COMMENTARY | As part of starting fresh for this coming season, the Boston Celtics allowed Doc Rivers to leave town to coach a contender. He joined the Los Angeles Clippers, replacing the ever so popular Vinny Del Negro. It was widely believed that Rivers simply didn't want to go through a rebuilding phase at this point of his career. While most Boston fans understand and accepted this, it was made a huge deal by people like Bill Simmons.
With the draft picks acquired from letting Rivers go and the hire of Brad Stevens, the Celtics are in a pretty decent position. They were able to find a replacement coach who is regarded as one of the top young minds around while receiving significant compensation for Rivers.
While in Boston, it seemed as if Rivers and Danny Ainge had a solid working relationship. Ainge always stood behind his coach, and he eventually granted Rivers his wish to join a competitor.
Of course, no relationship is perfect. Apparently, Rivers is a little upset about Danny Ainge handled his departure from the team. In the quotes, you can read that Ainge said Los Angeles is not where he wanted Rivers to end up. Doc responds to this by saying Ainge is lying, which both of them are aware of.
At this point, none of this should really matter too much. The Celtics are happy with Brad Stevens, and the Clippers should be very happy with Doc Rivers.
Many have believed the Clippers should have been competing with the best teams in the league over the past few years, although coaching has not necessarily been a strength. The team was able to add Jared Dudley and J.J. Redick this offseason, who will bring some much needed shooting to Los Angeles. With a few more high quality shooters, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin will have more space to operate in the middle of the floor in their pick and roll game. Doc's major challenge will be on the defensive end, and trying to make DeAndre Jordan more than the occasional highlight dunker.
The Celtics will miss Doc Rivers for sure, but Brad Stevens is certainly no scrub. Hopefully Ainge and Doc can stitch up this little misunderstanding and move on for good.
Mark lives in the Boston area and has been covering the Celtics for 3 years. He has been featured on Fox Sports Yardbarker, Fox Sports, and Sports Illustrated "Hot Clicks", and has been published on Celtics 24/7, Bleacher Report, and Sports-Kings.
- Sports & Recreation
- Doc Rivers
- Danny Ainge
- Boston Celtics
- Los Angeles Clippers
- Brad Stevens