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Doc Rivers: Clippers ‘should be better than’ ’08 Celtics 10.03.13 at 4:41 pm ET
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Clippers

Here we go again. Former Celtics coach Doc Rivers thinks his Clippers are better than any team he’s coached. Here’s what he told ESPN LA (h/t Ball Don’t Lie) about Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan & Co.

“They should be better than any team I’ve ever coached, I really believe that. They’re more athletic. They don’t have the veteran IQ but they should be in that area. We have a couple individual defenders that can be dominating on defense. We have great speed but we don’t have the size in some ways as some of the teams I’ve coached.”

Hmm. I’m sure the Clippers will join the 2008 Celtics and Michael Jordan‘s 1990s Bulls as the only teams in NBA history to own an efficiency differential greater than 11 (outscoring opponents by 11 points per 100 possessions); they’ll start better than 8-0, take at least a 23-2 record into Christmas and finish better than 66-16; and they’ll go better than 13-1 at home in the playoffs and beat the Heat by 40 in Game 6 of the NBA Finals, eclipsing the largest margin of victory in a title-clinching game — set, of course, by those pesky ’08 Celtics. No biggie.

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Doc Rivers sells his Boston condo for $3 million 09.17.13 at 10:24 am ET
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Doc Rivers

Doc Rivers

Former Celtics coach Doc Rivers, who claimed Boston “is it for me as far as a city” back in April, sold his Boylston Street luxury condo in the Four Seasons almost exactly a month after leaving The Hub for Los Angeles.

Rivers sold the 1,801-square-foot, two-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom condo for $3 million on July 26, according to public records. The Celtics announced their decision to allow their coach of nine years to pursue an opportunity with the Clippers in exchange for an unprotected 2015 first-round draft pick on June 25.

For those counting at home, that’s almost as much as the annual salary of new Celtics coach Brad Stevens, who signed a six-year, $22 million deal in early July. Needless to say, Stevens wasn’t the purchaser of the penthouse condo.

Rivers walked away from the final three years on his five-year, $35 million contract with the Celtics to sign a similar three-year, $21 million deal in L.A. Rivers paid $2.2 million for the condo on Aug. 5, 2011 — a few months after signing that five-year extension — so he made another cool $800,000 on real estate upon leaving Boston.

Photos of the condo are available from that original listing two years ago.

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Back in Boston for ABCD charity event, Doc Rivers laments departure of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce from Celtics 09.12.13 at 1:06 pm ET
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Doc Rivers

Doc Rivers

Doc Rivers returned to TD Garden on Wednesday night. The former coach of the Celtics served as a co-chair of the Action for Boston Community Development’s Hoop Dreams charity event and spent the evening shaking hands, signing autographs and sharing stories about his time in Boston.

“It’s tough to leave the Celtics because it’s the Celtics,” Rivers said. “It was the best nine years of basketball that I’ve ever been a part of, but I also fell in love with the city. And, for me, the hardest part is leaving the city. I’ve met friends that have changed my life here, and they’ll always be my friends.”

Sitting a few rows behind the Celtics bench, Rivers shared some insight on his tenure with the Celtics.

Kevin Garnett served as a focal point of the discussion. Rivers lamented the fact that KG never let the city see his vivacious side.

“Fans never got to see Kevin’s personality,” Rivers said. “I wish the city got to know Kevin more. He’s the single best athlete that I’ve ever been around as far as being a team guy. He’s as ‘team’ of a star as I’ve ever seen. A lot of stars are stars, but he’s unselfish, to a fault at times, but every coach should be able to coach Kevin Garnett just to see what a true team player should be.”

Rivers agreed that Garnett is an atypical NBA superstar, as he is a pass-first player who relishes his role as a teammate.

“He did a lot of good things that people don’t know,” Rivers said. “When rookies came in, he would bring them up to my office. He’d sit them down, and then he would bring his tailor in and say, ‘If you want to be a pro, you’ve got to dress like a pro.’ And he would buy each rookie two suits, and he did it every year. To me, that says a lot about Kevin Garnett as a teammate.”

