Rivers thinks Thibs will coach ASG to win

February, 16, 2012
2/16/12
7:44
PM CT
Greenberg By Jon Greenberg
ESPNChicago.com
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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.

[+] EnlargeTom Thibodeau
AP Photo/Charles KrupaTom Thibodeau will be the head coach of the Eastern Conference All-Stars this year.

“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.”

Jon Greenberg

Columnist, ESPNChicago.com
Jon Greenberg is a columnist for ESPNChicago.com. He has lived and worked in Chicago since 2003, and is a graduate of Ohio University and the University of Chicago.

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