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Danny Ainge isn’t going to coach Celtics, clearly didn’t like Doc leaving

Jun 25, 2013, 11:31 PM EDT

Danny Ainge AP

Danny Ainge didn’t sound like a happy man.

It’s not anything he said directly, just the overall tone of his discussion with the media on Tuesday (which was streamed live) left the impression he thought Doc Rivers would be back to coach the Celtics this year.

“We sent him a letter saying that we expected him to be our coach and to fulfill his contract, to be our coach for three more years,” Ainge said. “That was our intention all along. That’s what we hoped he would do.”

That’s not what happened. Rivers saw a tough year in Boston followed by a rebuild, and in Los Angeles he saw a 56-win team, a division winner with room to grow. And he was interested.

“We had a conversation, him and I, as friends and partners the last nine years… we discussed the possibility of him getting the Clippers job,” Ainge recalled. “There were other teams that were interested in hiring Doc that we didn’t allow them to talk to Doc, that had inquired. But the Clippers was one that intrigued him a bit. I’m sure their young talent had a lot to do with that.”

It was clear as you watched Ainge that this pained him some — he and Rivers had a close relationship. Rivers was ready to move on, but Ainge clearly didn’t think that had to happen in the coaching ranks. But it did.

“He felt like it was time for a change,” Ainge said. “His opinion he shared with me, he felt like we all needed a change. That was his rationalization or justification. I don’t really feel like there should be resentment.”

Now, Rivers is coaching Chris Paul (once he re-signs, and he will) and the Clippers. So who is going to coach the Celtics?

Not Ainge.

“I’ve done that gig. I’m done with that,” Ainge said.

He dodged questions about who might be a replacement. He also dodged questions about the future of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett in Boston..

“I love Paul and KG,” Ainge said when asked if either would be back next season. “We haven’t made a decision on that. I’m not certain on any one of those decisions.”

  1. fanofevilempire - Jun 25, 2013 at 11:47 PM

    sound like Doc quit on his team, good for the Celtics fan, they tried to fire him a
    years before the title, ungrateful bunch of punks!

    • andyhr17 - Jun 26, 2013 at 7:22 AM

      1. Doc didn’t quit on the team. He coached them up to the end of the year and they made it as far as they were supposed to.

      2. What do you mean “tried to fire” him. He may not have had a tremendous amount of support, but that’s usually what happens when you’re team is doing terrible.

      3. I can hardly blame him for not wanting to be part of the rebuilding. After tasting the level of success for as long as he has, he didn’t want to start all over again.

      He’s gone, it’s over with. Plan A is no longer an option. We’ll see what plan B was.Last time Danny rebuilt a team he landed Allen and Garnett. Let’s see if he can get creative again.

    • turdfurgerson68 - Jun 26, 2013 at 2:56 PM

      You’re 100% wrong slack jaw, in fact the Celtic fans gave Doc and the team a standing ovation at the end of the final game of the terrible 2006-2007 campaign.

      Don’t equate the obnoxious Boston sports media with its fans…completly separate entities.

  2. kb2408 - Jun 26, 2013 at 12:07 AM

    Why stay on a sinking ship?

    • hockeyflow33 - Jun 26, 2013 at 1:35 AM

      Because when you win, it’s far more rewarding than hopping on a bandwagon

    • andyhr17 - Jun 26, 2013 at 7:23 AM

      Says the fan of a team that is slowly taking on water.

      • spthegr8 - Jun 26, 2013 at 11:07 AM

        If we are “slowly taking on water”, then just what do you call what’s happening to the C’s right now????

      • andyhr17 - Jun 26, 2013 at 11:15 AM

        Umm.. in full rebuilding mode, as I’ve clearly stated before.

        I know my team is going to be a fringe playoff team if Garnett/Pierce come back and possibly a lottery team if they don’t. I’m not a delusional Lakers fan who believes they will go to the Finals every year regardless of the players on their team.

      • spthegr8 - Jun 26, 2013 at 12:36 PM

        I am not one of those delusional Laker fans. We have our share of problems and we are NOT a title contender right now. It’s painfully obvious. Kobe is gonna be slower coming off of that Achilles injury and not sure if Dwight’s gonna re-sign or not. Hopefully Pau can come back too form now that he will be healthy and rested. So, clearly we have our problem’s also but we aren’t taking on water. At least not yet anyway. I am hoping for the best but I’m prepared for the worst!!

  3. badintent - Jun 26, 2013 at 2:43 AM

    Rat Rondo next to jump ship.
    Pierce is so done. He’s got man handled by the King in last years playoffs.
    KG is on Duncan time. limited minutes in regular season. Nice pickup for Clippers. He can show Howard how to shoot a jump shot.

    • patfic15 - Jun 26, 2013 at 10:00 AM

      God. So wrong.

      • badintent - Jun 26, 2013 at 8:18 PM

        Your boys couldn’t even beat a Nursing Home in the playoffs. Facts

    • patfic15 - Jun 26, 2013 at 9:51 PM

      KG is still w Celtics. Howard (Dwight I presume) is uh, a Laker. Facts. Everything else was right tho…sort of.

      • badintent - Jun 28, 2013 at 3:50 PM

        Wrong.KG and his pet dog Paul in Brooklyn.I have my sources in NYC down the hall from the NBA office.

  4. davidly - Jun 26, 2013 at 7:36 AM

    Too bad for the Celts that Shaw is already a Nugget. It’d’ve been a perfect time to develop Rondo in the triple post. Que sara sara, I reckon.

  5. ProBasketballPundit - Jun 26, 2013 at 10:24 AM

    This isn’t such a tragedy. There isn’t a coach on the planet that can win a championship with a rebuilding team.. so why pay Doc Rivers $21 million to win 30 games? This is a win for both teams. (Also, I think Doc has already proven he’s not so great at developing young talent.)

  6. staff2cj - Jun 26, 2013 at 11:20 AM

    Being from NC…gut feeling tells me Paul will not resign with Clips

  7. beachcomber2020 - Jun 26, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    Ainge has been sitting on his hands about all this Doc, K.G., Pierce stuff for so long. Like he didn’t know this time was going to happen. He should have a clear path of what to do at this point. Being stunned by Doc’s departure. The handwriting was on the wall…BIG time. Maybe he should run some European Basketball League front office where having a slow lazy afternoon near some cafe’ works with his sense of urgency. Coaching need’s, roster need’s, draft pick options, trade options, the soap opera now is playing in living color. Yeah…we need Josh Smith. He’s championship material. This could get really ugly very quickly. Ainge need’s to GO!!! The team is a mess. From top to bottom.

    • andyhr17 - Jun 26, 2013 at 2:00 PM

      2008 – Championship with veteran team: WE’RE THE BEST!!!
      2009-2012 – Remains a top threat in the East for the most part
      2013 – Veterans past their prime, time to rebuild: DANNY HAS TO GO!!!

      My god. A fickle fan at his best.

  8. cornbreadbbqred - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:53 AM

    “You would benefit from a change too.”

    -Parting Line of boyfriend to jilted girlfriend

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