So that’s it. After all the madness of the past couple of days, a deal with the Clippers to send Doc and KG out west is dead.
But the Celtics interest in Doc is not.
Danny Ainge tells @BostonGlobe the Celtics wants Doc Rivers back as their head coach: “He has been told that all along.”
— Baxter Holmes (@BaxterHolmes) June 18, 2013
This might simply be a case of Danny saying “hey, I’ve got a great coach here and no matter what, I know that if he’s coaching here, he’ll do his best job.” It could also be Danny telling the league “Hey, I’ve got a great coach here, and I’m not letting him go without something in return.”
Doc, however, may not be so into the return.
This Clippers play was a gamble for Rivers, who has jeopardized his immense popularity in Boston with the bid to be part of a bold deal to go to Los Angeles with Garnett.
Rivers pushed for the Clippers partnership because of his desire to bypass a rebuilding process with Boston. As one source tied to Boston ownership and Rivers said, “You don’t just move on from this and act like nothing happened.”
Rivers has TV broadcast options available to him if he steps away from coaching, but he won’t be able to work in the NBA again without the Celtics releasing him from his contract. Boston will demand compensation out of any team trying to hire Rivers in management or coaching.
I asked the question of whether Doc could return at this point in yesterday’s dump. There are definitely fences to mend, but if he wants to come back, I’ve laid out a path to make that happen. But it won’t be easy. That’s a lot of toothpaste that needs to get back into the tube. There’s no way to get it back in there just like it used to be, but you can salvage a bunch if it if you’re patient and willing to get your hands dirty.
Who know if Doc wants back in at this point. Who knows how the players will react. And honestly, who knows if this deal truly is dead. Hopefully in the next few days, we can figure out what the future will bring, and who’ll be leading the Celtics there.