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Doc Rivers on D&C: Shaq recruited me

01.20.11 at 9:52 am ET
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Celtics coach Doc Rivers joined the Dennis & Callahan show for his weekly Thursday visit and talked about the win over the Pistons, trash talk coming from Orlando, and the impact of Shaquille O’Neal. “He woke up young yesterday,” Rivers said. “It was nice. We needed it. We don’t win that game without Shaq’s energy.”

Rivers was asked if he played an active role in recruiting O’Neal, but really it was the other way around. “He kind of recruited me,” Rivers said. “Shaq was on our radar, but we were actually talking to other guys. I got a call from Shaq out of the clear-blue sky. He wanted to meet.”

The coach flew to Orlando and, “Ten minutes later he’s literally at my house, sitting in my office at my house and we talked about coming to Boston. I was asking him more questions. Would he be able to do this? Is he capable of not being the guy, being a role player, limited minutes, not starting? He was great about everything and so far he’s lived up to what he said he was coming for.”

As far as the Orlando talk (Magic GM Otis Smith said the Celtics only act tough), Rivers dismissed it. “I’m just going to let Otis keep talking. I learned long ago the guys in the suits and ties have very little impact on what’s going to happen on the floor, so I’m just going to let Otis keep talking. We want to beat them anyway. It’s not going to matter. I think anytime somebody says something and Kevin Garnett hears it, it cant hurt us. I’ll put it that way.”

Rivers said that Garnett is close to 100 percent, and it’s only a matter of rediscovering his timing.

“He’s pretty close,” Rivers said. “I was really surprised. I thought the way he played last night would be the way he played against Orlando. It’s just timing.”

The coach also said that Marquis Daniels, who rolled his ankle, could play Friday against Utah.

Rivers also weighed in on the NBA topic of the day: Carmelo Anthony. “I don’t really care [where he goes,” Rivers said. “The thing I didn’t like about it, it was way too public.”

Read More: Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett, Otis Smith, Shaquille O'Neal
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