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Report: Ainge considering McHale as backup plan to Rivers, might be gone himself

Jun 19, 2010, 12:00 PM EDT

The Celtics’ Finals loss to the Lakers has hit the team hard. In its wake, there’s uncertainty at every level. Ray Allen is a free agent. Kendrick Perkins may not be back in time for the start of the season. The team needs a younger roster infusion. And most notably, Doc Rivers may be moving on as head coach. Rivers retreated to his home in Orlando, Florida, with no indication of what he’s planning on doing career-wise. There’s growing confidence that he’ll stick around, but you never know.

Which is why, according to the Boston Herald, General Manager Danny Ainge has begun exploring options for his replacement. And they’re not the names  you’d expect. 
The Herald says that new Bull’s head coach Tom Thibodeau was not strongly considered for the on-deck position if Rivers walks, but a former Celtic great was. The report states that Kevin McHale, currently working as a television analyst for TNT, is being considered for the position if Doc decides he’s had enough.
McHale floundered as a general manager in Minnesota, but his work as a coach actually wasn’t half-bad. He’s got strong ties to the team and the respect of its players. 
Of course, it would sure look bad for Minnesota, having had their GM trade their biggest franchise star in team history to a team he eventually took the reigns for, but then, Garnett isn’t the player he was three years ago, either. 
Perhaps most interesting in the report is a discussion of whether Ainge himself might decide to call it quits, which would definitely signal the closing of the C’s window. Ainge suffered a heart attack last year, and there’s talk that he might be considering stepping away if the job isn’t “fun” anymore. 
And one thing’s for sure. The last 48 hours has not been fun. 
Rivers’ impact may be the biggest consideration the Celtics have to deal with this summer, but they’ve already apparently started looking at options that reach back through their storied history to try and return to the top. 
  1. Phil - Jun 19, 2010 at 4:00 PM

    Hold your head high proud Cs, you were the undisputable A-Team of the NBA Finals.
    Your game 2 was a memorable, epic masterpiece of sheer basket ball fun. A clever, intelligent clinc.
    Cannot believe the experts who predicted the champion would be whoever wins the battle of the boards, failed to put the morale of the game 7 story into words. The Lakers win was ordained when Perk fell. The differece was only few points. In addition to being the biggest body among the Cs, perk was perky on rebounds more than any other aspect of his game.
    In my opinion, the morale of game 7 was that the Lakers win was ordained by turned fortunes more than it was earned with team fortitude.
    The Cs made this series nerve wrecking to both team and to their fans. But in the end, it became a classic. Particularly, a Cs classic.

  2. Joe - Jun 19, 2010 at 4:18 PM

    Phil,
    You forgot to mention that the Lakers basically played without its starting center from Games 3-7 (Bynum was playing on one leg and couldn’t contribute nearly as effectively as he did against the Celtics in the regular season). The Celtics only had to play without their starting center for Game 7.
    Therefore, the Celtics clearly had the advantage but still “messed it all up.”
    No excuses here. The Lakers earned their title in 2010.

  3. Drew - Jun 19, 2010 at 5:08 PM

    I agree, throw the injuries out. I think even with both teams at full strength, this series would’ve been every bit as close. In a game 7 that close, there are a million “what ifs.” Here’s a good one: what if the refs had correctly called a travel on Gasol when he landed before releasing the ball? The Celtics are then playing for the win instead of desperately heaving up a three. What if Ray Allen goes even 2-13 in Game 3? Would the Celtics have closed it out in 5?
    The bottom line is the Lakers made enough plays to win and the Celtics didn’t. I picked the Celtics in 6.

  4. SurferDude123 - Jun 19, 2010 at 5:52 PM

    Turned fortunes when Lakers had to muster a win from a 13-point deficit and Bryant way below his best? NOPE! The Celts simply melted against the more determined Lakers. Gasol was the only big man on the floor for the Lakers in the last quarter against Garnett, Wallace and Big Baby. Lakers were pre-ordained to win because of the psychological blow they have dealt the Celts in game 6.

  5. Craig W. - Jun 19, 2010 at 8:18 PM

    Just a classic, ugly game 7.
    The Lakers beat the Celtics at their own game. Ahhhhhh!

