AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
Doc Rivers should still be coaching Rajon Rondo next season.A day after his team was eliminated by the Miami Heat, Celtics coach Doc Rivers called in to the Mike Lupica Show on ESPN Radio 1050 in New York -- from the golf course (where else?) -- to discuss why he made up his mind so early about returning next season, his loyalty to the Celtics and what he learned about his team in the loss to the Heat.
“Danny [Ainge] and I have been talking about it for a while and I’ve been talking about it with my family,” Rivers told Lupica. “Last year, I just wouldn’t even talk about it. This year, I didn’t want to leave the organization out there too long, I just thought that would be bad form. And No. 2, I love working with Danny. Great group of guys I have. We’ve won one title and we’ve yet to be healthy since that one title, which you can’t do anything about.
“It would be tough for me to leave. I don’t know how long I‘ll do it. But I told Danny and ownership that I’m leaning heavily toward doing it and I probably will do it. I haven’t signed anything yet, but it’s basically been decided.”
Could anything happen in the near future that would make him change his mind?
“There could be but I don’t think so,” Rivers said in response to the question. “Honestly, there’s things out there that could be attractive, but I just think every once in a while, to an organization that’s shown you great loyalty, sometimes you have to return it right back.”
Rivers also set the to-do list for a key offseason for the Celtics:
“We’re not going to win it just relying on the Big Three anymore, we just can’t,” Rivers said. “But we can win it with the Big Three. So our job this summer, we have to go out and sign a couple of players. We don’t need any superstars, we need the right pieces to complement those guys so those guys can play less minutes and we can still win games and get to the playoffs healthy.
“We can’t try to do formula we used this year, just going to get a bunch of veterans and try to get through the regular season, because that doesn’t work. In the playoffs now, with all the rule changes, you need athleticism, you need quickness to the ball. And quite honestly we just don’t have that. That stood out to me more than anything in this series.”
Click HERE to listen to the full interview.