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3-on-3: Exit Doc Rivers

 


As we await formal NBA approval for Doc Rivers‘ move to the Clippers, our panel weighs in on the impending reality that he’s coached his final game in Boston and speculates on who might replace him.

1. What is your reaction to the deal?

Brendan Jackson: All signs pointed to an impending Rivers departure so getting something for him is definitely a plus. Even if he did come back, the C’s would have had to convince him that they were contenders. Having Rivers pull a Rasheed Wallace and use half a season to get invested wouldn’t have been ideal.

Ryan DeGama: I’ve lobbied hard for a rebuild over the last six months so I’m relieved the Celtics aren’t content with another early round exit in the name of “loyalty.” I’m also thrilled Ainge extracted a first rounder for a guy who wasn’t fully onboard with rebuilding. At the same time, sentiment has kicked in. Doc is a terrific coach and a great guy. The team and the city will be less without him.

Michael Pina: 1. It’s a big win for the Celtics. Doc Rivers had a change of heart and no longer wanted to coach in Boston, that’s fine. It happens. For the team to get out from owing him $21 million on top of receiving an unprotected first round pick two years from now is amazing, and will kickstart a necessary renovation.

2. Does Rivers deserve any heat for opting out of the C’s rebuilding and the final three years of his contract?

Jackson: On the one hand, we tend to hate front runners in Boston (nice ring, Ray!). On the other hand, Rivers’ best coaching quality is personality management, which is not as necessary when you’re a non-contender. On the other hand, Doc laid the “I’m a Celtic” stuff on real thick.  On the other hand, I now have four hands!

DeGama: No. Here’s why: 1) The Celtics knew Doc was unlikely to fulfill his full contract when he resigned two years ago. 2) He killed himself for this team while he was here. 3) The Clipper deal was conceptualized by Danny Ainge. If you can rationalize these things with the idea Rivers “betrayed” the Celtics, then by all means, go ahead and do so. But I can’t.

Pina: Doc Rivers is a great basketball coach, and he’ll be missed. If there was no non-compete clause in his contract, allowing the Celtics to receive handsome compensation for his departure, then despite all the wonderful things he did for the city of Boston and its beloved professional basketball team, Rivers would deserve all the criticism in the world for wanting to leave when things got tough.

3. Who would you like to see as Boston’s next coach?

Jackson: A defensive minded guy who wants to build something here. Or a guy who is going to lose a bunch of games.  Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker are franchise alterers.

DeGama: I’m intrigued with Brian Shaw’s history as a player (something Ainge values in a head coach) and within multiple NBA systems (something that feels important given the roster could be reshaped a couple of times before the Celtics next play in the finals). I also love the fact that he’s not Vinny Del Negro. For these reasons, he’s my choice.

Pina: Vinny Del Negro! Just kidding. The Celtics are re-building, so big-name/high-priced coaches who recently tasted postseason basketball and want some more of it quickly probably won’t fit (think Lionel Hollins and George Karl). Two names to look out for are Indiana Pacers assistant Brian Shaw and Miami Heat assistant David Fizdale. Both would be first time head coaches looking to grow with their own group of young talent. They’d also be cheap, and more than familiar with the Eastern Conference’s current powerhouses.

  • jpbl1976

    I think Shaw would be a good idea for the Celtics. He's already got a good-enough pedigree: former Celtic, multiple titles as a player, can work with difficult players (see Bryant, Kobe), learned from one of the best coaches ever (Phil) and is still relatively unproven making him cheaper than someone like George Karl.

    I say we give him a chance. He's far better than Vinny del Negro…

    • Danny

      A homeless guy off the street is a better option than Vinny Del Negro

  • http://twitter.com/JdotD @JdotD

    Fizdale is an absolute tool, he's always jumping about and acting like a kid on the sidelines I'd hate ot have him as a coach.

  • http://twitter.com/JdotD @JdotD

    Shaw also wouldn't work as he's big on the triangle, which wont work with a PG like Rondo (or any guard or wing, really) who cant shoot threes…

  • WillF

    What about Doug Collins? He's a great coach who never gets the praise he deserves. He's a guy that constantly gets saddled with young teams with sub par talent, and he always manages to coach them up and over achieve. I think he would be a great fit for a young team lacking identity post Doc, KG, and Paul.

    • MSTRKRFT

      I love Collins too, but do you think he is willing to put up with another rebuild with subpar talent at his age? The 76ers left a bad taste in his mouth and the only way I see him returning is if it is a solid contender. The fact that his name is not even mentioned for teams looking for coaches right now might mean he is done with coaching and will probably go into broadcasting. Very smart coach though, always liked his character.

