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Top 5 Doc Rivers quotes from Celtics Media Day

09.29.12 at 3:42 pm ET

Five highlights from Celtics coach Doc Rivers‘ interview at the team’s media day in Waltham:

On the Celtics‘ offseason moves: “Danny [Ainge] and his staff did an amazing job. When you are under the restrictions that we were under, if you had told me we’€™d end up with who we ended up with, I thought that would never happen. A lot of things had to happen for us.

Jason Terry had to want to play for us. He almost sent out the feeler to us before we went to him, which was terrific. It’€™s a funny story with Courtney Lee. We wanted him, but we decided there was no way we could go after him, because he was a restricted free agent, and the day that Houston released him, I honestly was walking down the street in Winter Park [Fla.], and I walked across the street and commandeered him. Next thing you know, it took about a week, and he was a Celtic. So, a lot of good things happened quickly.

“Obviously, we wanted to bring Jeff Green back. We wanted to bring Chris Wilcox back. [Jared] Sullinger had to fall to us. The middle of last college season, I don’€™t think we would’€™ve looked at film on Sullinger, because we would have thought there was no chance we could get him. Then, Danny released the health report on him, and he fell to us. That was terrific. That’€™s not true, everyone — I’€™m just joking — or maybe it is. Who knows? So, it’€™s been that type of summer. It’€™s been good. I just really like our team. I like our team on paper, and now we have to turn it into a team.”

On Kevin Garnett’s retirement threats: “Kevin told me that all year. That’€™s a bunch of crap. I never believed it. I really didn’€™t. I told him that all the time.

“In the middle of the season, I would say, ‘€˜Next year.’€™

“‘€˜Well, there won’€™t be a next year’€™: That was Kevin.

“But I never believed it. I honestly didn’€™t. Even this summer, when you heard whispers, I think there was a couple reports that he had decided to retire, I just didn’€™t believe it. He just has too much passion. You don’€™t usually see guys with the fire burning high — and at the level that he’€™s played — that will just turn it off. It’€™s unnatural, and it’€™s definitely unnatural for Kevin.”

On Paul Pierce’s retirement threats: “Paul wouldn’€™t have retired. I saw his contract, and I don’€™t think he was going to retire.”

On Jeff Green’€™s role: “I see him as a player who can help us. When he’€™s at the three, I want him to be a power player. I want him to post more. I thought I let him down when he was with us the first time. I didn’€™t think we posted him enough. If you remember the Miami series, I think in the last game, he had a little stretch in the post. I don’€™t have a big body of work honestly to go with Jeff.

“When he’€™s at the four, I want him to be the fastest player in the gym. I want him to outrun. One of the things we want to do, and we’€™ve been working on the last three weeks, is throwing the ball ahead to him on the break at the four, and telling him to drive — attack the basket. There’€™s a four guarding you who probably doesn’€™t want to guard you. So, we want him to be an up-tempo four and a power three.”

On the NBA landscape: “The Lakers are better, getting Dwight [Howard], I guess. I mean, Bynum’€™s pretty good the last time I checked, so they’€™re better. Getting [Steve] Nash will make them better. I honestly rarely look at the West. I could care less about the West, because at the end of the day we have to get out of the East, and the defending champions are in the East.

“So, we have one target, and that’€™s Miami. Whatever happens out West, good luck. Hope to see you. That’€™s how we think about it. And Miami’€™s improved as well. Getting Ray [Allen] made them a better team. Our division is tough. … Listen, it’€™s going to be a hard season for us and everyone else.”

Read More: Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett, NBA
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