Celtics coach Doc Rivers joined the Dennis & Callahan show Monday morning, three days after agreeing to a five-year contract extension to remain with the team.
Rivers said that rumors he was contemplating whether to take a sabbatical from coaching so that he could spend more time with his family weren't accurate — at least not this year.
"Last year, they were probably more right," he said. "Last year I was absolutely leaning that way. This year I really never was. After last year's summer and going through the decision that we went through, I was pretty sure I was coming back and I was pretty sure I wanted to come back here.
"This is a special place. And I've said that before. You can't get a lot of these jobs where you coach teams like the Celtics, or the Red Sox, or the Yankees, and I have one of them. I work with a great GM in Danny Ainge and I have good ownership. So, why change?"
Rivers explained that part of the reason he finalized the deal so soon after the end of the season was to quash rumors that he was headed to another NBA team.
"I don't know where the 'going somewhere else' came from," he said. "That was all over, especially of late. That was one of the reasons I wanted to do this. I hear the rumors just like you guys, with all these different teams. My thing is, I have a special team, and I have a special group of players. Why change?"
As for coaching the Lakers: "That would have been strange. ... I had a philosophical, a big problem with [coaching them next season]. ... I couldn't do it. I told my agent that. That's something I can't do. I don't function that way," he said.
Asked about the possibility of facing a rebuilding process in Boston, Rivers said he felt obligated to see it through.
"I don't think anyone's looking forward to that, but I'm willing to do that," he said. "I had a group that has been very loyal to me. I think it would have been very easy for me to just run and go somewhere else and chase something else."
Added Rivers: "It would have been easier to do it the other way; I just don't think it's the right thing to do. Coaches talk about loyalty and team all the time. I just thought it was time to show it. And that's what I did."
Rivers said he would consider bringing any of the Big Three off the bench and that he wants to be more creative with the minutes he gives to veterans such as Kevin Garnett. He spoke highly of Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic, saying he wants both of them back, but was less complimentary about Glen Davis, who struggled in the playoffs.
Said Rivers: "I thought it was more in between his ears than his play. I thought the whole contract thing affected his play. I thought he had the wrong focus at times because of that. I think when you stray away from just being a team player and being the role that you're given, I think you struggle. I think all players do. And I thought Baby did that.
"I thought scoring was way too important to him, instead of being who he is. Baby's never going to be a great scorer in our league, but he can score. What Baby has to be is an energy player, a guy who takes charges."
That said, Rivers insisted he'd still like to see Davis return to Boston.
"Yeah, if we get him for the right price," he said. "I think it would be nice, but we can't overpay. That will be up to Danny and Wyc [Grousbeck] and them. That's one of the things I stay out of, at least I try to.
"We've got to get him back in the right frame of mind. And that's the way he was the last 20 games. Baby's a good basketball player. He can help us or any other team. But, to me, only if he plays the right way."
As for the future of Shaquille O'Neal, Rivers said he expects the 7-footer to retire.
"He's not said it definitively [that he's retiring]," Rivers said. "He's said it and then he doesn't say it. So, I think we'll just wait and see. I would say yes, but I don't know. I really don't know."
For a complete transcript of the conversation, check the Green Street blog later in the morning. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page. For more Celtics news, visit the team page at weei.com/celtics.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price discuss Rob Gronkowski's meeting with the media on Friday. Gronk said he doesn't anticipate changing the way he plays, noting that he wants to "keep smashing and dashing."
Julian Edelman joins Merloni, Fauria, and Benz after Patriots training camp.
We return to our weekly segments with the one and only Peter King of MMQB and NBC's Football Night in America.
Jackie Mac joins the guys to discuss her thoughts on a possible mid-season tournament in the NBA, LeBron's return to Cleveland, trade rumors with the Celtics and Red Sox, and Darrelle Revis' contract situation.
Jackie MacMullan of ESPN Boston to talk about the Lebron James Saga, the possibility of Rajon Rondo being traded, and the future of Marcus Smart.
