May 13, 2011, 12:23 PM EDT
It’s official — Doc Rivers is back for not only one more run with the Celtics core, he’s back for the rebuilding that follows.
The deal is for five years, $35 million according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo. With Phil Jackson walking away, that would make Rivers the highest paid coach in the NBA (Gregg Popovich and Mike D’Antoni make $6 million).
After last season’s loss in the finals to the Lakers, Rivers seriously considered walking away from the Celtics to spend more time with his family. But the lure of another run with this team brought him back. After this season it was expected early on that he would walk away and spend next fall hanging out with Mike Krzyzewski as River’s son Austin is set to be a one-and-done at Duke. (Unless the new CBA makes him a two-and-done.)
Then Rivers said after the Celtics were eliminated that he was leaning heavily toward coming back, that over the last few weeks of the playoffs he realized he didn’t want to leave.
This deal is more than just getting this core group back for one more title run (which will be hard considering Miami and Chicago are only going to get better), this is about Rivers helping guide the team through its transition to what is next. That will be a team built around Rajon Rondo.
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