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Broussard: Doc Rivers May Think “It’s Time for A Change” As C’s Head Coach

It’s been 40 days and counting now since Doc Rivers has commented on the record about his coaching status next season with the Boston Celtics. That length of time speaks volumes about the mixed feelings Doc is likely having about returning to the bench, and now the whispers are becoming louder that Rivers may be wary of returning as head coach next season:


CH’s Take: Unfortunately, there is plenty smoke here when it comes to Doc’s status and other ESPN Insiders like Stephen A. Smith have been on top of this story from the start, meaning the sources they are talking to in this case are probably relatively reliable. Now this is a stretch from saying Doc is gone entirely, but the timetable here is incredibly important.

Here’s what I wrote in my piece from Monday on the situation:

From this point forward, with the obvious exception of Doc announcing he is coming back, the longer Rivers takes to make a decision is probably a good sign for C’s fans. Why?

Unless there is a lot more bad blood than we are hearing about, Rivers is not going to leave Ainge in an impossible situation for next season where he is scrambling for a head coach at the start of the draft/free agency period. The Celtics’ ownership knows it’s always been a year-to-year thing with Doc and gave him the benefit of an extra security with the 5-year deal after the 2011 season. They know he likes to take his time making his decisions.

With that said, Rivers informing the team of a decision more than a month after the season ends, seems a bit unfair and unreasonable, two things that Doc isn’t known for. He’s had more than ample time now to think things over. You know what burnt out coaches don’t do? Attend draft workouts for players 1,000 miles away from home for teams they don’t intend on coaching. That’s something to feel good about if you’re a Celtics fan who wants Doc back.

Furthermore, the coaching free agent market is drying up as we speak. There’s no obvious in-house candidate to take the reigns if Doc steps down, unless Ainge wants to return to the sidelines himself. That proposition seems unlikely. A contingency plan may be in place, but it can’t be ideal for the franchise.

Now, the fact we are hearing Rivers may be ducking out just two days later does not bode well in the timetable department. If he’s going to step down, it probably needs to be in the next few days so Ainge at least has a coach in place when he drafts and hits free agency. Rivers owes the C’s at least that much.

I’m still not fully convinced it’s going to happen, but if he’s out, the move will be made soon.

Stay tuned.


  • Jeff

    Wondering if the waiting has to do with Doc telling Danny if you do "A" (dump Pierce and Garnett) I'm out, or "B" (Run it back) I'm in – and Danny hasn't made up his mind yet…

  • Anthony

    Would the Celts be compensated if Doc is allowed to coach the Clippers next season? Would that mean a higher likelihood of Pierce and/or KG also going to the Clips?

    Anyone else enjoyed the Miami beatdown last nite? Without sounding too bitter, I really hope Miami lose the series and Ray can realize how stupid and selfish he was to leave the Celts. (**fingers crossed…Go Spurs!!)

    • The Cardinal

      I would love to see Miami beaten, but why knock Ray? "Stupid" and "selfish?" Naw man, the cat took half the salary offered by the C's to play with the defending champs to increase his odds of getting another ring or two, and when you are 200 years old in NBA years, I can't argue with that.

      Besides, if Ray had remained in Boston, then we would have gone through the annual "should we trade Ray for <insert the name> at last season's trading deadline and/or right now. I can't blame him for wanting no part of this continuing circus (just look at the Pierce situation right now and tell me that's not a bummer for any player, but especially one who is a future HOF'er).

      Someone like Jermaine O'Neal who didn't have the timely surgery in order to be available to help the team in crunch time? Hell yeah…hate the hell out of him! But somebody like Ray who was nothing but a model professional during his time with the C's? Uh uh…can't, won't do it – there are too many real jackasses to hate on!!!

      • Anthony

        I suppose you're right. There are plenty others to hate on besides Ray. He was one of my favorites players since UConn days but it still sucked to see him hitting dagger 3s against the Pacers.

        As far as JO goes, I was on record as saying the Celts would be better when he was done for the season.

        Wonder what the sentiments would be for Doc if he jumps ship and goes to the Clippers.

        • The Cardinal

          Oooh man, I hadn't even thought that far ahead. If Doc is anything like his public persona suggests, I would hope that if he left Boston right now, it would not be to coach another team but to recharge himself for a year or so.

