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Doc Rivers has strong emotions for KG, Pierce and the guys he quit on

Chuck - Red's Army December 10, 2013 Celtics News, Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce 28 Comments

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ESPN Boston’s Jackie MacMullan spoke with Doc Rivers about his upcoming return to Boston. He shared his thoughts on KG and Paul Pierce:

“I was watching the Nets the other night and Kevin [Garnett] collided with someone and fell,” Doc Rivers reported. “My heart kind of skipped a beat. I was thinking, ‘Oh no. Is he hurt?’ Before, I’d be yelling at him to get up.”

Garnett and Paul Pierce are toiling in Brooklyn for a hugely disappointing Nets team that has been underwhelming under new coach Jason Kidd.

“My heart breaks for them,” Rivers said. “It’s not what was supposed to happen. It’s just so strange. It’s amazing how much I watch them.

“I just wanted them to do well. That’s all. When I watch them now it’s like I’m rooting for [daughter] Callie or [sons] Jeremiah and Austin.”

I’m with Doc on this one. It kills me to see KG and Paul Pierce struggling in Brooklyn. The report about Pierce losing his passion for the game damn near broke my heart.

Rivers also spoke about some of former players still wearing green:

He does not know Celtics coach Brad Stevens, but appreciates what he’s accomplished in this young season. Rivers has kept in touch with Jeff Green and receives intermittent text messages from Rajon Rondo, Boston’s mercurial point guard with whom the coach often clashed. Rivers said their relationship today is probably as “strong as it’s ever been.”

“I keep up with some of the guys,” Rivers said. “It’s been so great to watch Brandon Bass, who came in not really known as a defender, and now is thriving in that role. And I love watching Avery [Bradley] grow. I still say he’s 1 or 2 on the list of the best in terms of pressuring the ball. Jeff Green will always be someone I admire, for everything he went through.

“There’s not as many guys there anymore. Each year, it’s less and less. Things change, and people move on, but I still have a strong emotional attachment there.

“It was the longest place I’ve been in my pro career, either as a player or a coach.”

“The Celtics will never leave me. I will carry that with me the rest of my career.”

I’ve been very clear with my opinion on Doc’s situation. While he’s entitled to seek employment anywhere his heart desires, I feel like he quit on this team.

Will I hold it against him for eternity? Probably not.

Would I boo him on Wednesday night? Probably.

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  • Jacquard Causeway

    Yeah, he can say his “heart breaks” all he wants, but he doesn’t really have any leg to stand on. He jumped ship.

  • Curt Hays

    I agree with you, Chuck. I feel like he quit on this team. However, I feel like he did Boston a favor by freeing the way for Danny to recruit Brad.

    • bill_nair

      Imagine if another team got Brad? We really got lucky with the timing of things.

      • Curt Hays

        Scary thought

  • MatthewWilding

    Don’t boo the guy. That’s just classless. The guy won a title here and now he’s giving the Lakers hell. We’re doing fine. He’s your ex-girlfriend, sure. But you’ve got a pretty new girlfriend and your ex’s new dude is kind of nice.

    • bill_nair

      I wouldn’t say its classless. Its sports. If you don’t like an opposing player or team you boo them. Plain and simple. He doesn’t deserve tomatoes and beers thrown at him, but I dont think he deserves the praise some are willing to give him. At least not right now. Hes got atleast 10 more games over the next 5 years in boston. He will get his due praise.

      • Rich Jensen

        Mmmmm. Tomatoes and beer…………

    • Chuck Da buck

      Doc underachieved while here to win only one title with that group is not good enough and it was mostly his fault.

      • MatthewWilding

        Then you should be cheering him for leaving.

        Also, if you were watching, you might remember KG was out in 09, and 10 was lost because of a total inability to stop Gasol after Perk went down. 11 and 12 were against an almost unstoppable Heat team which they almost stopped in 12 anyways, and in 2013, Truth and KG just couldn’t do it on their own.

        • Chuck Da buck

          I actually think the refs screwed us in a few especially game six or seven against the lakers I think they shot twenty free throws in the fourth quarter one of those games. But he did nderachieve over the past few years he could barely get them over 500. Against the heat in the playoffs I believe we shoulda won that series the refs screwed us when rondo scored 44 but i thought doc shoulda crashed the offensive glass more. I think that was a great opportunity to win another title especially having two chances to knock out the heat.

          • MatthewWilding

            So you think the refs screwed us out of a title and a shot at another one, but Doc under achieved because on the way there he didn’t win 70 games in the regular season?

          • Chuck Da buck

            I just didnt like his philosophies on certain things especially not allowing players to go for off. Rebounds. I believe that is one of rondos best skills and once he gets healthy I think you will see how much doc held him back. Rondo will have MVP like numbers under Stevens. if he was coaching this team the would hve three wins. He was a good coach because his teams had three hall o famers without them he’s a very average coach.