  • Ant

    Anything associated with the Heat should be out of the picture. Fizdale in my opinion is over-rated at this point, considering the talent he had in Miami. Shaw is a good option for the job but what about going with someone internal say Armond Hill. Hill is experienced with the roster and would come relatively cheap compared to the other candidates. Either way the C's go, we're in for a LONG ride for #18.

  • Josh_5

    That picture you chose Ryan makes me extremely sad. I want to live in 2008 forever.

    • Josh_5

      Ugghh, I just noticed that he's even wearing his gatorade soaked shirt! I want to die.

  • Scott

    BRIAN SHAW.

    Nuff Said.

  • Wes

    Anyone who will give heavy minutes to young guys who need exp…. they need them to get better and we need to lose a lot of games for a shot of a top 2 pick. Making the playoffs is no help at a fast rebuild. Suffer through a terrible season is maybe the best option. Go with a coach that can do that.

    • Vincent

      Vinny del Negro then!

    • fabzzz

      This is an unpopular idea – but also the best one! I agree with Brendan, let's throw our name in the Wiggins lottery. Most dynasties are started by a great top five draft pick.

      And the thing about it is I don't think it will matter what coach we have. The Rondo-Green duo is not going to make the playoffs…although it will be fun to watch. I've been lobbying for the rebuild for a while now, and it's about time. I'm ready to watch a team grow.

  • KBA

    I don't think there is a reason to tank. We can rebuild while being decent and a playoff team. We have assets (now incl the Clippers 1st rounder) and we can get more for KG and PP. With Green and Rondo and perhaps another good player, we can be a playoff team. We would need to trade in some of these assets over the next year or so to get a big name. For this reason, I would rather have a good coach like Lionel Hollins. He would be my first pick followed by Brian Shaw.

    On the other hand, I am wondering if Danny Ainge has any plans to trade Rondo. While I would like to see him solely lead the team and see how it goes (at least for a half season), I'm curious what other plans DA has. As always, I'm sure he's evaluating all avenues and I'm sure the market for a top tier pg would be quite good…. it'll be an interesting and franchise altering off season, and a lot will be known in a week once PP's contract is guaranteed/bought out/traded!

  • dslack

    How about Patrick Ewing? He has paid his dues as an assistant and I think having a big man as coach might be beneficial.

    • http://CelticsHub.com Brendan Jackson

      I don't know much about him as a coach but he's been passed up time and time again there has to be a red flag there. And I don't mean just passed up, I mean not even considered. I want him to get a job, but I'd like it to be somewhere else first.

      • dslack

        Yeah, could be …. At the same time, Thibs was passed up for a while too before he got his break. I recognize he faced more of an uphill battle as he was not an NBA player, but the point is that groupthink is sometimes mistaken. And Ewing, with his history of being called all kinds of horrible and racist things and being regarded as a dumb guy (which I see no evidence for), might have faced more of an uphill battle than initially meets the eye.

        • emg

          Talked with a die hard Knicks fan tonight who said Ewing is just flat out unintelligent and needed to wage a shadow PR campaign based on the claim that the Knicks lacked *loyalty – which is not the most compelling reason to select for ones's merits as a coach.

          • dslack

            I don't like the Ewing-is-dumb idea.

            It might be true, but he was called a dumb ugly gorilla so many times that it makes me itch just to read someone writing that he's unintelligent. I'm sure your friend isn't racist but these kinds of aspects of cultural milieu can affect anyone (black people tend to rate the black person's CV as coming from the inferior candidate on switched-name CV tests just as much as white people do) and so I'm highly suspicious of any conclusion that fits with the awful jokes that people made at his expense for nearly 2 decades. Just because people made awful jokes about him doesn't mean he can't be unintelligent, of course, but I don't trust anyone's ability to make an unbiased assessment of his intelligence at this point, at least not someone who knows him only at the level that a fan does.
            I recently watched this interview with him http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEF1TBFkcRM
            He's clearly not as polished a speaker as Doc (neither are 90% of coaches in the NBA), and the "every summer grew 5 or 6 inches" bit is clearly an arithmetic error, but he doesn't strike me as a notably dumb guy. He actually strikes me as a sweet and thoughtful guy, and he's kind of humorous in a way that, to me, indicates intelligence. Whether it's intelligence that's relevant to coaching an NBA team, I have no idea.

  • 1234

    RONDO SUCKS

    • hax

      You're on drugs.

