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.
But the players? Courtney Lee and Jason Terry came to Boston in large part because of Rivers’ recruitment last summer; Jeff Green cited his bond with Rivers as a big reason he inked a long-term deal with the Celtics after heart surgery. Rivers would have to regain their trust.
And how do Rajon Rondo and Paul Pierce feel about all this?
It’s not unfathomable that if Rivers returns, it will add a layer of difficulty to an offseason that already has no easy answers. And even if Rivers does come back, Boston still has to pick a direction to pursue. Running it back with Garnett and the veterans might make it easier to drown out any backlash (though Garnett’s got some explaining to do, too), but a rebuild with a coach not 100 percent committed to that process is a bit more daunting.
If the Celtics cannot get what they believe is proper compensation for him, they would have no problem welcoming Rivers back for his 10th season here. In fact, that’s been the club’s hope and expectation all along.
But one has to wonder how strange it might be and what effect it would have on his communication with the players if Rivers is back after expressing at the very least a willingness to coach elsewhere.
In this culture of zombies everywhere, I don’t believe the Doc-to-LA talks are dead until someone puts a bullet into its head by announcing something publicly. The sources that have told this story all say that talks have stalled, and the Clippers have resumed interviewing coaches. But that could simply be LA’s way of telling Danny “see…. we’re serious here… we’re going to do this if you don’t forget about Bledsoe.”
But let’s pretend, for the sake of argument, that the talks are, in fact dead. Let’s say the Clippers announce Lionel Hollins as their coach. What happens to Boston?
I spent two hours talking about that very thing last night on Celtics Stuff Live, but after sleeping on it, I’ve come to a realization.
Maybe Doc can’t come back.
The Celtics have said that they’d welcome him back with open arms. And the money line in yesterday’s dump was this:
Rivers is not demanding to leave Boston, he has just been thinking about the possibility because last season took a toll
So it’s easy to think that he can explain it all away like some cheating husband on a business trip… “it was brief dalliance with a partner that was thrust upon him out of nowhere on the west coast. It meant nothing.”
That’s one way to look at it. After 9 years in a relationship, the team isn’t as pretty as it used to be. Now here comes this beautiful, lob-throwing, CP3 having bombshell that says it wants you… it’s hard to say no to that.
But now Doc’s ass out, caught with his pants around his ankles like he’s Don Draper. And we’re left with a decision to make….
If he wants back in, do we forgive him? Do the players? Does management? Can those Doc made the commitment to forgive his fling with the Clippers?
Doc was supposed to be a couple of things for the Celtics:
1: The guy who got everyone on the same page, regardless of ego. He did it by invoking “ubuntu,” and African philosophy of togetherness through shared sacrifice. It’s an ego-free zone. It requires total commitment to the cause. You have to wonder now if some of these guys can look at Doc, listen to his words, and wonder if he believes in those things anymore.
Doc uses the word “trust” a lot. He wants guys to trust each other on the floor. Will they be able to trust that he’ll be here for them beyond another year if he comes back?
2: He was supposedly a free agent draw.
Yes, the weather is shitty in Boston. Yes, the nightlife and it’s 1:30 am last call doesn’t compare to New York, Miami, or LA. But we’ve got Doc, and Doc’s one of the best. If you want to play for a big-time franchise, a big-time coach, and have a chance to do big-time things… you have to come to Boston.
How many free agents will believe that now?
It’s hard not to see this as the moment when one of the Spartans broke free of the formation in 300. It was the togetherness that kept them in the fight in the face of overwhelming odds. Once that started falling apart, the whole thing went downhill.
Of course, it’s certainly possible that trust can be regained. Spouses find out about that business-trip-fling and then forgive. Marriages have been known to withstand breaches of trust. But it involves a major commitment from both sides. It involves some blind faith. And it involves time.
This is all way too fresh… and it still might not be over. I just wonder if Doc can come back to Boston when it’s all said and done.
The rest of the links:
CSNNE: Source: Doc could leave C’s for broadcast booth | WEEI: Draft’s potential Celtics: Greek SF Giannis Adetokunbo | Globe: Celtics draft prospect profile: Cody Zeller | Clippers talks remain at an impasse | Timing wasn’t right for Reggie Miller & Celtics | Teams place big bets on older players