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Source: Doc Rivers returns to Celtics 06.30.10 at 1:31 pm ET
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WEEI’s Michael Holley has confirmed through a team source that Doc Rivers will return to coach the Boston Celtics next season.

The Herald’s Steve Bulpett was first to report the story.

This is very encouraging news for the Celtics and Danny Ainge as he attempts to bring back the core of the team for another run. The veteran players had all expressed support for Rivers while he took some time to consider his options.

While Paul Pierce has decided to terminate the final year on his contract and joins Ray Allen as a free agent, Rivers return is a significant factor in their decision-making.

It also allows the Celtics a degree of stability in what has been an eventful few weeks since their loss in Game 7 of the NBA finals against the Lakers.

In addition to Pierce’s decision, Tom Thibodeau was introduced as the head coach of the Bulls ending what had been a very successful three-year relationship between Rivers and his assistant. Also, Kendrick Perkins told reporters Tuesday that he would have surgery to repair a torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament in his right knee and would probably be out until late December or January.

What isn’t known yet is whether Rivers would consider extending his contract beyond next season. But with the start of free agency Thursday, his return eliminates some of the guesswork for potential free agent targets and also increases the likelihood that veteran players who miss out on big contracts would sign with the Celtics.

Read More: Doc Rivers, free agency, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen
Ainge on Big Show: Doc ‘needs some time’ 06.23.10 at 6:30 pm ET
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Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge talked with The Big Show Wednesday afternoon about the Celtics offseason, and one of the big topics of discussion was Doc Rivers and his decision whether to stay on as coach or leave for family reasons. Either way, Ainge believes that Rivers should take his time in making his decision.

“I know everybody wants to speculate, but the reality of it is he has not made a decision. I don’€™t want him personally to make a decision too soon,” Ainge said. “I know that Doc is one of the great competitors around. I think that it’€™s really tough on him with the loss. He sees the bright side of what the team accomplished, and it accomplished more than he probably thought a few months ago and all the things we just discussed. I know that it’€™s still really hard. A coach invests so much more than the players in my opinion, and he invests a ton and left it all out on the table. So he needs some time to get himself right before he makes a decision.”

Below is a transcript of some of the other highlights from Ainge’s interview. To hear the entire interview, go to The Big Show audio on demand page.

Have the Phoenix Suns contacted you about their GM job as was reported by Sports Illustrated?

No, they have not. I have a contract, and I love what I’€™m doing. I love the people I work with. I have a great relationship with the ownership, and we have still things to accomplish here. So that’€™s just a rumor that has no substance.

Has Doc Rivers told you of his decision?

No, he has not. Doc has not made a decision. I know everybody wants to speculate, but the reality of it is he has not made a decision. I don’€™t want him personally to make a decision too soon. I know that Doc is one of the great competitors around. I think that it’€™s really tough on him with the loss. He sees the bright side of what the team accomplished, and it accomplished more than he probably thought a few months ago and all the things we just discussed. I know that it’€™s still really hard. A coach invests so much more than the players in my opinion, and he invests a ton and left it all out on the table. So he needs some time to get himself right before he makes a decision. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics, Danny Ainge, Doc Rivers,
Mannix on D&C: ‘I don’t see’ Ainge leaving for Phoenix 06.22.10 at 10:20 am ET
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Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated joined Dennis & Callahan on Tuesday morning to talk about the Celtics and all things NBA. He touched on the possibility of Doc Rivers leaving the Celtics, the NBA draft, and coaching changes around the association.

‘€œI’€™ve talked to a few coaching friends of Doc in the last 72 hours, and every one of them, the consensus is that he’€™s probably going to walk away,’€ Mannix said. ‘€œFor all the reasons that he enumerated, there’€™s nothing remotely surprising about it. They feel like it’€™s time, they feel like it makes sense. He’€™s taken the team or the team has gone as a current group as far as they possibly can go and now is a great situation to leave.’€

Mannix also spoke about what it will take to re-sign Ray Allen and bring him back for next season.

Below are highlights from the conversation. Visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page to hear the interview.

