal Porter Jr.
The meltdown of the Clippers against the Nuggets was not well received by Steve Ballmer. Ryen Russilo and Bill Simmons both heard Ballmer went ballistic after the Clippers blew the lead, and wanted to fire all coaches and players alike.
The frustration is understandable. The Clippers have won only 3 playoff series since Ballmer took over. Ballmer has spared no expense on the team.
He had a very highly paid coaching staff, a star-studded roster, and a highly paid analytics team. Doc Rivers and his team did not listen to the analytics team repeatedly telling them to play Zubac over Harrell, which could have been a key difference-maker in the series.
Not drafting Micheal Porter Jr. led to Ballmer losing trust in the Front Office
Back in 2018, the Clippers had the #12 and #13 pick in the draft. They ended up drafting Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jerome Robinson. They traded both of them away. Back then, Steve Ballmer had asked the Front Office to draft Micheal Porter Jr. The Front Office were of the opinion that MPJ was ‘undraftable’.
The Denver Nuggets drafted MPJ and we saw how that turned out. Porter Jr is a young star on the rise, and that just further aggravates Ballmer. Ballmer was familiar with MPJ, both being from Seattle.
Also Read: “Mavs series led to Doc’s firing”
The future of the Clipper looks bleak
What would add salt to the wounds is that the Clippers have no young star, and considering they’ve traded away their first-round picks for the next 8 years, things don’t seem so good.
Kawhi and PG both become free-agents next season, and with the bench players’ contracts also expiring soon, things seem messy for the Clippers. They had really gone all out these two seasons, with the aspirations to get their first ring.
It wouldn’t come as a shock if Ballmer fires more people, considering how enraged he was.
Source: Ryen Russilo Podcast