“Although I was able to achieve most of my goals, I won’t be able to see them all through. Although it is a disappointing end to our season, you are right here and I know what this team is capable of accomplishing with your support.
“Thanks to all the players, coaches and staff for helping us get here. Above all, thank you to the fans. We’ve been through a lot, and I’m grateful for my time here. ”
Against the Denver Nuggets, the Clippers wasted a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference semifinals, relinquishing double-digit leads of 16, 19 and 12 in the final three games of the series as the Finals drought of the Western Franchise Conference reached 50 years old.
Rivers is the only coach in NBA history to lose a 3-1 lead in three playoffs, having done so with the Clippers in the 2015 Western Semifinals against the Houston Rockets and with the Orlando. Magic in the first round against the Detroit Pistons in 2003..
This team, however, were seen as a championship contender from the time the Clippers signed Leonard in free agency and traded for George.
After the Clippers completely defeated themselves for a third straight game in a 104-89 loss to the Nuggets in Game 7, Rivers said title expectations weren’t too high for his side, although the Clippers hadn’t hit what many thought all season. be a final showdown with the Los Angeles Lakers.
“We haven’t met them,” Rivers said of expectations. ” It’s essential. I am the coach, and I will not take any responsibility for it. But we didn’t live up to our expectations, clearly, because if we had it, in my opinion, we would keep playing. ”
Information provided by ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk has been used in this report.