Rivers also admitted that Garnett has an interesting use of the English language.

“The word that starts with ‘f’? He thought it was a noun, verb and an adjective,” Rivers said.

Celtics fans may never have the opportunity to see Garnett reveal his personality, but he delighted the city with his Hall of Fame play for six seasons.

“He’s full of life and a great guy in the locker room,” Rivers said. “He’s so unselfish, I think he would have scored another 10,000 points if he wanted. He’s the only player I’ve ever yelled at for not shooting. He always felt like if he took three or four shots in a row, that was too many. He needed to share the ball.”

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Doc Rivers on D&C: ‘Disappointed’ in Danny Ainge’s portrayal of his Celtics departure 09.05.13 at 10:04 am ET
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Doc Rivers has Clippers fever!

Doc Rivers has Clippers fever! (AP)

It’s been more than two months since Doc Rivers and Danny Ainge played the blame game over how exactly the former Celtics coach landed in Los Angeles in exchange for an unprotected 2015 first-round pick from the Clippers.

Ainge claimed it was ultimately Doc’s decision.

Rivers presented it as part of the Celtics plan.

“Honestly, I was very disappointed in that part of Danny’s press conference,” Rivers said during an appearance on Dennis & Callahan to promote September’s Hoop Dreams event at TD Garden to benefit Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD). “Other than that, Danny and I have no issues. Danny knows, just like I know, that that’s not true.

“Listen, guys, this is old stuff. I’m here, and Danny’s in Boston. You can ask Danny that more and more, but there were two people in that room, and it was Danny and I, and anyone else who has a comment about what went on doesn’t really know because they weren’t in that room. It was more than one day. It was several days, and it was an agreement.”

Regardless, Rivers and the Celtics president of basketball operations are still in communication. ”We’ve had our disagreements when I was there, and we’ve moved on,” added Rivers. “That was a disagreement on how that was presented. Danny knows that, and I know the truth, but you move on and we’ve talked many times since.”

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Celtics schedule released: Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett return to Boston with Nets on Jan. 26 08.07.13 at 9:18 am ET
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Brad Stevens says "tanking" isn't in the Celtics' vocabulary. (AP)

Brad Stevens makes his debut as Celtics coach Oct. 30 with a game against the Raptors in Toronto. (AP)

Mark your calendars, folks. Doc Rivers, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett are coming back to Boston, and we know when.

The NBA released the 2013-14 schedule Tuesday, and among the notable matchups for Celtics fans is when Rivers and his Clippers visit TD Garden on Dec. 11 and when the new-look Nets, featuring Pierce and Garnett, come to town for the first time Jan. 26. The Nets play at the Garden again March 7.

Brad Stevens and the C’s open their slate Oct. 30 against the Raptors in Toronto, then come home to play the Bucks two nights later.

Other circle dates include a Jan. 2 contest at the Bulls, which would be the first time Rajon Rondo and Derrick Rose face off in nearly two years after both suffered ACL tears. It also serves as the team’s only Thursday night TNT game.

What may be the most interesting four-day stretch comes in mid-December. It starts when the Knicks, who ended the Celtics’ season in May, host Boston Dec. 8, and continues when the Nets do the same two days later at the Barclays Center — the first regular-season matchup between the teams. The very next night, Dec. 11, happens to be when Rivers and the Clippers play at the Garden.

This season could also prove to be a bit of a grind — even more so than most — with the Celtics staring at playing on consecutive nights 20 times, which is actually two fewer than they had last season. Six of those back-to-backs will come in November, when they play a season-high 18 games.

In a change from recent years, the Celtics are not only not playing on Christmas, but they also have five days off Dec. 23-27.

Here is the full 2013-14 schedule:

Oct. 30 at Toronto, 7 p.m.

Nov. 1 Milwaukee, 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 3 at Detroit, 6 p.m.

