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Doc Rivers talks about leaving Boston, heaps praise on Garnett

Sep 12, 2013, 4:40 PM EDT

Minnesota Timberwolves v Boston Celtics Getty Images

Doc Rivers was back in Boston, back in the TD Garden Wednesday for a charity event. It had to feel odd to him, knowing in a few weeks he would be on the other coast working with a very different team in Los Angeles.

But of course, while he was there in Boston he was asked by WEEI about his time in the city — through everything Rivers has expressed nothing but love for Boston.

“It’s tough to leave the Celtics because it’s the Celtics,” Rivers said. “It was the best nine years of basketball that I’ve ever been a part of, but I also fell in love with the city. And, for me, the hardest part is leaving the city. I’ve met friends that have changed my life here, and they’ll always be my friends.”

Maybe the biggest complements handed out by Rivers went to Kevin Garnett, who also left Boston and is now a Brooklyn Net.

“Fans never got to see Kevin’s personality,” Rivers said. “I wish the city got to know Kevin more. He’s the single best athlete that I’ve ever been around as far as being a team guy. He’s as ‘team’ of a star as I’ve ever seen. A lot of stars are stars, but he’s unselfish, to a fault at times, but every coach should be able to coach Kevin Garnett just to see what a true team player should be…

“He did a lot of good things that people don’t know,” Rivers said. “When rookies came in, he would bring them up to my office. He’d sit them down, and then he would bring his tailor in and say, ‘If you want to be a pro, you’ve got to dress like a pro.’ And he would buy each rookie two suits, and he did it every year. To me, that says a lot about Kevin Garnett as a teammate.”

It came apart a little awkwardly, but in the end Boston fans will look back on this era fondly. Not just the title in 2008, but also the era that helped put the national spotlight back on one of the league’s great franchises.

Eventually Rivers will get a standing ovation at the Garden when introduced. We’ll see if that happens this year or not.

  1. kingwithringz - Sep 12, 2013 at 4:50 PM

    I would love to play 4 this guy. I have alot of respect and admiration 4 Doc Rivers.

    • money2long - Sep 12, 2013 at 5:04 PM

      no games played yet, but safe to say..chris paul’s best coach so far.

    • redbaronx - Sep 14, 2013 at 12:22 PM

      I also think he’s a class act mostly, but that whole thing with Ainge made me wonder. Ainge sincerely seemed set on keeping Doc around, and it did seem like Doc was the one who wanted to leave, not that he was being pushed out. Doc’s comments about Ainge not interested in keeping him and basically calling Ainge a liar made me wonder about Doc’s intentions in talking to the media about his exit.

  2. BigBeachBall - Sep 12, 2013 at 6:13 PM

    KG would be in LA right now if it was his choice….

  3. jimsjam33 - Sep 12, 2013 at 6:21 PM

    Okay Doc Rivers . Time to forget the Celtics and move on . It’s Clipper time now !

  4. drewdatwit84 - Sep 12, 2013 at 7:01 PM

    No, KG would not be in LA. He would go wherever Pierce goes bcuz he’s big on loyalty and familiarity.

    why would KG want to be on LA? dude NO ONE wants to play for the Lakers. They suck.

    • tegan3 - Sep 12, 2013 at 8:09 PM

      He meant the Clippers.

    • zerole00 - Sep 13, 2013 at 9:59 AM

      The original plan was Doc, Pierce, and KG to go to the Clippers, but Stern ruled you couldn’t trade current players for a coach so the Clippers couldn’t really match the trade without it being obvious that they were overpaying for Pierce and KG to get Doc on the side.

    • anhdazman - Sep 13, 2013 at 5:27 PM

      LOL, everything was fine until he had a brain fart and put in “LA” other team.

  5. j0esixpack - Sep 12, 2013 at 7:22 PM

    I wouldn’t worry about Doc’s focus JimsJam33

    He wants to win now. That’s why he left. Tough to blame him for not wanting to spend a few seasons rebuilding.

    Still he was back in Boston and being a class act had to comment. The Clippers got the better coach to win now and the Celtics got the better coach to rebuild. Doc was honest enough to know his heart wasn’t in that.

    I respect that as a Celtics fan and think all the players and coaches and GMs made the best choice

  6. zerole00 - Sep 13, 2013 at 9:57 AM

    Yeah KG trash talks a lot, but you can’t really blame his motive for it. He’s trying to give his team the advantage, and sometimes it works (as Carmelo can attest).

    That said, whether or not you like KG you can’t deny his heart. He still plays harder than rookies half his age and he never seems to stop. The guy sweats bullets out there on the court.

  7. ProBasketballPundit - Sep 13, 2013 at 11:20 AM

    Doc sure does talk a lot. If I ever see him I’m gonna shut him up.

    • cardswin519 - Sep 13, 2013 at 8:41 PM

      This is one of the dumbest and worst comments I’ve ever read on this site. Kill yourself.

      • jimeejohnson - Sep 14, 2013 at 12:29 PM

        The Indian way: slowly.

  8. badintent - Sep 14, 2013 at 1:08 AM

    Kurt , 3 stories on Doc and his world. Slow day , eh ? At least run some Laker Girls video to spice up Doc on his soap box stories.. Please.Or Clipper Girls, with Billy Crystal

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