Doc Rivers doesn’t much care about home court advantage. He would much rather get his troops healthy for the first round and beyond.
“Listen, if you can get [home court advantage] it’s great,” he said. “But health [or] rest, I’m clearly going to go with health.”
Rivers also confirmed Adrian Wojnarowski’s report that the Celtics told Ray Allen he was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies, then later told him something to the effect of, “Sike!”
Yes, that awkwardness actually happened.
“It was more Danny [Ainge]. But [Allen] knew about it,” Rivers said. “I don’t see it’s a big deal. That was, what, a month ago? I’m serious. I don’t get the big deal of it. But it was a scary moment for all of us.”
Rivers went on to explain his use of the term scary.
“If you lose Ray, that’s a scary moment. He’s pretty good still,” he said, adding, ”I wouldn’t want to see Ray, Paul or Kevin ever leave. That’s just how you are. So even if we got the best deal in the world, you’re still losing guys you have an attachment with. That’s pretty scary for me or any of us.”
Allen could have gone the Lamar Odom way and demanded a trade upon learning that his team was willing to trade him elsewhere. But Rivers said the NBA’s most prolific three-point shooter ever quickly got over whatever anger or disappointment he felt.
“Not much at all, really,” Rivers said when asked what he needed to say to smooth things over. “The guys are great. Really, that’s the point. Afterwards, we were all good. We just move forward. That’s what I love about this team.”
There’s classy, and then there’s “I just got traded by the team I’m supposed to show loyalty to, and then they un-traded me, but I’m not going to complain because hell, I’m Ray Allen” classy. It’s unclear whether Rivers is telling the full truth regarding Allen’s attitude (or lack thereof) to the near-deal, but Allen’s decision not to make a stink still rings of true professionalism.
Now, if only his balky ankles could stop becoming swollen.
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