Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers finally can take a deep breath, as the issues that arose during last season's playoffs now are in the rearview. Donald Sterling is out; Steve Ballmer is in.

The Clippers introduced their new owner during Monday's Fan Festival. Ballmer high-fived and chest-bumped fans as he energetically took the stage. It truly was a "new day" in Clipperland.

How things ended last season had to have left a bad taste in the mouths of Doc and his players. Who knows how far the Clippers could have gone in the postseason had they not had the weight of the world thrust upon them at possibly the absolute worst time.

"It's never any fun when, in our case, as I always say, real life comes into our make-believe jobs," Rivers said Wednesday on the Dan Patrick Show. "In this case, there was a lot of stuff that we all had to deal with, very complicated stuff, as individuals, too, because everybody has different feelings on how they're feeling about all this stuff. When you're trying to coach a team, and you have a collection of individuals with individual thoughts, I thought this was very difficult."

With a new owner in place, one who appears to be the complete opposite of his predecessor, Rivers and his team are free to move forward in their quest for what Ballmer refers to as "Larry," as in the Larry O'Brien Trophy. Winning "Larry" would be the next step in the process, too.