Doc Rivers Gets Standing Ovation in Return to Boston (VIDEO)

by December 12, 2013

Following an emotional tribute video, the Boston Celtics faithful gave former C’s head coach Doc Rivers a long ovation. Rivers choked back tears when talking to reporters after the LA Clippers’ victory. Per the Boston Herald: “I’m still emotional,’ he said hours later, following his Clippers’ 96-88 victory. ‘You know, I thought the fans were …’ With that, the Rivers stopped flowing. He paused a full nine seconds to compose himself. ‘It was, ah … It was just a really nice day,’ Rivers said. ‘This is, it’s 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 side — and all those guys, the people, they lined up and I was basically useless for the first 18 minutes of the game, I thought. That was just nice. It didn’t surprise me, because that’s just the way . . . 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.’ […] His trip to Boston was very much a Celtic serenade even before he was bathed in appreciation. Rivers walked into the hallway just before 6 p.m., shook hands with and greeted every security guard and familiar face, smiled and asked, ‘Where do I go?’ Room 6 had been set aside for the Clippers coaches, but that changed with the presence of a throng that included Tommy Heinsohn, broadcast partner Mike Gorman, travel and equipment coordinator John Connor and a stream of others from his nine years in Boston. Connor likened it to a wedding reception. ‘The only thing missing,’ he said, ‘is the bowl for the envelopes.’ Later, he showed Rivers a text from one of the Celtics charter’s flight attendants. ‘She wants me to give you a kiss,’ Connor said, ‘but that’s where I draw the line.’ There was more love as Rivers walked down for his pregame media chat. He paused to take a photo with 9-year-old Shauna Sperou of Marlboro and her sign, which read, ‘Welcome back Doc’ and had questions such as ‘Did you miss us?’ and ‘What’s it like without us?’ in smaller lettering. Rivers reached the media, joked with the regulars and said, ‘It’s surreal.’ […] ‘I tell you, boy, this is such a neat place,’ Rivers said. ‘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 don’t think you can get it from the outside. It’s a special, different place, and people are born here and raised here, and they cheer for their teams and they love their athletes. It’s just a great place to be. The best decision I ever made was 10 years ago when I decided to come. I mean, that was the best decision I’ve ever made.’ Doc Rivers’ decision to leave is still being debated in some quarters, but last night the Garden electorate voted overwhelmingly to damn the breakup and celebrate a nine-year friendship.”