Just two months ago, the question for Danny Ainge was how would he tear down and try to rebuild with a roster full of aging veterans with big-money contracts and no salary cap space to work with. Now the question is whether he can keep the team together and continue this run. 



PAUL FLANNERY

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According to SI.com's Ian Thomsen, Celtics head coach Doc Rivers is "preparing himself" for the possibility of not returning next season, but may not be the only one. According to Thomsen, team president Danny Ainge could be an option to fill the void left by Steve Kerr as GM of the Phoenix Suns. Ainge, in addition to playing for and coaching the Suns, lived in Arizona with his family before he took the front office job with the Celtics in 2003. 

Game 7 of the Celtics-Lakers NBA finals Thursday night on ABC drew an 18.2 overnight rating, making it the highest-rated NBA game since a 1998 finals contest between the Bulls and Jazz.

 

It was ABC's highest NBA overnight rating ever, surpassing Lakers-Pistons Game 5 in 2005, which recorded a 15.5.

 

Game 7 was the highest-rated show of the night for all of television, as was the case for the previous six games. The game peaked with a 23.7 rating in the closing final minutes, from 11:45 p.m. to midnight.

 

LOS ANGELES — Down to the very last, the Boston Celtics stayed true to themselves. They were a tight-knit emotional group, possibly even a little crazy.



PAUL FLANNERY

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Ten thoughts following a Game 7 that included Brian Scalabrine dramatically moving ahead of Shelden Williams in the battle for 11th man status.



KIRK MINIHANE

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LOS ANGELES -- Several Celtics players had tears in their eyes and were overcome with emotion in the moments immediately following their Game 7 loss to the Lakers, 83-79, at Staples Center Thursday night. 

 

"This is probably one of the hardest feelings I've felt in my lifetime." Ray Allen said. "There were a lot tears, just a lot of tears." 

 

LOS ANGELES -- In the emotional Celtics locker room, Ray Allen reiterated his desire to remain with the team once he hits free agency. "I'll deal with that when the time comes," he said. "But it's obvious that I don't want to be anywhere else."

LOS ANGELES -- Kobe Bryant kept the press at bay during the playoffs, constantly downplaying his role in the Lakers-Celtics rivalry and what it means for his legacy. "I was just lying to you guys," Bryant said. "I just wanted it so bad. I wanted it so, so bad." Bryant also praised the Celtics saying, "The physicality of their team, how smart they are, extremely well-coached and guys made big shots. It was tough. They weren't going to beat themselves.

LOS ANGELES -- As he has maintained throughout the playoffs, Doc Rivers will take some time to make a decision about his future. "It's just a tough decision," he said outside the Celtics locker room. "I'm just going to get away." He won't be far away from the Celtics, however. Their summer league team will play in Orlando July 5-9 where Rivers has a home.

Speaking after the Celtics' 83-79, Game 7 loss to the Lakers Thursday night, Celts coach Doc Rivers suggested that forward Rasheed Wallace may be contemplating retirement. "You know, I don't know if Rasheed will ever play again," Rivers said of the 35-year-old. "You know, he's one of them. I think he took that out on the floor with him. I think he is thinking about retiring, and I thought you could see that in his play. He was dying out there. When he got the cramps and the strains, he was just trying to figure out a way of staying on the floor.