It is quite possible Doc Rivers is nearing the end of his run as coach of the Celtics. Sources have told the Herald that he is leaning toward leaving the bench after this season, but Rivers insisted yesterday no final decision has been made.
There has been similar speculation in the past, but this time the planets seem better aligned for a move. One of Rivers’ sons, Jeremiah, will be a senior next season on the Indiana University hoop team and daughter Callie, a volleyball star, will be in her final year at the University of Florida. Another son, Austin, is a top basketball prospect who will be finishing high school.
Rivers spoke about the speculation regarding his possible retirement.
“Part of it is true,” he said. “Every year I sit down in the middle of the summer and I have a family discussion. We talk about what we want to do. That’s nothing new, but every year it gets stronger and stronger. And I think people are making some common sense reads. I’ve got three seniors next year, two in college and one in high school. That’s important to me. We’re all family men. We all have kids.
“Every year you’ve got to weigh what’s best for your kids. That’s just the way it is. But, I don’t get into it now. I don’t talk about it. I’ve never told anyone one way or the other, and that’s how it’s always been.”
Doc said he has already declined the option to negotiate a contract extension during the season.
“Danny already brought it up, and I told him I didn’t want to talk about it,” Rivers said. “Danny came to me early in the year, and I said I didn’t think it was fair to the players for the coach to be talking about his contract during a season. He said, ‘Well, I think we need to do something,’ and I said, ‘Well, we’ve got all summer.’ ”
It seems he wouldn’t look for another job; it’s either retirement or stay right where he is.
“The one I will say is I’m committed to Boston,” Rivers said. “It’s either stay with the Celtics or I decide I need to stay more with the family.”
I’m stunned. I guess I just kind of thought Rivers would be here for a long time. I’m not his biggest supporter, but I like him and he led the C’s to their only title during my lifetime. Not only that, but he was the PERFECT coach for that team.
If you’re going to go, Doc, please leave us with a nice parting gift: a nice little NBA championship.