Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers appears to be headed out of theCeltics’ locker room and back to Florida to be with his family. So who should the Celtics hire if Doc retires? David Aldrige weighs in:
For all the talk about my NBA TV colleague Kevin McHale, why wouldn’t Wyc Grousbeck insist that GM Danny Ainge take over? In a time when owners throughout the league are trying to save as much scratch as possible, and are extremely reluctant to pay what coaches have been used to getting in recent years, it’s hard to see a scenario where the Celtics would lock themselves in for three or four years of paying top (or, close to top) dollar for a coach presiding over an aging roster that everyone acknowledges is hard to handle. What big-name coach would take $2 million or so per year for that?
So, Ainge, who has experience as a head coach, knows the quirks of his personnel better than anyone on the outside possibly could and wouldn’t break the bank if he added bench duties to his management portfolio.
I’m intrigued by the possibility of Danny Ainge coaching. He has seemingly good relationships with all of the players, has previous head coaching experience, and knows the roster better than anybody. However, as we’ve seen time and time again, coaching and GM duties can be one heck of a burden for one man. As for Grousbeck trying to save money, I don’t see that being an issue in the hiring process. Grousbeck has shown that he is willing to spend the money to improve the on-court product. I think he will follow that same strategy in the hiring process.
I like the idea of Kevin McHale coaching even better. McHale and Ainge played together and clearly have a solid relationship–a key for any GM/coach tandem. Also, McHale is very close with Kevin Garnett, who he mentored from day 1 in Minnesota. McHale worked Garnett out relentlessly and Garnett often credits McHale with the development of his jump shot and becoming a star player in the NBA. And McHale, who played in 1987 with a broken bone in his foot, knows better than anybody what it’s like to be an aging player in the NBA–something he’d have in common with the Celtics’ aging nucleus.