The Clippers promoted coach Doc Rivers to president of basketball operations. Kevin Eastman will take over the vice president tag previously held by Rivers. 

Rivers has earned this promotion. He served as a unifying force during the dark days of the Donald Sterling fiasco, putting on a strong face while controversy swirled around the franchise in the wake of Sterling's racist remarks. 

MORE: Sterlings hits court July 7 | Sterling looks up dirt on Silver | Baylor, the NBA and race 

Sterling subsequently received a lifetime ban and $2.5 million fine, the largest allowable penalty under the NBA's collective bargaining agreement. 

Even though commissioner Adam Silver took steps to remove Sterling and settle the firestorm surrounding the Clippers, little resolution has been found. The $2 billion sale of the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer remains in limbo as Donald Sterling and his wife, Shelly, await court on July 7 to determine control of the Sterling family trust.

While the franchise has not fully escaped troubles brought on by Sterling's remarks, Rivers coached the team to a first-round win over the Warriors under tough circumstances. The Thunder ended the Clippers' season in the second round, defeating Los Angeles in five games.

Rivers' new title gives him further control over a team primed to challenge in the Western Conference for years to come, with Blake Griffin and Chris Paul both locked into long-term deals. 

Already the NBA's highest-paid coach at $7 million per year, Rivers will now have almost full autonomy when it comes to basketball decisions. 


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