  • bill_nair

    Will I hold it against him for eternity? Yup. I never let go of grudges (not a good trait to have). He quit on us. When he signed that extension a year or 2 ago all he talked about was how he was ready for the rebuild. Now the time comes and all of a sudden he realizes he bit of more than he can chew. I will be thoroughly upset if they praise doc after how fans treated ray. At least Ray wasn’t under contract when he went to the heat.

  • KGino

    The way he left was way too messy for me… For that he gets booed. In the long run of things I will forgive as well… But he turned the Celtics into a circus for a week or two, and that’s completely unacceptable.

  • Jester00

    I will never forgive him for dressing Sheldon Williams in Game 6 the last we lost to the Lakers. not a good coach sorry

    • Curt Hays

      Amen to that. Rotation/substitution is arguably his biggest weaknes.

  • 84_and_7

    Doc did us a favor by leaving. New blood, new culture and everything pointing towards roses. The future is good!

    • Luke Walton

      Doc did us a favor by leaving.

      He did, and what I think really happened was danny told doc he wanted to go in a different direction, and doc just won’t come out and say so. Doc isn’t a rebuilder. Danny knew this. I believe doc does too.

  • CFH

    A few months ago I would have booed Doc’s introduction.

    A few weeks ago I would have sat quietly.

    Now I would cheer.

    With Brad Stevens rolling the way he is, I’m happy not to dwell on anything about Doc other than the memories of him hoarsely screaming “TOGETHER, TOGETHER, TOGETHER!” and getting Gatorade dumped on his head.

    Doc’s annual song and dance about “maybe I want to leave, I’ll have to think about it” followed by finally signing a long term contract followed by acting shocked by the prospect of a rebuild was obnoxious and tiresome. But it doesn’t overwhelm what he gave us, both as a coach and by having the self-awareness to realize that he couldn’t give the C’s his best any more.

    Yeah, I’d cheer Doc. I’d also chant “Brad is bet-ter!”

    • bill_nair

      In hindsight I prefer his “i want to leave, OK ill stay” rather than sign a long term contract when he still felt the same way. Ya I agree it got tiresome and I preferred knowing Doc was here (which is why i was ecstatic about the deal) but if he was so uneasy about being here season after season he should’ve never signed. Especially when things were going to get worse before better. You can also say Danny should have never gave him more than a 2 year deal.

      • CFH

        He definitely never should have signed. I’m just feeling mellow (thanks to all the pleasant surprises this season) and giving him a free pass for not realizing where he was mentally until it was too late.

        Besides, he’s with the Clippers. Who can hate on the Clippers? They’re 3000 miles away and will probably screw up the good they’ve got.

  • Kahnstantine

    I wouldn’t boo him. Think of it this way: if he hadn’t signed that contract, we wouldn’t have gotten the compensatory draft pick. Kudos to DA and Doc for helping the Celtics long-term goals while “helping themselves.”

    Also, we won with Doc, and just when his style seemed to stop working/start frustrating, we got a giant breath of fresh air in the form of Brad Stevens, a coach that could have a legendary career.

    We have it too good to act like ingrates. Let’s cheer Doc, even if it doesn’t feel perfect.

  • Luke Walton

    f doc

  • Luke Walton

    having said that, i’ll take brad stevens and this roster every day of the week over doc rivers and last year’s roster. all the picks, and attractive chips are just icing

  • Frank Aziza

    I bet he’s gonna regret leaving. He’s gonna see the celtics rebuild much quicker then he anticipated.
    Doc doesn’t look to well right now…. He had Crawford on his roster but went with Bradley at the point guard. He even tried Terrance Williams over Crawford in the playoffs. He had two months to discover JC or bring out the best in him like Stevens is doing.

    • Chuck Da buck

      I think terrence Williams would still be a good point guard but doc did play him at the end but not enough imagine what brad Stevens could do for twill s career the kid has a very high ceiling if he had a coach that believed in him he could be a star. 6 6 220 athletic can pass dribble defend three positions finish at the rim and has a better shot than he gets credit for. I woulda loved to see Stevens work his magic on him.

  • TheRuggedMale.com

    Doc didnt quit on anyone, wondering what your news sources are? Ainge said he was rebuilding, ask Doc to come along, Doc didnt want to do that again.. can you blame him?. Doc was one bad Rondo quarter from taking us to 3 Finals. We lost a Hall Of Fame coach and were Lucky to have Brad Stevens ?!?!? There are only 4 active coaches that have won a championship .. lets wait before we crown him as successor. Celtics take Brooklyn tonight .. then lose to Doc tomorrow. Stay classy Boston, Standing-O when Doc is introduced .. he more than deserves it.

    • dk

      Agree–I would cheer him. While I wasn’t happy at the way it played out and think Doc’s attempts to appease all sides made him look worse–I don’t blame him for signing the long term deal. Think about this in terms of business sense. If you are offered guaranteed money you’d take the deal now and worry about the future part of rebuilding later. I think most of us would do the same. Eliminate the uncertainty and additional negotiations and agent fees etc.