On Doc Rivers:

I’€™ve talked to a few coaching friends of Doc in the last 72 hours, and every one of them, the consensus is that he’€™s probably going to walk away. For all the reasons that he enumerated, there’€™s nothing remotely surprising about it. They feel like it’€™s time, they feel like it makes sense. He’€™s taken the team or the team has gone as a current group as far as they possibly can go and now is a great situation to leave. Nothing that’€™s new as far as I was being told, but the tug of the family in Florida and wanting to watch his kids grow up have really weighed on Doc a lot more this year than they have in years past. So the consensus is around the league that he’€™s going to walk away.

On Danny Ainge leaving:

That’€™s an interesting thing that’€™s not being talked about a lot, that the Phoenix Suns now have an opening in their general manager position and Danny has very strong ties to Phoenix, having coached there, played there, I believe he still has a home there in the offseason. He just has a very strong connection there. It’€™s possible that [owner] Robert Sarver could come in with some kind of sweetheart deal and try to entice Danny there. For obviously, with the same reasons we’€™re talking about Doc, this thing may have played itself out for Danny. He won a championship, he brought them to two NBA finals, he accomplished a lot with this Celtics team. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Chris Mannix, Doc Rivers, Ray Allen,
Rivers on D&C: Transcript 06.21.10 at 1:51 pm ET
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Doc Rivers joined the Dennis & Callahan show Monday morning to discuss not only his future as coach of the Celtics but also his reaction to Game 7 of the NBA finals. Said Rivers: ‘€œIt’€™s uncomfortable to talk about [this coaching situation] and its uncomfortable where you go where people want to talk about it, so that’€™s probably why I want to make the decision sooner than later.’€

Following is a transcript. To listen to the entire interview, visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Did any [members of your family] put the question to you yesterday: Why don’€™t you stick around for a year or two?

We didn’€™t talk about it all, really. We’ve on even brought it up once since the season has been over. It is still very difficult to get though Game 7, let alone talk about your future, if you want to be honest.

You could look us in the eye, if we were face to face, and say you haven’€™t made a decision yet?

Yeah, I could. I could do that and could do it honestly. I am not going to say which way I am leaning ‘€” and I am one way ‘€” but I could look you in the eye and say that I have not made a decision. We have only had a small conversation, and we are going to do that in the next week or so. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, NBA Finals 2010,
Rivers on D&C: ‘Leaning’ one way about future at 11:12 am ET
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Celtics coach Doc Rivers joined the Dennis & Callahan show for his final weekly visit of the 2009-10 season. To hear the interview, click on the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Rivers said he has not decided whether or not he will return to the Celtics next season. “I’m not going to say which way I’m leaning ‘€” and I am one way ‘€” but I could look you in the eye and tell you I haven’t decided,” he said.

Rivers said he did not discuss the matter with his family during Father’s Day Sunday. “We didn’t talk about it at all, really,” he said. “It’s still very difficult to get through Game 7, let alone talk about your future, to be honest.”

Rivers said the players have been encouraging him to return, which makes him feel great but embarrassed to be in the spotlight. That type of support is the main reason why he would consider returning. Said Rivers, “The only reason you stay is your love for the guys you coach … knowing that if you do leave, you’re not going to get that back.”

Rasheed Wallace, like Rivers, is considering leaving the game. Rivers said he expects we’ve seen the last of the controversial center. “I think you have,” he said. “It’s so emotional right after the game. But Rasheed told me before [Game 7]. He told me the the night before. He walked up to me and said, ‘Hey, listen, I’m going to give you everything I’ve got. I really believe this is my last game that I’m going to play.’ And he said this year was very difficult for him physically. He never felt like ‘€” even the conditioning part of it hurt. He said he doesn’t think he wants to go through that again, and he wants to watch his kids. I do think it’s the last time we’ll see him in a Celtics uniform.”

Rivers said he’s watched some video of the fourth quarter of Game 7. “I’ve looked at some of it but I couldn’t watch it [all],” he said. “It’s still very difficult.”

The coach said one thing he might have done differently is to get Rondo some rest at the start of the fourth. “I think I should have given Rondo another blow,” Rivers said. “I thought he was tired. I thought he played that way in the fourth. And that was a tough one, because he was starting to play well at the end of the third, so it was tough to pull him out.”

Rivers also said he wished the team would have attacked the post more, although he noted that some post plays were called, and Kevin Garnett and Rasheed Wallace both were tiring. “You could just feel that we were running out of gas,” he said.