      • 1234

        i have never used drugs in my entire life but rondo is sucks

    • celticlegend00

      your just being a plain as hole for sure

  • hax

    If it's just a young team, then I don't care who is the head coach. Vinny Del Negro isn't nearly as bad as he gets hit up for. His winning % is one of the highest in his first 5 years of coaching, in NBA history. #numbersneverlie

    • Anthony

      He's actually a below .500 coach if you take away last season. And the Clips got knocked out of the first round in part to having absolutely NO offense schemes other than giving it to CP3 and let him create.

      So please no VDN.

      How about just promoting Ty Lue?

      • JStokes

        I believe Doc is taking Lue with him.

        • dasein

          Pretty sure if Ty was to be offered a HC gig, he'd happily say so long to Doc.

  • DreMo

    JB Bickerstaff!!!

  • DreMo

    Young, 34, 10 years as an asst with McHale in Minnesota & Houston, and on his father’s staff in Charlotte before that .. he’s the architect behind the open floor Houston attack. That fits the current personnel. Just need a shooter to spread the floor even more (I desire Kyle Korver).

  • DreMo

    Plus, he will be inexpensive, and has a player personnel development background, and all players know him .. hid system is attractive. That’s a combo to build on .. get some vet assts like his father and Nate McMillan to surround him with and no need to tank ..

  • DreMo

    Fizdale, hilarious to say the least. Saw him jumping around like a kid when he was T’d up at Indiana in the playoffs .. he looks over at Chalmers befuddled like why???!

    That’s not a HC in material in any way. Keep your bones about yourself. I saw instant immaturity in that moment.

    JB has everything they have in qualification (no rings) yet is the son of an established NBA HC.

    No brainer.

  • GymRat

    Perhaps we'll never know the truth, but something is still weird about all this spin on this.

    If Doc wanted out of Boston so bad why like this? He would have been the top candidate for almost any job (and there were many). Why the Clippers? They don't fit his mold of a defensive first team that can run a precise offense. They don't have the parts.

    It all seems odd that Doc "had a change of heart" but just so happened to only want to coach LAC – the only likely team that KG would allow himself to be traded to.

    Point being, is it a change of heart if your GM suddenly wants to change course and unload KG (after just signing him with a no-trade clause) and your other HOF'er to do the rebuild two seasons earlier than was orginally planned? They could have just given KG a one year deal if rebuild now was the plan. You don't sign Jet and Lee or even Bass to long term deals if rebuild next season was the plan.

    It just seems to me like Ainge made it impossible for Doc to stay…unless you expect him to be miserable in a situation neither he, nor KG signed those contracts to be part of.

    And yes, clearly, a 5 year deal would have involved him being part of a rebuild. But not now, and not at the expense of the guys who just got you to the finals a few years ago and made you a fixture of the ECF until this injury plagued season.

    Maybe I'm wrong and Doc just woke up in love with the Clippers, but he could be coaching Memphis (a much better fit personal-wise) or Brooklyn (who would definitely pay him more), clearly there was more going on then him simply having a change of heart and not wanting to be a Celtic anymore.

    • fabzzz

      I agree with you to an extent. The reason all of this is happening right now is because of the TERRIBLE and unloadable contracts signed last off season. Bass has value but Terry and Lee are just miserable. Hopefully their value will increase before the trade deadline next year but I just don't see it happening.

      Now everyone it seems is scrambling – How could this team lose in the first round?! – and everyone is looking for a way out. The mistakes are coming home to roost. I don't think there was any bad blood or animosity, I think there was just regret and Danny is ready to start over. And so is Doc. And KG wants to win. And the roster is half dead weight. And Pierce is probably gone.Its depressing, but we shoudve started last year.

    • Balon

      I think you are right , but one piece is missing: Pierce was going to be bought out, and KG made it clear he would not return without Pierce. Doc, KG and Pierce worked this out, knowing that the Clippers were knocking at Doc's door. Doc and KG and the Clippers impulsively revealed the trade package, and Stern then intervened and said "no". But the original idea was for the three to keep playing together with a better team that could contend. In Pierce's defense, he did want to return…… If the whole deal does not work out, he still might. KG, one way or another, is gone baby gone. PP's number should still go up, as, of the three, he has been the most loyal Celtic……

  • tradethemall

    For everyone obsessed with wiggins perhaps you were not a fan of the celtics back when they also sucked enough to be in the run for duncan or even more recently with durant. The lottery is rigged and will continue to be so. So for everyone pushing the rebuild button, i say welcome to another decade at least of bad celtics. Maybe we can sign durant when he is 34! Mike and tommy must also be contemplating retirement rather than revisit this horse shit danny created wrapped in psuedo celtics pride.

