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Doc Rivers, Celtics agree to five-year deal for him to return

May 13, 2011, 12:23 PM EDT

Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers watches his team in Boston Reuters

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.

CSN New England’s Greg Dickerson broke the news (direct from GM Danny Ainge) and the Celtics have now confirmed it.

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.

  1. pukpokito - May 13, 2011 at 12:39 PM

    Perfect! This is a great way to start rebuilding. A great coach in place. If I was a player I would come to Boston. I would love to play for him. His goal is to win a Championship and in line to what the Celtics want and are committed to do.

    • aldaviz - May 13, 2011 at 3:42 PM

      Yes sir. Doc is that dude! I wish the Warriors could get someone of his caliber. He got them to the Finals twice, winning one and losing the other in 7 games that went down to the wire w/o his big man. If they add a few pieces around Rondo via Free Agency this year, they could honestly challenge for one more title before they blow up the roster.

  2. SmackSaw - May 13, 2011 at 1:14 PM

    Why? He’ll be there to oversee their decline. 5 years? He won’t last that long. 2 years, max.

  3. jrmcool20 - May 13, 2011 at 1:22 PM

    yesss nice the Cs and doc got this done asap ,, 5 years ,, they got the coach thats needed to rebuild , compete and to win a title or 2 !!! thats for certain !!!!

  4. edweird0 - May 13, 2011 at 4:35 PM

    Being a Heat, I have nothing but respect for this man. He’s a class act and certainly deserves the chance to rebuild this team. More power to you Doc!

  5. zackd2 - May 13, 2011 at 4:42 PM

    Wait, thought he was going to watch his kid play ball last year and this year? Oh, that was a negotiating tactic to get 35m? Nice.

    • florida727 - May 13, 2011 at 5:05 PM

      Why watch your kid play at Duke when you can draft him after one year and have him play for you? :)

      I’m surprised they got this done so quickly, but hey, good for them. Go Bulls!

    • andyhr17 - May 13, 2011 at 7:15 PM

      I think more than anything it was bloggers, reporters, and people on message boards saying he was going to leave to go watch his kid.

      • zackd2 - May 13, 2011 at 7:48 PM

        Oh I know, wish I could find the link the original post here about this subject where I got all the thumbs down and comments from Celtic fans.

  6. zrbk - May 13, 2011 at 11:06 PM

    Reminds me of how Phil Jackson came back to the Lakers. Rondo+Rivers may be the new Mamba+Zen? Probably not too good, but I feel confident about the future now.

    • zackd2 - May 14, 2011 at 9:19 AM

      Seriously?

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