          Everyone speaks highly of him personally, so you'd have to think that he would feel the honorable thing to do would be to sit this one out if he decided not to return. If he didn't, I would probably hate on him the way Utah and Dallas fans hate on Derek Fisher (and rightly so) because in both instances, they both would have had existing contracts that they were released from vs. the free agent status that Ray had.

    • GymRat

      Have to agree with the Cardinal. And honestly, in watching him in the post season, his leaving was a blessing. His D is terrible. He's regularly blown by and getting limited minutes because he can't keep dribblers in front of him. He's still a helluva shooter, but he's good (in games he gets real minutes) for at least one of those "oh crap he's putting the ball on the floor" moments where he gets a charge or throws up a forced garbage shot in traffic that all the Celts fans used to cringe over.

      He's a much better fit in Miami though Mike Miller is proving to be a much better clutch shooter (does that guy ever miss…seriously he's shooting lie 90% over the past two finals series with over 20 makes).

  • Leo

    Yeah. Loved the game last night. Keep hoping they will finally ban Lebron for steroid use, cause you know he is juicing. A women from the Miami clinic where the baseball guys were getting their stuff has recently said JL's agent was on the list there. HGH testing in the NBA is supposed to start in '14.

    I love Doc. Wish him the best. He looks tired. Time to enjoy the family and do some fun tv spots imho.

  • Ryan

    Consider the source. Broussard is not going to break this story. In fact, there's nothing 'new' in this latest report, he's just reporting what's already out there, that Doc is mulling his future.

  • Oldutican

    Maybe Smith was on to something (but of course maybe not.) Doc and KG to Clips. Buyout Pierce and let Clips sign him for $10M. Get Bledsoe, Jordan and Clips #1 in return. Trade Bledsoe and Melo to Jazz for Kanter. Trade Jordan for what you can get. (Maybe one of Hawks #1's). Also try to move Jet, Bass and /or Lee. Maybe Lee to Memphis for Ed Davis.

  • OlSkool1972

    This is just another ESPN PR Flunkie trying to stir up rumors about a prominent NBA Player or Coach going to the NY or LA markets. If they had their way every star in the league would be on the Knicks, Nets, Lakers, or Clippers. Miami is also in that mix but only because Lebron is there. ESPN is mainly just about Entertainment now with actual Sports being pushed to the background.

  • emg

    Doc will stay if Garnett stays, that's all. he doesn't need pierce.

  • cos33

    Touching on the Free Agency aspect of this…

    Isn't some of the damage already done? Why would a quality Free Agent that wants to come to Boston to play for Doc (that is supposed to be a positive right) believe Doc when he's asked if he's staying for the long term?

    I do hope he stays, but I hope even more that when he says so, he says it while stating that he firmly intends to stay and hasn't spoken to any media personality of his intentions and everything that was in the papers were rumors not from him, the organization, or people close to him.

  • james patrick

    It's time for Ainge to comment to KG and Pierce so Doc returns and we can put all this to rest!

  • CG12

    Broussard sucks and is regularly wrong about stuff like this. Screw him. That doesn't mean Broussard is wrong, but I will believe Doc is leaving when Doc says he is leaving.

  • CelticsBIG3

    Chris Broussard is a lying dirtbag piece of horsedung. Case closed. Nothing else need be said here.

    • GymRat

      Don't forget homophobic and anti-Gay rights.

  • Morpheus

    I smell BS. Doc would never say something like that about the Celtics. If anything he would come out straight and say "i'm taking my talents to LA". But in all seriousness, Doc wouldn't leave based on "it's time for a change", he would leave and only leave, because Danny trades Pierce.

  • Jim

    I say if Doc is burnt out let him go to the front office for a while. I like the idea of maybe bringing Lawrence Frank back to coach the team. He was thrown under the bus in Detroit. He is a young guy who could get us through the rebuilding period..
    No matter what Danny Ainge does this year,people will not be happy. I hope he thinks for the long run. Getting stop gap players like Rasheed Wallace, Jermaine Oneal, Jason Terry and the rest has not worked at all..

  • hax

    Pierce is even traded or bought out by late june causing a domino effect beginning the celtics rebuilding phase; or they pick up his contract and everything comes back, leaving Danny to make high value additions to make it a contending team.

  • old knees54

    Maybe Doc thinks the players are tuning him out and the C's need a fresh perspective. Popavich seems to be able to get beyond this however. He is probably burnt out by all the years of injuries. There has been a lot of bonding over the years and a lot of emotion. This could also all be about negotiation with Ainge. Fun huh?

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