Gerry Callahan makes a convincing case that Doc Rivers will retire (or semi-retire) from coaching after the season. His case? (Boston Herald)
- Three of Doc’s four children will be seniors (two in high school, one in college). Doc already flies him for big events — what’s he going to do next year with all those graduations? Doc is a family man first, and next season would be a perfect time NOT to be coaching basketball.
- If Doc semi-retired now, he would choose his price when he comes back. If Tom Izzo commands $6 million on the open market with no NBA experience, imagine what a two-time NBA champion would command. Callahan guesses it would be $8-10 million. That’s a lot of green, and I’m not talking about Celtics Green.
- If Doc decides to go back into the television world, he’ll also name his price. A good-looking, articulate and charismatic guy with a good sense of humor? Yup, he’d be in pretty high demand as an analyst too.
What Callahan fails to mention is the other side of the story. There are some signs that point to Doc perhaps coming back next year.
- The Celtics let Tom Thibodeau walk. If Doc was really on his way out, or seemed to be leaning that way, don’t you think they would have made a better effort to keep Thibs? I’m just saying.
- Danny Ainge says he thinks Doc is coming back to coach Boston next season. Unlike Callahan’s puff piece that’s all opinion, Ainge’s thoughts are based on conversations — real conversations! — with Doc.
- Doc already started his pleas to keep the Big Three intact. Doc said the Celtics window is not closed after this season and the C’s should re-sign Ray Allen. For a coach in limbo, he seems very interested in the future.
- As hard as this regular season must have been for Doc (hell, it was hard to watch, never mind coach), the postseason must be that enjoyable. This team has been a joy to watch — and, I’m assuming, a joy to coach — since the Quentin Richardson melee marked the beginning of the playoffs.
So what do I think? I have no idea what Doc is going to do, and he seems as uncertain as I do. One day he’s talking about his family, the next he’s lobbying Ainge and Wyc Grousbeck to keep Ray Allen. I’m almost positive his statements are true — Doc hasn’t made up his mind, and is in fact very conflicted about whether he should coach next season.
If Doc does decide not to return next season, I only know one thing: I hope tonight is his last game as a Celtic.
But let’s hope he stays. If Doc has proved one thing over the past few years, it’s that he’s the perfect coach for this group of individuals that Doc has molded into a team.