Rivers also said the referees’ more frequent whistles down the stretch were an adjustment the Celtics did not handle well. “The whole fourth quarter, it was called tighter,” he said. “There’s no doubt about that after watching [the video]. That hurt us a lot. … It was just a free throw line parade. That’s the one line you can’t defend.”

Rivers also credited Ron Artest as the key to the Lakers’ comeback. “We didn’t defend him the way we should have defended him,” he said. “I thought Ron Artest was the difference in that game.”

Read More: Celtics, Dennis & Callahan, Doc Rivers,
Doc: Sheed thinking about retirement 06.18.10 at 1:22 am ET
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Rasheed Wallace may have played his last NBA game, Doc Rivers speculated following the Celtics Game 7 loss to the Lakers in the finals.

‘€œYou know, I don’t know if Rasheed will ever play again,’€ Rivers said. ‘€œYou know, he’s one of them. I think he took that out on the floor with him. I think he is thinking about retiring, and I thought you could see that in his play. He was dying out there. When he got the cramps and the strains, he was just trying to figure out a way of staying on the floor.’€

Wallace, 35, started in place of the injured Kendrick Perkins. He posted 11 points and 8 rebounds in 36 minutes before fouling out late in the fourth quarter. Wallace propelled the Celtics early in the game by providing a much-needed post presence and was effective at scoring down low. (In typical Wallace fashion, he also mixed in a critical 3-pointer.)

But eventually Wallace, who suffered back spasms during the postseason, became hampered by injuries. He could no longer serve as an option at the basket for the Celtics, a huge loss when they were already playing without Perkins.

‘€œWe had to keep subbing him for one minute and two minutes, and I thought the reason we got up early was because of Rasheed Wallace,’€ said Rivers. ‘€œWe got it low in the post, he started scoring, and I thought what happened was late in the game he got tired and had the injuries and we couldn’t go down anymore. And I think that had a huge impact on how we were playing. We had to go away from the post almost because of fatigue. You know, it’s the first time all year that you can actually say at the end of the day we were old at the end of the game because we didn’t have a enough bodies. I thought it hurt us.’€

Wallace is under contract next season and has a player option for 2011.

If Game 7 turns out to be Wallace’€™s last game, he lived up to the expectations set by his previous postseason success. After an inconsistent first regular season in Boston (9.0 points, 40.9% FG, 28.3% 3PG), Wallace made it clear why he had signed with the Celtics.

‘€œI didn’€™t come here for the regular season,’€ he said during the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

On Thursday, he proved he was there to win a championship. Even though the C’€™s fell short, Wallace left no question that he had come to the Celtics to help them achieve postseason success.

Said Rivers, “He was a warrior.”

Read More: Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, Kendrick Perkins, NBA Finals
Mashburn on D&H: ‘No one man’ can beat Celtics 06.14.10 at 5:00 pm ET
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Former NBA player and current ESPN NBA analyst Jamal Mashburn appeared on the Dale & Holley show Monday afternoon to discuss the NBA finals, Kobe Bryant, and the coaching matchup and how it has thus far worked in the Celtics’ favor.

Following are some highlights. To hear the interview, click on the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

Is there any way the Lakers lose three straight in the finals?

Well, you know what, it’s possible, if Kobe doesn’t get any help from some of his other supporting cast members, such as Lamar Odom and also Ron Artest on the offensive end. And we can discount Pau Gasol a little bit for his performance, he just had a bad game, but he’s been productive throughout the course of this series. But I think the real factor is the health of Andrew Bynum. ‘€¦ They don’t have any defense, nobody is stopping anybody at the rim. Paul Pierce was having his way with Ron Artest, and it’s going to be awfully difficult, but if anybody can do it and pull it off, it’s the Boston Celtics. They’ve been very good on the road in the regular season as well as in the postseason.

What did you expect after Game 2?

Well, my basketball mind told me that the Los Angeles Lakers would possibly get two out of the three games in Boston. I was sold after Game 3, when Derek Fisher had his performance in the fourth quarter, but then the Celtics just took over, but I did not see this coming. It seemed like the whole series, each game has had a personality of its own. If Boston can put it together, as far as their stars showing up, as far as their bench players showing up, and their defense continues to be stingy, Game 6 looks like theirs for the taking. But I’m awfully nervous when Game 7 comes around and you have Kobe Bryant on your team. And I think the Celtics should look at Game 6 as being their Game 7. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics, Doc Rivers, Jamal Mashburn, Kobe Bryant
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