CHICAGO -- Doc Rivers knows exactly how his old assistant coach Tom Thibodeau will approach his duties as Eastern Conference coach in the All-Star Game next week.
“I think he’s going to run the hell out of them,” Rivers said before Thursday’s game between Boston and Chicago. “I think he’s going to have a good speech for them, a hard practice. No, Thibs will be great. He’s a terrific coach. He’s going to have fun. I told him I’ll be in town and ‘Don’t call me.’”
Rivers, a Chicago native who lives in Orlando, loves telling funny Thibodeau stories and does a drop-dead perfect impression. Like when Rivers coached in the 2008 All-Star Game, he remembers Thibodeau really wanted to win. And not for the love of competition.
“I will tell you this, in the New Orleans game, if my memory serves me right, Thibs, Kevin Eastman and Armond [Hill], they were killing me over winning,” Rivers said. “Because it’s double (pay) for the winning coaching staff. In the fourth quarter, he kept saying, ‘We want to win this game, don’t forget,’ in my ears. I wonder if he’ll do the same now that he’s the head coach? I think he will, if I know my Thibs.”
Rivers did have one piece of coaching advice for his old friend.
“If I were Thibs, I’d play (Luol) Deng and (Derrick) Rose at least 47 minutes,” he said. “I think that would be terrific.”