Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
Buckle up kids… because Doc is totally going to the Clippers.
League sources told the Globe that the Los Angeles Clippers would consider Rivers their No. 1 choice if he were able to escape his contract.
And those sources also confirmed that Rivers has mutual interest in coaching the Clippers.
“If Doc is honest, his dream scenario is him coaching the Clippers with Kevin Garnett and a chance to win the championship,” a league source said.
Unless, of course, he’s not.
According to a source, Celtics president Danny Ainge denied a request from the Clippers to talk to Rivers earlier this week. As reported in today’s Herald, the Celtics coach is now said to be open to other coaching possibilities after initially saying he would either coach his team of the last nine years or take time off.
But Ainge has adamantly turned down all official outreach. He has now said no to two teams – the Nets and Clippers. A third team, Memphis, is also said to be interested in talking to Rivers, though that organization has not contacted Celtics management. … Rivers, who was in San Antonio earlier this week for meetings of the NBA’s competition committee, was unable to attend today’s pre-draft workouts in Waltham due to flight delays, though he reportedly put in every effort to be there.
Rivers had been present at virtually every workout prior to today.
The Celtics season ended on May 3. That’s when he said this:
Late on the evening of May 3, after the Celtics’ season had just ended in a playoff loss to the Knicks, Doc Rivers told reporters that he’d take some time to decompress before making a decision about whether to return for his 10th season as the team’s head coach.
“I’m coming back until I say I’m not,” he reiterated to a small group of media in the bowels of TD Garden.
I was cool with Doc taking some time off to decompress. Last season was a long, and honestly, shitty one to coach. Doc had to push every button he could find on some guys and it didn’t really work. The team struggled way more than it should have, and you could see the frustration on Doc’s face. And that was all before the injuries hit and Doc was forced to integrate a bunch of new players while tending to the old ones.
Now Paul Pierce might be gone. Kevin Garnett might be gone. And Doc is going to face a season where it’s just him and Rajon Rondo, who admitted he’s not the easiest guy to coach.
Meanwhile, Doc’s 51 now and he’s been coaching in the league for 14 years. That 38 year-old guy that took over the Magic all those years ago has watched his kids grow up from a distance to pursue this career, and is probably wondering where the eff all that time went.
So yea, I get why Doc needed some time to decompress. We all would in that situation. The problem is, no one wants to think about being in that situation. No one wants to flip it and say “how would I be in that situation?”
How would you be after 14 years in a super-high pressure job that, yes, pays you a shit-ton of money but doesn’t change the fact that you’ve had to basically steal time and live on plane for any chance to see your kids, your wife, or the goddam house on that awesome golf course that all that money is paying for? How would you be at 51 years old, having gone through a rebuild already, having gone through the high of a title, having watched Kevin Garnett go from the guy who could cross Pau Gasol over at the right elbow and finish with a dunk to the guy who is blocked on lay-up attempts and can’t play more than 5 minutes in a row? How would you be knowing the guy who pissed you off a decade ago but went from “malcontent who nearly got himself traded” to “Paul Pierce, unquestioned Celtics legend” is now very likely heading for his unceremonious exit?
It’s a lot.
It’s a goddamn lot. If you had to go through all that, and your boss said “hey, take a month or so… whatever you need… just be back for these meetings every once in a while,” wouldn’t you take it?
So Doc just said “give me some time to decompress.”
But ultimately, almost no one could.
Doc Rivers hasn’t said anything publicly. But he has barely missed any of the pre-draft workouts. He has been in Boston. He’s been in contact with the guys at Healthpoint who are rehabbing or getting their own workouts in. For all this talk about D0c’s “silence,” he’s hasn’t been absent.
But he hasn’t talked to the media.
GOOD LAWD HAVE MERCY!!!
The instant gratification of us knowing what Doc Rivers intentions are have taken over this story and pushed it down a road where “sources” are saying things that they believe are true… or might be true. We have no earthly idea who any of these sources are. They could be agents. They could be players. They could be Doc’s wife. They could be some dude in the Clippers organization that some local scribes have kept in touch with.
But we don’t know. And the longer the sources talk… the longer there is absolutely nothing else to talk about except what Doc Rivers isn’t talking about… the more angry people get with…… Doc.
Doc’s hand is now being forced. Instead of being the guy who told everyone “I’m coming back unless I say I’m not”… the guy who hasn’t left the Celtics at all and who has been present at just about everything he’s needed to be present for… Doc is going to have to face the cameras, recorders, and notepads before he had any intention facing them. Because until Doc says he’s staying or going, sources are going to do the talking for him, even though some of those sources may not have ever met him in person. And people like Chris Broussard and Stephen A. Smith are going to keep talking about it.
That’s the world we live in. People want it now. Like NOW. And to me, it sounds like this.
Doc’s the only one that can end this madness. If he stays, great. If he leaves, we’ll survive. Remember, he’s also the guy people wanted to fire in 2006.
What am I talking about? Some people wanted him gone 2 months ago.
Whatever happens, please don’t let THIS happen:
Now that the NBA’s prime coaching pool is shrinking by the day as Doc Rivers contemplates his Celtics future, Danny Ainge has no choice but to consider a backup plan if his coach of the last nine seasons leaves.
Two league sources with direct knowledge of the situation confirmed yesterday that if Rivers does indeed leave, former Clippers coach Vinnie Del Negro will receive serious consideration as his replacement.
No no no no no no no no no no. No. Just no.
The rest of the links:
Globe: Celtics draft prospect profile: Jamaal Franklin | CSNNE: Dickerson: Doc has the right to change his mind | Grande: It would change Doc’s legacy | Blakely on Doc to Clippers: I just don’t see it happening | ESPN Boston: Too loyal to leave? | WEEI: Report: Strong mutual interest between Doc Rivers, Clippers