Dennis and Callahan had a long interview with once and future Celtics coach Doc Rivers about his tenure in Boston, the future, and a host of other topics. You can get the audio here or on iTunes through Dennis and Callahan's feed. Some select quotes and thoughts:
On the length of the contract: "Danny brought it up to me, when he first brought it up to me I was surprised by it. When he first brought it up it was more years to start. He walked into my office and said 'Listen, I want you to be here with me for a long time.' […] I look at the situations in Utah and in San Antonio, and those are the most stable franchises [because the coach and GM are the same over time]."
More than five years? Wow. Danny <3s Doc something fierce. His last point is something I absolutely agree with — if you have the right guys, you should lock them in for the long term. He mentions it's easier to find the right guys for your system in the draft, trade, or free agency if you have a system in place. People always wonder how San Antonio, for instance, always seems to draft well. Well, isn't it possible that there's more to it — that they not only draft talent, but also develop it superbly? Would George Hill be any good if he were drafted by the Bobcats?
On leaving the Celtics for the Lakers next year (before signing the contract): "I had a big problem with that. Actually any other team, but especially them. I just couldn't do it. I told my agent that."
On the Big Three getting older: "We have to get them the right supporting cast. Even if their minutes are the same, and I hope they're not, we have to do things differently."
He specifically mentioned having shorter shifts for the older guys — potentially giving KG three approximately 5-minute stints on the court, with more frequent rest in between. It makes sense in terms of rejuvenating the guys…but it'll be an adjustment. Especially for a routine-oriented guy like Kevin (or Ray).
For more, including addressing Pierce off the bench, a Shaq return, and what happened to Big Baby, after the jump.
On Paul Pierce coming off the bench: "I'd think about bringing anybody off the bench. I think Danny was just using him as an example. Of the three I think he'd be the one that you wouldn't. If we get Jeff Green back, I can see a scenario where we do that."
It seems to me (note: Doc said nothing about this) that Ray would be the most likely off-the-bench guy. Paul's the captain, the last guy introduced — he's not going for it. KG needs to hop around the court banging his chest while "Welcome to the Jungle" plays, so that's out. Rondo…no. Ray would be points off the bench, and follow the Jason Terry/Manu Ginobili/Jamal Crawford kind of trend that seems to be proliferating. Only problem? Ray's game is based so much on precision and familiarity, with screens getting him to the right spot. Would that go as well with a mix of starters and bench guys?
On the Perk trade affecting the team: "It was more that not that the trust went away, but the know-how went away. The continuity went away. You had new guys playing different positions. You had a 4 guys who you reach back in the playbook 3 or 4 years and they all know it […] but there's a 5th guy who only knows what he knows since he's been there. Making that trade at the time that we made that trade…that made it tough for us."
Doc went on to say that the loss of Perk wasn't about his stats, and reiterated this point later in the interview. It sounds like he took more of an issue with it being mid-season. He also reinforced the "We played great with Shaq" and "We thought Shaq's injuries were very minor" points that we've heard a million times. Huge miscalculation by the brain trust. Speaking of…
On Shaq being done: "He's not said it definitively. We'll just wait and see. I would say yes, but I don't know."
I bet he's back. I think he wants another ring. Maybe a Roger Clemens-type deal where he plays half the year, but I bet he returns.
On 2012 being the final run for KG and Ray: "Yeah I think it is. I don't know that it's the final run for them as players, but as elite players. We're gonna try to preserve them as best we can."
Pretty frank words from Doc here. I can't believe he came out and said it, but I imagine they've discussed it privately, so this won't be viewed as a shot at them. And he's right. Most of us thought Ray would have started fading by now, and I don't know anyone who thought KG would be as good as he was this year. They can't keep it up forever.
On a more athletic front court: "There were many times (against Miami) where we just couldn't get the ball right in front of us. We couldn't get rebounds where we had inside position. Clearly, we have to be more athletic next year."
Welcome to Boston, DeAndre Jordan!
On Big Baby: "I thought scoring was way too important to him. Baby's never gonna be a great scorer in the league. He can score […] he has to be an energy player and take charges. I don't know that [he gained weight] but I think yes. [I would want him back] for the right price. We gotta get him back in the right frame of mind. Baby's a good basketball player and he can help us, but only if he plays the right way."
Doc was very diplomatic about Davis, perhaps because he thinks it's likely that Glen will return. I think it's more likely than not, specifically because Baby played himself out of a big contract. Too early to speculate — the CBA needs to be settled.
On attracting new players: "We wanted to make this a place free agents would want to come to."
Doc wouldn't talk Dwight Howard specifically, but I think this is as far as he could go. He agreed with Callahan that the players do pretty much choose their destination now, so it sounds like a wise philosophy.