The 51-year-old ended his nine-year stay with the Boston Celtics in June to take charge of the Clippers, who won the Pacific Division title for the first time last season.
"The risk is all mine," Rivers told Yahoo Sports. "To go to an organisation that hasn't won but [two] playoff series in their entire history, in a town where the other team is the best franchise in sports history – that's risk.
"But the opportunity – for me – gives me life. If we get this right, it will be the story of stories to tell. At this point in my life, the gamble is worth it."
Rivers guided the Celtics to the NBA title as coach in 2008.