Wednesday, June 26th, 2013 at 11:20 am  |  20 responses

Danny Ainge Says Doc Rivers Didn’t Quit on the Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics GM Danny Ainge, while visibly upset about head coach Doc Rivers’ departure to Los Angeles, insisted that Rivers did not quit on the C’s. Ainge also claims that Boston’s front-office is in no rush to find a new coach. Per the Boston Globe: “Celtics general manager Danny Ainge officially announced the departure of his coach of nine years Tuesday, reflecting on the tenure of Doc Rivers and answering questions about the future of the franchise. ‘I’d like to thank Doc for nine years of friendship and great coaching,’ Ainge said in his opening statement. ‘He was a great teammate. And the Clippers are getting a really good coach.’ Flanked by team president Rich Gotham, Ainge took questions about the deal that sent the rights to Rivers to the Los Angeles Clippers for a 2015 first-round draft pick. The teams had engaged in on-again, off-again negotiations for Rivers for more than a week. Ainge said that despite reports, the deal was not a sure thing until it was finalized Tuesday. ‘I had planned on Doc being our coach all along,’ said Ainge. ‘We had discussions about him being Gregg Poppovich or Jerry Sloan or Red Auerbach, getting the all-time wins record as a Celtic and being here for a long time.’ Rivers and Ainge first spoke about the coach’s future on May 8, according to the GM, because Ainge was ‘curious as to which way he was leaning and why.’ … ‘He was uncertain still at that time but wondered what his options may be,’ said Ainge. According to Ainge, the team sent Rivers a letter on May 9 saying they ‘expected him to be our coach and fulfill his contract. … That’s what we hoped that he would do.’ When it became clear Rivers had an interest in leaving, Ainge said the pair discussed Rivers trying to get the Clippers job. Other teams expressed interest in Rivers but were denied the chance to speak with him about their coaching vacancies. […] ‘I do not believe Doc quit on this franchise,’ said Ainge. ‘I think he believed that a change was needed. Maybe he just felt he needed a change.’ According to Ainge, Rivers knew what he was getting into when the team signed him to a five-year, $35 million contract extension in 2011. At that time, the Celtics were faced with decisions on a 33-year-old Paul Pierce, a 35-year-old Kevin Garnett, and a 35-year-old Ray Allen. ‘When we signed Doc to the highest-paid coaching contract in the NBA a couple years ago, we knew the ages of our players,’ said Ainge. ‘We knew that a time for rebuild would be in store. We talked about that. I felt like I did do a very good sales job on Doc at that time. Maybe he did a sales job on me.’”

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  • spit hot fiyah

    so far the media has given rivers a major pass on this whole situation.

  • http://twitter.com/niQknacks niQ

    Pretty much. Complete opposite of when Ray Allen left. Especially since Ray was at the end of a contract and Rivers is in the middle of one…

  • spit hot fiyah

    exactly, signing a five year deal with the knowledge that this team already is old and that rebuilding is the near future. then when it starts to look dark, basically demands his way to team with one of the brightest futures in the nba.

  • OfftheWall87

    I’d bet he saw the possibility of KG and Pierce being gone and Rondo being the only one left and he wanted no parts of coaching him without those two there.

  • Clos1881

    I don’t think this is a rondo issue doc has always said he is the smartest player he’s ever coached I’m sure they butted heads at times but I’m sure that most coaches have disagreements with players. Whoever takes over the job has pieces with what the C’s have now they could be a 8th seed in the east.

  • bike

    Yes. He kinda, sorta did.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    Well said, gentlemen. I’m glad some people acknowledge this double standard.

  • OfftheWall87

    Ainge should think about giving Lionel Hollins a call if he wants experience. Rondo can try to go at him if he wants to. Doesn’t look like Lionel takes too much from anyone.

  • pposse

    in other words Doc Rivers quit on the team


    so he’s Doc mo*****ckin Rivers. he can do as he pleases. he gave boston everything he had. he has seen the lows (pre big 3) and the high (2007-12). and now it’s on 2 the next 1

  • Evan Boland

    Ray Allen is a gutless traitor. FACT. I am in no way saying he had to play for Boston, but who really, at any level of competition, joins the team you just had a beat-down drag out seven game series with? Where’s the pride?

  • scotpeirson

    Uh, Danny…Doc quit on you. There is no other way to put that. He saw a team in Boston that was headed for 30-52, and ran to a younger team with a better upside. Of course, the other issue is that Doc–after that 2008 title (Like, what’s the expiration date on marketing ONE title??!?)–lost THREE playoff series when the C’s were up 3-2. He just isn’t that good.

  • Ugh

    Calling a professional sportsman who’s already played in five different locations a traitor because he moved to location #6 shows far too much emotional investment in someone else’s job. You need a hobby, or a boyfriend/girlfriend or something.

  • pposse

    definately NOT the second best coach in the L

  • OfftheWall87

    He’s widely regarded as the 2nd best coach in the league. It’s always Pop and Doc as the two guys everyone talks about. If he’s not, then who is to you? I dare you to say Thibs because if you do, we all know why you’re saying that.

  • OfftheWall87

    Listening to both Ainge and Doc, the last thing Doc did was demand to coach the Clippers. Quote from Doc yesterday: “I called Danny and said, “Listen, I’m staying. I’m coming back. I’m coaching. That’s what I am. And let’s move forward”. He said he wasn’t going to leave unless Danny could get compensation for him. Doesn’t sound like he demanded anything. More like a decision they worked on together. Danny’s shock comes from the fact that the deal was dead and it came alive again and happened so quickly, not so much that Doc is gone. Once Doc was indecisive about it, I’m sure that Danny didn’t want him coaching when he wasn’t 100% sure that he wanted to do it. He got his number 1 pick. Doc got to coach the Clippers. If the Celtics couldn’t get that pick, Doc would either be coaching the Celtics or deciding which network to work for as a broadcaster.

  • Evan Boland

    You’re a fool or you don’t play/comprehend sports.

  • Evan Boland

    And it was location 3 to 4…

  • Basketball_iQ

    Bro what you expect from a bunch of ppl who settle for a lil bit shut up money on this level? Wtf would they know about loyalty?

  • scotpeirson

    Offthe Wall–He’s got ONE title. Same as Al Attles, Larry Costello, Jack Ramsay, Lenny Wilkens, Bill Fitch, Dick Motta and Larry Brown. Spoelstra has two, and hasn’t coached as long. I’ll give Doc credit–he’s marketed that one title better than anyone should have a right to. But if the Clips won 56 games and a division title with a “mediocre” coach this past year, what would it say if Doc wins LESS regular season games than what LA won last season??!? In reality, Doc isn’t even the best coach in the Pacific Division–that would be Mark Jackson.