Irish Coffee: Pat Riley longs for Doc Rivers
|03.11.11 at 9:51 am ET|
Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee ‘¦
Four months ago, when rumors started swirling that Pat Riley wants Doc Rivers to replace Erik Spoelstra as head coach of the Heat in 2011-12 (if there is a 2011-12 season), the current Celtics head coach told WEEI: “As far as I’m concerned, I’m a Celtic and I plan on being that for a long time, as long as I’m coaching.”
Yet, Riley still pines for his former point guard when the two were Knicks, like Rick Blaine longed for Ilsa Lund in “Casablanca.” Unfortunately for the Heat president, Rivers chose Celtics orchestrator Danny Ainge as his Victor Laszlo.
We’ll let Yahoo! Sports columnist Adrian Wojnarowski explain …
Yes, Riles has long been intrigued with Doc Rivers, his old point guard with the New York Knicks. In his mind, Doc’s an extension of his own coaching tree. He must love to hear Rivers tell the story about how Riles told him that he would one day be a coach, about how Doc told him that he was crazy. The Celtics have a contract extension waiting for Rivers, sources say, but so far he’s wanted to wait until the season’s end to deal with it. For him, it would be difficult to make a direct leap from an aging Celtics roster to the Heat. Rivers is too entrenched, too woven into the franchise’s fabric now. What would happen to his relationships with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, with that city, those fans who adore him?
Nevertheless, he’s perfect for Miami. He’s a championship coach. He has a blueprint for making a Big Three work, for holding difficult stars accountable and together. Yet Rivers has a relationship with his GM that Riley has never had with a coach. He isn’t afraid to tell GM Danny Ainge that he’s completely wrong, that he’s going to do it his way and that that’s just way it has to be. Rivers and Ainge can argue, debate and sometimes even rage, but ultimately Ainge lets Rivers coach the Celtics. It’s hard to imagine a scenario where Riley, or Rivers, could have the autonomy that they would need to co-exist. Go down the list of strong-minded, successful coaches, and ask yourself how many could come from the outside and fit into that insular Heat world.
Do you think every time the Celtics visit American Airlines Arena, Riley quotes the words written by Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein‘s grandfather and great uncle: “Of all the arenas, in all the towns, in all the world, he walks into mine”?
Celtics fans can revel in the fact that the Heat essentially want to be the Celtics, from the president right on down to the players. And to throw another log on the fire, read Jessica Camerato’s discussion with former Heat starter and current C’s backup point guard Carlos Arroyo — conducted in Spanish and translated by Miami blog Hot Hot Hoops — during which Arroyo explains the difference between the two teams:
“I think it starts with the players. Not every player has incredible team chemistry. [Boston] already has a lot of time together, and they know each other very well on the court. I think that’s what Miami is missing. Boston always has a very complete team and I hope it happens this year.”
For everybody’s sake, let’s jut hope Riley doesn’t start crying in the front office.
PAUL PIERCE ASSAILANT RETURNS TO JAIL
One of three assailants charged for stabbing Celtics forward Paul Pierce back in 2000, Trevor Watson, 44, is heading back to jail for 30 years after being convicted of another attempted murder and stabbing of a Drug Enforcement Agency informant who testified against him in a drug case, according to the Herald.
So, Watson served one year in prison after Pierce was stabbed eight times, and now gets 30 years for trying to kill an informant. I’m no law expert, but don’t those sentences seem fairly light for a guy who’s now faced two attempted murder charges?
Whenever the topic of Pierce’s stabbing comes up, I always remember the greatest sign a fan has ever brought to a Celtics game when Pierce appeared in the first of all 82 games that season. It read, “You can stab him, but you can’t stop him!” Amazing.
KEVIN GARNETT LOVES COCONUTS
Celtics fans can thank coconut water, in part, for Kevin Garnett‘s health this season. According to BusinessWeek, Garnett began drinking the sweet nectar while rehabbing from his knee injury he suffered in 2009 and has now signed with Zico coconut water.
“I’ve always been about bettering my body,” Garnett told CNBC. “I won’t call it magic, but it’s close. It’s light on the stomach since it has low acid and it allows me to play 34 minutes in a game with some of the young stars in the league without cramping.”
There’s no word on whether or not Garnett will be sporting a coconut bra in advertisements any time soon.