Mar 18, 2011, 5:43 PM EDT
Doc Rivers almost left the Boston Celtics last season, but after coming within a quarter of an NBA title, and with the core of his team back, he decided to return and make another run at it.
But will he walk away this summer?
A lot of people in the coaching fraternity think he will, reports Mark Stein at ESPN.
Although Celts president Danny Ainge and the veteran trio of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen were able to lobby Rivers last summer to come back for one last run together, pessimism reigns in Boston when it comes to successfully lobbying him again. Word is Doc is determined to free himself up to see his Duke-bound son, Austin, after work commitments prevented him from watching his other three children as much as he wanted to see them compete in various sports.
Rivers has always been sincere about wanting to spend time with family, this isn’t the usual façade around a coaching change. Rivers might take a year or three, then return in the spot of his choosing.
But walking away from these Celtics would also be hard for Rivers. His contract is up. If he does leave Celtics assistant Lawrence Frank and legend Kevin McHale are the logical choices to succeed him.
Stein also lists other coaches who may be leaving (Phil Jackson, although that is basically a done deal) and those on the hot seat including Rick Adelman, Keith Smart, John Kuester, Jay Triano, Paul Westphal and others. Oh, and Erik Spoelstra if the Heat have an early playoff exit.
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