Doc Rivers, as he has a history of doing, left the door open for his retirement following the Boston Celtics elimination from the playoffs at the hands of the New York Knicks.
Despite GM Danny Ainge going on record to say that Rivers will be returning, Doc has not come forward to confirm that he will coach the team next season and, according to a report from Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald, Rivers has not made up his mind yet.
There is still the possibility — stress possibility — Rivers will choose to walk away from his contract to coach the Celts. A source close to the situation, however, insists it remains far more likely he will return.
The word as expressed to us is that it is “90-10” that Rivers will continue on a contract that has three years and $21 million remaining. If he leaves the Celtics, it will not be with the intent of coaching another team.
In all likelihood, Rivers will return to the Celtics sideline, but perhaps the uncertainty of the roster situation has got him thinking twice. If nothing else, Rivers is loyal to Celtic veterans Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett and the idea that one–or both–of them may be somewhere else next season could weigh into his decision.
Rivers, however, is a basketball lifer and seemingly as passionate about the sport as he was when he played. The Celtics have a solid young core of players 28-and-under and, according to Bulpett’s reporting, ”If [Rivers] leaves the Celtics, it will not be with the intent of coaching another team.”
Given that Rivers is only 51-years-old and his children are growing up and leaving the nest, it seems inevitable that he resumes his role with the organization. Let’s hope he makes a statement soon, so we can all breathe a sigh of relief, knowing the guys in green are in good hands.