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Report: Jay Larranaga in the running for 76ers head coaching gig 07.17.13 at 8:06 pm ET
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Celtics assistant Jay Larranaga is reportedly in the running for the top job with the Sixers. (AP)

Celtics assistant Jay Larranaga is reportedly in the running for the top job with the Sixers. (AP)

Another Celtics assistant is drawing interest from one of Boston’s arch rivals.

Jay Larranaga, who was considered as a candidate to replace Doc Rivers before Brad Stevens was hired, has been contacted by the Philadelphia 76ers to interview for their vacant head coaching position.

Before joining Boston for the 2012-13 season, Larranaga spent the previous two seasons as head coach of the Erie BayHawks of the NBA Development League. In two seasons with the BayHawks, Larranaga led his squad to consecutive playoff appearances while posting a regular season record of 60-40. He also established team records for all-time wins (60) and wins in a season (32).

In Larranaga’s two years in Erie, eight different players received NBA call-ups. Prior to arriving in Erie, Larranaga served as an assistant coach at Cornell, and before that he was head coach of the Irish National team for two years. Larranaga spent the summer of 2012 as an assistant for the Ukraine National team under former NBA coach Mike Fratello before joining Rivers’ staff last season.

Yahoo! NBA writer and insider Adrian Wojnarowski was first with the story.

Larranaga, who reportedly met on Tuesday with the Sixers, is one of a list of candidates the 76ers are considering to replace Doug Collins, who resigned” after the team’s 34-win season that resulted in Philly missing the playoffs one season after losing a Game 7 to the Celtics in the Eastern semis.

Larranaga’s father, Jim, was the AP college coach of the year this past season, leading the Miami Hurricanes to its first-ever tournament title, an ACC win over North Carolina and an appearance in the NCAA Sweet 16.

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Brian Scalabrine optimistic about Celtics as he leaves Boston for Golden State at 12:18 pm ET
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Brian Scalabrine is in the midst of a very productive offseason.

Brian Scalabrine was a fan favorite during his time playing in Boston from 2005-10. (AP)

Brian Scalabrine was a fan favorite during his time playing in Boston from 2005-10. (AP)

The 35-year-old native of Long Beach, Calif., is returning closer to home after joining Mark Jackson’s coaching staff with the Warriors. Scalabrine also is working as a spokesperson with 2 Gingers Irish Whiskey, and he served up the popular “Big Ginger” cocktail behind the bar to excited patrons for three hours at Granary Tavern on Tuesday night in Boston.

“Scal” also sat down for a one-on-one interview with WEEI.com, and the former Celtic and Comcast SportsNet broadcaster shared his insight on topics ranging from the Celtics’ championship in 2008, the bitter loss to the Lakers in 2010, and the work Danny Ainge has performed this summer. Scalabrine also quieted any speculation that he was in the running to replace Doc Rivers as coach in Boston.

“If four people would have passed on the Celtics, then I would have been interviewed to be the coach of the Celtics,” Scalabrine said. “But there’s no way four people were going to pass on that.”

Scalabrine was eager to share how greatly he evolved as a basketball player during his time with the Celtics.

“You have to look around at what you have,” he said. “That year [in 2007-08], we had Kevin Garnett directly from Minnesota coming in and changing the culture of our organization. He made sure guys were ready and focused. We could have fun in the locker room and joke around, but when it came to game time or practice, or the weight room or your individual time, it was time to lock in and get serious. Later on, on the bus or the plane, that’s when we could joke around. At the end of the day, we were about winning. We were about being successful.”

Winning a championship on a team driven by the likes of Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen helped Scalabrine perfect his own philosophy on the game of basketball.

“I’m about having success in life, but also having fun. There’s a misconception that I joke around and I’m not serious about the game of basketball. I’m ultra-serious about the game. I like the challenge of working with young guys, making them better, and getting them ready for a championship-caliber type of team. It’s not about getting better so you can be mediocre. I’m about getting you better so we can win a championship. That’s my focus.”

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