  6. Jimee Johnson - Jun 19, 2010 at 8:49 PM

    Finally, a classy conversation about these finals. It’s about time. Both teams won huge games. You can’t win them all!

  7. Up and Coming Writer - Jun 19, 2010 at 8:50 PM

    It’s easy to win when your team is at the foul line 25 times in 20 minutes. This game was sloppy with poor officiating. As a sports writer I find it odd that so many calls were made in such a small time span. Kobe is great, Jordan he is not. Jordan was the REASON his team won championships…in this series the same could not be said of Bryant. Congrats Lakers, but the window is starting to close.
    Main story is Rondo’s development. This kid will be the reason the C’s remain in the playoff picture for years to come. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the Lakers, they are built for now.. with nothing in place when Kobe is done.
    Watch out Western Conference champions, the youth movement in the West will soon put an end to the Laker’s reign.

  8. Jimee Johnson - Jun 19, 2010 at 9:00 PM

    I spoke too soon. Let’s try and soothe our bruised egos by comparing Kobe to Michael, since even a Celtics homer knows that Jordan was the best. Blame the officiating, blame the sun (it was in Ray Allen’s eyes), blame, blame, blame! And let’s make prognostications without historical perspective: the Lakers and the Celtics will eventually, if not always, be competing for championships. Maye that rag called the Boston Herald would be interested in and up and coming “writer”! They are biased and unfair, just like Fox News (probably your buddies). Congratulations to the Lakers, and the Celtics, for a fantastic 7 game thriller.

  9. Omnius - Jun 20, 2010 at 9:20 AM

    Kevin McHale floundered as a general manager and a coach at Minnesota, the author obviously wasn’t paying attention to how poorly he coached the Timberwolves. If McHale is smart he’ll stick to his TNT announcing gig. Doc wasn’t exactly awesome as a coach in the playoffs, going a paltry 47-40 though he did win one championship against an injured Lakers team. Looks like the Pierce, Allen Garnett trio underperformed as they were supposed to win 3 chamionships before becoming too old. Now it’s most of the Lakers who have two rings instead of the temper tantrum trio. No the future doesn’t look bright for Boston, they’ll now slip to the role of pretender for the forseeable future.

  10. SEAN - Jun 20, 2010 at 3:15 PM

    Phil Phil Phil shame on you lil boy! The lakers didnt have BYNUM in 08 and had 10% of him this series so sorry to burst your lil bubble but if Bynum was healthy there would be no game 7 guy! It would have been over in 5 or even a sweep… So kiss your Cs goodbuy because thats the last you will ever see them at a championship level…….

  11. Hoops McCann - Jun 20, 2010 at 8:14 PM

    Up and Coming Writer – better try for another occupation. The game wasn’t sloppy as you put it but was one of the most amazing exhibitions of lock down defense by both teams ANYONE has ever seen. You apparently don’t know that playing that kind of team defense wipes out everyones’ stamina quickly.
    The Celtics were obviously completely fatigued going into the 4th quarter (Pierce was foaming at the mouth)and began to foul as a result of not being able to continue to play CLEAN lock down defense and as the Lakers offense began to get more open shots and continued to get offensive rebounds. That leaves only two choices – give them the open shots or continue to try to stop them by reaching, grabbing and fouling. That’s how you get 25 foul shots in 20 minutes.
    Meanwhile the Lakers got their second wind as a result of the extra adrenaline from the comeback from 13 down and the crowd and continued to play incredible defense without having to resort to fouling. I’ve watched the 4th quarter 3 times now and it is totally obvious that Boston was beaten because the Lakers had more energy in the 4th quarter. If not for the Celtics making those 3 amazing 3 pointers the Lakers would have won going away by 11 to 13 points.

  12. chessplayer - Jun 21, 2010 at 11:37 AM

    Before the series starts,I think the C’s has the advantage because of their big men in Ben, Kevin,Perkins and big Davis, though I am a Lakers fan since the time of Jerry West and Chamberlain. The reason is that Andrew Bynum was not even close to 80% of his health. But my gut feeling tells me that Kobe,Gasul,Ron and Derek will beat Rondo,Pierce, Garnett and Allen. The result of series proves me right.

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