An agreement eventually was signed by Ray, who was pressured by team president Danny Ainge to sign by a certain date (without getting lawyers involved) or forget it. Ray, the 1974-75 champion Warriors' starting center, received $100,000 to go away quietly, enough to keep him and his family (including a 13-year-old son) going for a year or so.
Additionally, the Celtics approved medical attention for Ray, specifically for an MRSA infection he contracted in his foot several years ago while working (hence, the boot he wore so long) in Boston's contaminated practice facility; Paul Pierce and Delonte West also got sick.
Had Ray not been in Minnesota last summer and gone, at the urging of his girlfriend, to the Mayo Clinic, doctors told him he was within days of having his foot amputated. Rivers told Boston reporters he had no room in back of the bench for Ray because newly hired first assistant Lawrence Frank's deal allowed him to enlist a friend.
True enough. But the real reason Ray wasn't invited back is because Rivers didn't think he was healthy enough to get out on the floor and coach. Like the infection was Ray's fault. Like Rivers didn't know Ray was ailing for years. Like he couldn't have reached that conclusion last June so that Ray would've had ample time to find work elsewhere.
Call me cold-hearted, but if Peter Vecsey is right (and that's a gigantic IF), I don't have a problem with the Celtics terminating Clifford Ray.
If the foot was limiting his ability to coach effectively, then the team was well within its rights to move in another direction.
One could interpret the team's offer of $100,000 as a generous parting gift, especially when coaches are fired and hired at the drop of a hat.
I feel for Clifford Ray, but I don't think Vecsey's portrayal of the Celtics is a fair one.