These questions from Dennis & Callahan came just days after the Boston Marathon bombings — during a period of healing when the NBA offseason was furthest from everyone’s mind — so keep that in mind when reading the following quotes from Celtics coach Doc Rivers, a part-time Back Bay resident expressing his city pride.
Still, Adrian Wojnarowski’s latest report — that “Rivers pushed for the Clippers partnership because of his desire to bypass a rebuilding process with Boston” — somehow cheapen Doc’s sentiment, particularly considering he signed a five-year, $35 million deal knowing Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce wouldn’t be on the 2015-16 Celtics.
Does this feel like your town?
“Absolutely. I grew up in Chicago, and that will always be in me. I grew up 18 years there, but I’ve been here nine years. For me, this was it. This is it for me as far as a city. That doesn’t mean someday I won’t get fired or get old or retire and come back like Phil Jackson may do, but this will never get out of you — this city, this place — and I think a lot of people who have been here feel that way.
“You probably don’t appreciate it, because you live here, but I really think a lot of it is because of the passion of the fans. You get engrossed in that. It becomes part of you, and you don’t get that in other places. I’ve coached in one other city, but I’ve played in a lot of other places, and it’s rare. The true passion is what I call it. Anyone joins on when you’re winning. Very few places are in all the time, and this is a city that is in all the time.”
Yes, Doc, anyone joins on when you’re winning. This is true, particularly for Clippers fans.
When your run as the coach of the Boston Celtics ultimately ends, can you picture yourself coaching somewhere else?
I don’t know. It depends on when I decide, obviously, if I want to take a break at some point. I’m too young to retire, so yeah I probably would have to. You can’t come back. You would like to for a lot of reasons — not just the city, but the group that I work with.
When I thought about it three years ago, that was really strong. Not only just the city, but I’m not going to be able to replace the group I work with. In the workplace, when you work with people that you enjoy working with, you never can take that for granted as well.
Technically, he wouldn’t have had to entirely replace his coworkers if Garnett and Paul Pierce followed him to L.A. Sorry Danny Ainge. Not that their relationship can’t be mended. A lesson in coachspeak, nonetheless.