  • Mark

    First and foremost Danny needs to stay the hell away from Vinny Del Negro. I've made my feelings know about him on other topics but if Danny hires him I hope his next move is to resign.

    I'm a bit torn as to the direction I'd like to see the coaching search go. Should they get an offensive coach or go defensive? If they go defensive Lionel Hollins is by far the best candidate for the job. If the move is for offense I'm intriged by J.B. Bickerstaff. What he's done as an assistant with McHale has been fantastic. He is the next great head coach in this league as long as he's got the right talent around him. But, I guess thats the case with every coach.

    Danny needs to stay away from Karl, Shaw and Fizdale.

  • DreMo

    JB Bickerstaff! RR, Sully & JG in that offense would SOAR.

    • I_Love_Green

      Bickerstaff certainly is a very intriguing option. Gotta admit I haven't really paid attention at all to potential coaches because I was never convinced Doc would be gone, but I've started to do my homework. I think Bickerstaff and his offensive schemes would be great for this team, but then I'd be worried about our defense. I'd much rather be winning games 85-84 than 115-114. Defense is what gets teams far in this league.

      Maybe hire JB and then get a defensive minded staff around him. I think right now that'd be the best plan.

  • I_Love_Green

    Brian Shaw, Brian Shaw, or Brian Shaw. PLEASE!

  • I_Love_Green

    Well shit….there goes Shaw.

  • CsFaninLA

    The C's need a personality like Thibs or Pop that can take a bunch of under acheivers (who thought Nate would ball like that in the playoffs!!) and make a team sport out of it and bring out the best by playing team ball. A la Nuggets basketball. No more Pierce ISO's or Rondo controlling 68% of percentages, but a team game.

    The Spurs this year are not a great team, Pop just really knew how to get every last drop out of the players and make them work and run PERFECTLY together. You think gary neal, Thiago, or even Green would have got the number and minutes they got on any other team? Pop gives every player a fair chance to play as a team, no heros (see Capt. Jack- who isn't a bad player, just wasn't buying into the team mentality).

  • CsFaninLA

    Get a coach to work them hard and bring out the best of a team.
    The pieces we have now really arent bad, I still think they just werent utilized well under Doc's system… Twilliams may be a star, Slav may be the next Evans on the boards, give these guys a chance to see what they really may become. I honestly think with the right coach, Lee and Terry will both have a legit comeback season, they are still solid bench players, I just think Doc didn't use the chess pieces like he should have…

    The right Coach wont make this current roster (this means PP and KG) necessarily the Champs, but it is VERY realistic to make it to the ECF and face the Heat one more time. And spend the regular season as an opp to develop the young guys esp early in the season, save KG and PP as reserve roles until the playofs. And have the young guys gain confidence and blossom for playoff time and the future with the C's.

  • Tos

    Antoine Walker

    • hax

      Something tells me Walker would be a very gamble-heavy coach. :p
      'down 10 going into the 4th?Unleash the guards! Jason Terry is our Center'

  • celticlegend00

    Theres no doubt in my mind with this move to the clippers you can bet your life savers paul pierce is bound for L.A. his hometown and Danny will be willing to unload him hate to see doc leave but with danny indecisiveness and trigger happy attitude doc doesn't want any part of this doc wants to win now the clippers are a up and rising team that really has a need for proper coaching and doc will bring that. doc has grew a bond with KG and Paul thats why its a no brainer Paul will reunite with doc KG is a long shot but still amaze me the commissioner rejects a KG Deandre Jordan move but allow Lebron,wade,and bosh deal go threw i think the commmish is full of sh_ _ anywayz its celtics forever for me ride or die.

  • 1234

    boston bruins sucks too

  • james patrick

    Maybe we can get M.L. Carr back.

    People… it's over. Get ready for some lean years.

  • Bird

    I live in NYC so I can confidently say that the vast majority of Knicks fans don’t know Jack shit about basketball. He worked under SVG so I’d say he knows more about Ewing’s know-how than some random Knicks fan.

  • hax

    :o

  • james patrick

    t's a sad time to be a Celtics fan but I love Doc and everything he did. It's clear his heart was with KG and Pierce and when Ainge decided to destroy things, He had no choice. I don't blame him. I also don't blame KG and Pierce if they follow. True Celtic fans know where their loyalty was! And Ainge is finally tearing the bandaid off. No one's to blame here. Just the way it goes…

    As far as Ray Allen goes, bastid is and forever will be a trader. Ray didn't owe the Celtics anything since he was always on the trading blocks, but he did owe something to Doc, KG and Pierce AND the Celtic fans! So yes, he's a trader and winning with the Heat this year doesn't make him any less of a trader.

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