That speculation about Doc Rivers leaving town? Well, it just got a little bit more interesting. According to a report from our friend Jackie MacMullan at ESPNBoston.com Rivers is being chased on the open market, despite being still under contract with the Boston Celtics. The suitor? A team probably willing to pay through the nose for him…..the Brooklyn Nets.
In fact, team and league sources confirmed to ESPNBoston.com that Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge was contacted by the Brooklyn Nets, who wanted to speak to Rivers about their vacant coaching position. Ainge, according to those sources, denied the Nets permission to talk with his coach, who has three years and $21 million remaining on his contract.
Reached late Thursday, Ainge refused to comment on the Nets’ interest in Rivers and reiterated that he expects him back on the Celtics’ bench next season.
“Doc has told me he’s coming back,” Ainge said bluntly. “I talk to him almost every day about our team and what we are going to do moving forward.”
In a news packed story by MacMullan, there is also another revelation about a job opportunity Doc had last summer.
Last season, the Orlando Magic offered Rivers the job of team president, which would have entailed everything from schmoozing with corporate sponsors to running the front office. Though he had previously insisted he had “little to no interest” in running a franchise, the financial windfall and unilateral power that would come with such a position (not to mention the proximity to his home base) gave him some brief pause. Ultimately, Rivers rebuffed the Magic and determined he wasn’t done coaching.
As MacMullan explains in the full piece (a must-read) Doc is back in town and appears to be back in action for next season. Until we hear the official confirmation from him though, we are left to wonder if there is more to the situation. More on the story as it develops….