Listen, we are as tired of writing about this as you are of hearing it. But once again, a “sourced” report on Doc Rivers has hit the internet, and as a Celtics site, we kind of have to write about it. Right? Right. So we are sorry in advance.
The difference between this report and all the other reports is that here, people close to Doc are saying he isn’t sure about coming back. This isn’t speculation based on response (or lack of response) to an interview question. This is confirmation of what we feared. What’s more, it comes from the very well-sourced Ken Berger of CBS. Berger, you may remember, was the reporter who originally broke the news that the NBA lockout had come to an end. His sources are generally very reliable, and they are telling us that Doc is leery of returning to a rebuilding squad.
Here’s Berger in a very informative column:
According to an NBA front-office source, Rivers has given indications he “might be ready for a new situation.”
Rivers has been attending the Celtics’ pre-draft workouts and huddling with Ainge to chart the offseason strategy — one that could become an exit strategy for Rivers if the remnants of Boston’s Big Three era can’t be parlayed into moves that sustain the team as a championship contender.
“[Doc] has been pretty open that he doesn’t want to coach in a rebuilding environment,” said a person briefed on Rivers’ conversations with Ainge. “And if they make some moves, they’re not going to have a rebuilding environment. That’s Danny’s challenge.”
There’s a ton of relevant stuff in this report, but let’s start here: These reports actually make me respect Doc’s struggle to make a decision. He is legitimately conflicted about coming back, and it’s hard to blame him. Remember, Rivers didn’t arrive into a cushy situation with Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. He suffered through the pre-KG years like the rest of us. The Big 3 era seemed like the culmination of his efforts since 2004 to bring the Celtics back to prominence. If, now that the KG/Pierce era is coming to an end, he feels it’s his time to step down, I’m certainly not going to tell him he hasn’t done his job. And if he is finding it a little hard to let go, well, I can understand that as well. Read more »