Doc Rivers claims he threatened to step down from his new job with the Los Angeles Clippers back in 2013 when Donald Sterling vetoed a three-team trade involving J.J. Redick.
Redick was a free agent and he agreed to a four-year, $27 million deal with the Clippers.
“I was on the job for six days and I quit,” Rivers said. “The deal went through and everyone said it was a great deal. I flew back home to Orlando for a couple of days and I got a call from [former Clippers president] Andy Roeser saying Donald Sterling decided he didn’t want to do the deal. I said, ‘What do you mean? The deal is already done. JJ is a free agent. He backed out of a deal to sign with us. If we don’t do this deal we’ll never get another free agent. It’s our word.’”
Rivers thought he had ultimate authority over the Clippers' roster.
“I got on the phone with Donald and he was telling me how great his word was,” Rivers said. … “I was in the airport parking lot screaming, ‘No, no, no, no! You’re not going to do this! This is my reputation!’ He just went on and on about his reputation and how great it was.
“Finally at the end of it I said, ‘If you don’t do the trade, I quit.’ He said, ‘You can’t quit, you signed a five-year deal, I’ll make sure you don’t coach anywhere!’ I said, ‘I’m fine with that. I’ll find a job. I’ll do something, but I’m not going to do this. I gave the guy my word. I shook his hand.”