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Doc Rivers admits he ‘didn’t want to go through a rebuild’ with Celtics

Sep 29, 2013, 3:30 PM EST

Doc Rivers AP

The separation between Doc Rivers and the Celtics was anything but a clean break.

The back-and-forth about an on-again, off-again deal that would land Boston some compensation for letting him out of his contract to join the Clippers dragged on publicly for far too long, before Rivers eventually landed in Los Angeles, albeit with sore feelings on both sides.

Now that the dust has settled and the season is upon us, Rivers has come clean and admitted what we all believed to be the case: that he had no desire, and perhaps no intention of remaining in Boston to head up the rebuilding effort as previously promised.

From Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:

“It dragged out to a point where there were bound to be hurt feelings,” Rivers said. “The truth was this: I really didn’t want to go through a rebuild. I’ve been through three – when I first got to Orlando, and then when Grant Hill went down again. And I had been through one in Boston. It’s easy to say, ‘Just do it,’ but for a coach, it’s brutal. Showing up, getting your ass kicked, it’s brutal.”

“It takes a lot out of you. At the end of the year, when we lost, I had full intentions of doing it. The more I kept thinking about it, I knew it wasn’t in me again. At least not there again.

“But when the deal first fell apart, I told [Celtics president of basketball operations] Danny [Ainge], ‘I’ll coach again here, I’ll come back.’ And then, a day later, I told him: I don’t know if I can. That’s how wishy-washy I was. But when I said that, Danny said, “OK, let me get back to work and get this thing done.'”

What bothers Celtics fans about all of this is that Rivers knew a rebuild was on the horizon when he signed his five-year contract extension back in May of 2011.

It was obvious then that he had only two or three more years with his veteran core before the franchise would have to make changes, and while the nuclear option was something he probably didn’t see coming this quickly, Rivers had to know that the last couple of years on his deal would involve coaching a team that was no longer positioned to contend for a title.

  1. wheels579 - Sep 29, 2013 at 3:46 PM

    What bothers Celtics fans is Doc keeps talking about this and can’t keep his story straight. Doc earned that contract. No objective fan could expect the core to last that long. The Celtics also got compensation for Doc to leave, so it worked out fairly well with all things considered. He deserves a standing ovation if/when he returns to the TD Garden just like KG & Pierce. Now he needs to move on and stop talking about this in the press. He owes that to the Clippers.

    • antistratfordian - Sep 29, 2013 at 5:42 PM

      “What bothers Celtics fans is Doc keeps talking about this and can’t keep his story straight.”

      That’s funny. I accused Doc of this during the Ray Allen saga and Celtics fans jumped all over me for it. Now they see what I was talking about. I’ve learned that at least 1/2 of the time Doc is just flat out BSing.

      • kb2408 - Sep 29, 2013 at 9:23 PM

        Maybe they jumped all over you because nobody likes a “know it all.”

      • antistratfordian - Sep 29, 2013 at 10:10 PM

        If that really was the case you wouldn’t be a Kobe Bryant fan.

        But no, that wasn’t it. They were just defensive. And today my attackers are taking the same stance that I had then. That happens a lot actually.

      • kb2408 - Sep 29, 2013 at 10:34 PM

        Hmm…I don’t follow you. But maybe it’s just me.

      • antistratfordian - Sep 29, 2013 at 10:43 PM

        No, you follow me.

      • badintent - Sep 29, 2013 at 10:45 PM

        I’m convinced that Brett and Kurt are on Doc’s payroll. Why else would this reality show crap show up on PBT ? Is this disinformation to throw the NSA off ?

      • kb2408 - Sep 29, 2013 at 10:55 PM

        Actually I don’t. What does me being a Kobe/LAKERS fan have to do with anything? I’m confused.

      • antistratfordian - Sep 29, 2013 at 11:50 PM

        A Kobe Bryant fan saying “nobody likes a ‘know it all'” – oh the irony!

        (You’re a huge fan of one, guy)

    • lphboston - Sep 29, 2013 at 9:56 PM

      Rivers signed a 5-year deal when he knew that Pierce and Garnett had only a few left in their legs. He was happy to take the money.

  2. floriosbigtoe - Sep 29, 2013 at 5:15 PM

    Screw Rivers. Coaches are supposed to coach. If you don’t want to coach, just retire.

    • cmehustle - Oct 1, 2013 at 6:47 AM

      Lol! Wow I love that bottom line mindstate.

  3. eureca323 - Sep 29, 2013 at 5:44 PM

    I find it funny that this is made to be such a big story. Owners fire coaches all the time. Trade players all the time. Hell the Celtics traded Paul Pierce and KG during this time. Teams get to have no loyalty what so ever when a coach decides he rather not be part of a rebuild. When that happens oh my god what a douche he is.

  4. pastabelly - Sep 29, 2013 at 7:53 PM

    He called Ainge a liar for saying this sme thing months ago. I love Doc, but he should apologize to Ainge.

  5. kb2408 - Sep 29, 2013 at 9:26 PM

    River’s knew the last time the C’s rebuilt they went two decades between titles. Yeah, he kinda jumped ship but can you blame him? The ship was sinking.

  6. kingbeason52 - Sep 29, 2013 at 9:30 PM

    The problem is that he signed a contract with an “all in” mentality ..it was not a young team..and when Boston split up he jumped ship like a coward..does any coach want to deal with a rebuilding experience? Probably not..He only wanted to be around for the glory years..not man enough to face adversity..and he is a dbag just like his son

    • kb2408 - Sep 29, 2013 at 9:38 PM

      Wow…. harsh.

  7. ProBasketballPundit - Sep 29, 2013 at 11:14 PM

    Finally, the truth! The only thing Rivers hasn’t fessed up to is that he requested a trade to the Clippers first. He basically implied that here, but come out and say it and apologize for all the lying.

  8. hogmany2k - Sep 30, 2013 at 3:01 AM

    It’s obvious from all the comments that doc is a real scumbag for signing a new long term contract knowing full well that he had one last chance to win it all, however my sources tell me that doc and Angie had a gentlemans agreement that was something like… Listen doc sign the contract extension and if things work out we are all good but if not then I’ll let you out of it if you find something that you really want, my way of saying thanks for turning this franchise into a winner with class. By the way my source is a Latino named Camon Sense

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