COMMENTARY | As is the case with several members of the Boston Celtics, the status of head coach Doc Rivers is up in the air. While he is still under contract with the team for another 3 years and $21 million, Rivers has not given confirmation that he will return for yet another season.
According to an ESPN report, Doc was asked whether or not he was still making up his mind. In a very vague manner, Rivers simply replied with "I'd rather not say." While this obviously doesn't mean that Rivers will not return to the team, it creates some reasonable speculation about what the final decision might be.
This situation is an interesting one, and this is just the latest development. The Brooklyn Nets were rejected when they asked the Celtics for permission to speak with Doc, which led many to believe that he would coach the team for at least another season. Additionally, Rivers made some comments referenced in the above report that sounded like a return was his plans.
On multiple occasions, there has been chatter of Rivers wanting to step away from the game a little to spend more time with his family. This was brought up when his son, Austin Rivers, was preparing to play for Duke University. Doc has committed many years to the game of basketball, and it seems as if he might like a little more time to dedicate to other aspects of his life.
Additionally, he has to have concerns regarding what kind of team he will be coaching next year. There has yet to be a public decision on whether or not Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce will be on the team next season, and one has to wonder if Doc would want to coach a completely new roster. If the two do return, there is still curiosity regarding what the team will get out of Rajon Rondo, who is recovering from ACL surgery. Even if these three return at full strength, this Celtics team does not appear to be a serious competitor.
Doc Rivers seems to be very straight forward more often than not, so his ambiguity here is interesting. It's important not to read too much into this, but it should certainly be noted.
If he chooses not to coach the Celtics, there will surely be a market for Doc's services. The issue here is whether or not he wants to coach, not whether or not there will be a job waiting for him.
It would be tough to imagine Doc wanting to coach through a rebuilding phase, so there is a strong chance that he is playing the waiting game to hear a more concrete plan from Danny Ainge.
For now, Celtics fans need to cross their fingers and hope that Doc Rivers returns for at least another season.
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 .
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