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.
Some two hours later, Rivers settled behind a makeshift podium in the Celtics’ media room and the mere mention of the video tribute left him wobbly again.
“I’m still emotional,” Rivers said. “I thought the fans were …”
He breathed deep and paused for eight seconds trying to compose himself. Even when he started back up, he was fighting to keep it together.
“It was just a really nice day,” Rivers said. “This is just such a classy place here. So it was really nice when I walked out and, you know, I’m not used to walking out on that [visitor’s] side, and all those guys, the people, they lined up and I was basically useless for the first 18 minutes of the game.
“It was just nice. It didn’t surprise me because — you’ve got to live here to understand it — that’s just the way they are. It’s an amazing fan base. It really is. And I just want everything to go well for them.”
A reporter playfully asked if it was too late to change his mind about leaving town.
“I tell you, boy, this is such a neat place,” Rivers gushed. “I tell people all the time — people don’t get Boston, they really don’t. They don’t understand. And I think you have to be part of it to get it, I really do. I don’t think you can get it from the outside. It’s just a special, different place, and people were born here, and raised here, and they cheer for their teams, and they love their athletes. And it’s just a great place to be.
“The best decision I ever made was 10 years ago, when I decided to come here. That was the best decision I ever made.”
If I was at last night’s game, I would have been among the 10-15 people who booed Doc Rivers during his introduction. I also would have been among the 17,587 who cheered during Doc’s video tribute at the end of the 1st quarter.
I didn’t like the way Doc left town. Call me naive, but I bought all the “Celtic for life” talk he spewed upon signing the 5 year contract extension. I also didn’t like the way he framed his departure.
But I’ve moved on.
Hearing Doc talk about this team and this city makes it hard to hate him. Maybe I’m falling for his BS all over again, or maybe I’m accepting the fact he wasn’t the right guy for this job.
I heard a surprisingly cogent point this morning on WEEI: Doc is too emotional, too impatient a guy for this rebuild. Does anyone think Jordan Crawford would be playing this well under Doc?
Meanwhile, after two short months we’ve learned that Brad Stevens’ stoic nature is perfect for our situation. Never too high, never too low, he’s just plugging away with the mentality of a bricklayer who’s rebuilding the Great Wall of China.
Good luck, Doc.
Related links: Herald – Happy return for Doc | Green, Sully not caught up in emotion | Globe – Celtics fans show Doc the love | Rivers outlines reasons for leaving | ESPN Boston – Stevens respectful of Rivers road | CSNNE – Clippers wanted this one for their coach | Video tribute draws standing O |
On Page 2, Jeff Green is quietly improving his game
Green has averaged 20 points in his last 12 games, embracing his role as the team’s primary scorer. He took quick advantage of his matchup Wednesday night against undersized Jared Dudley, the former Boston College standout who stood little chance stopping the 6-foot-9-inch Green.
“What he has become is a dual player,” Rivers said. “I remember the first year, I thought we messed him up. I kept saying that, trying to put him back and forth at [power forward], at [small forward]. In retrospect, we should have started him either at [power forward] or [small forward] and let him grow into being able to do both. Now, he can do either. We were talking as a staff, now preparing for him, and we were trying to decide what was he better at. It’s really good to see him progress, starting to rebound finally. He’s just being consistent, and that’s important.”
I’m going to be hard on Jeff and say we need more. More shots and more free throws. His 4.9 FTA per game ranks 32nd in the league.
I do love the 41% 3FG.
Keep it up, Jeff.
The rest of the links: