Sources of The Ringer’s Ryen Russilo tell him Doc Rivers was taken by surprise by the Clippers’ front office decision to hand him the sack.

The Clippers finished second in the Conference standings with a 49-23 record. They were widely expected to meet the Lakers in the Conference Finals.

A number of people even expected them to beat the Lakers at that stage and make their first NBA Finals as a franchise. As things turned out, they blew a 3-1 series lead in the Conference semifinals to the unfancied Denver Nuggets.

One would have to be a heavily optimistic Clippers fan to believe the team wasn’t heading for any changes.