Former coach of Celtics 1st-round pick Marcus Smart, Travis Ford joins MFB to talk about what Celtics fans should expect from the strong point guard. Among other things, Coach Ford says Smart will be a hard worker, and will improve his shooting ability.
Tim Kurkjian joins the program to discuss the Red Sox options at the trade deadline.
Kevin Millar joins Merloni, Fauria, and Benz to discuss David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia's struggles, and Jon Lester's contract.
Rob Bradford is joined by WEEI.com Bruins beat writer DJ Bean, as well as Boston sports fan/blogger Turtleboy to talk all things Bruins free agency. With the B's recent moves, the conversation turns to where the Bruins might next turn and what kind of dent losing Jarome Iginla and Shawn Thornton might make.
DJ discusses Shawn Thornton's new deal, and the on going negotiations with Jerome Iginla
DJ Bean joins the program to dismiss the recent rumors that the Bruins are in discussions to trade Brad Marchand to the Sharks for Patrick Marleau
John, Gerry, and Steve DeOssie discuss Tom Brady's impact on the rest of the Patriots, plus Steve tells tales from his old days as a NFL linebacker
A whale watch boat is stranded overnight in Boston Harbor
Clay Buchholz and Felix Doubront certainly put on quite the pitching performance, as the Red Sox were trounced by the Jays. Does this change the team's approach to the trade deadline?
Christian tells a story about taking his girlfriend to see "Jersey Boys" in NYC, but he leaves out some crucial details. Luckily, she was listening and called the show to clarify exactly what kind of shenanigans he was trying to pull.
MFB discuss a Peter King article that suggests many NFL coaches and assistant coaches have felt increasing pressure over big-money fantasy football players. Christian also weighs in specifically on how his knowledge of game-plans resulted directly in him winning his first season as a fantasy football player.
The Sox lost 14-1 as Clay Buchholz and Felix Doubront both had awful performances. On the heels of the loss, rumors began to fly regarding Jon Lester and John Lackey possibly being traded.
We talk about the latest news surrounding Jon Lester and the Red Sox. Could he be dealt to the Dodgers?
We talk about four of the biggest mistakes the Red Sox have made over the past 30+ years.
We discuss the return of Rob Gronkowski, his comments to the media today, and what a healthy (or unhealthy) Gronk will mean for the 2014 Patriots.
Mut and Villani are talking about whether the Red Sox will give Jon Lester the type of contract he is looking for, or whether they might be shopping him with rumors of the Red Sox scouting Cole Hamels.
Mut and Villani are talking about the MLB All Star Game, Adam Wainwright and Derek Jeter, and what are some of the worst ideas in sports.
Sam and Zach discuss changing the format of the Podcast, the Chris Archer-David Ortiz debacle, and LeBron James being a super genius
Particularly in a year where the Red Sox have struggled while trying to integrate numerous young players into regular big league roles, accusations that Red Sox prospects are overrated -- whether by the team or writers -- have been widespread. Jim Callis of MLB.com joins the show to take stock of the matter, and to discuss the team-building impact of overrating and underrating prospects.
With the trade deadline looming, the next few days will be defined by how teams value prospects -- and their potential long-term contributions -- against big leaguers with established track records who can address immediate needs. Are prospects being valued accurately? Red Sox left-hander Andrew Miller -- once one of the two key chips that sent Miguel Cabrera from the Marlins to the Tigers -- assesses the matter.
Rob gave the latest on Jon Lester trade talks and the flap between Ortiz and the Rays.More from this show
Particularly in a year where the Red Sox have struggled while trying to integrate numerous young players into regular big league roles, accusations that Red Sox prospects are overrated -- whether by the team or writers -- have been widespread. Jim Callis of MLB.com joins the show to take stock of the matter, and to discuss the team-building impact of overrating and underrating prospects.More from this show
We talk about the latest news surrounding Jon Lester and the Red Sox. Could he be dealt to the Dodgers?More from this show