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Doc on Scott firing: ‘That’s our league’ 11.12.09 at 3:23 pm ET
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WALTHAM  –  When he heard the news on Thursday that Byron Scott had been fired after a 3-6 start in New Orleans, Doc Rivers couldn’t help but think he had seen this script before.

It was November 2003 and the Orlando Magic decided to make a coaching change after a 1-10 start. It was Doc Rivers who was shown the door.

“That’s too bad,” Rivers said following Thursday’s practice. “It’s amazing that you can make a decision that quickly on a guy that was Coach of the Year a year-and-a-half ago. So, that’s our league.

“He matched me, basically. I was [11], so I lasted [two] longer, unfortunately. It just gave me [two] more losses,” Rivers added with a hearty laugh.

To be completely accurate, this isn’t even the first time this has happened to Scott.

In Dec. 2003, with his team languishing near .500 at 22-20, the Nets replaced him with assistant Lawrence Frank, who now is the second-longest tenured head coach in the East.

What makes it even more similar is the fact that both Scott and Rivers earned coach of the year honors only to be fired later on.

Rivers was coach of the year in 2000 with Orlando, leading a team that was picked dead last in the Eastern Conference to a near playoff berth. Scott earned his award in 2008, ironically the same season Rivers led his team to 66 wins and the NBA title.

That season, Scott led the Hornets to 56 wins and a berth in the Western Conference semis before bowing out to the Spurs.

Read More: Byron Scott, Celtics, Doc Rivers, Hornets
Doc Rivers on D+C at 10:21 am ET
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Celtics coach Doc Rivers joined Dennis & Callahan to talk about Wednesday night’s win over Utah, the importance of practice and what he looks for in the box score.

At what point in a game like Wednesday night do you and the coaching staff start smoking the Red Auerbach cigar?

Rivers: A lot of times the young guys get on the floor and you’re trying to help them improve. There may be a point in a season where you need a Lester Hudson on the floor. So you never stop [coaching]

What about when Kevin Garnett goes up on two defenders on an alley-oop, in a blowout, do you hold your breath like everyone else? Do you spend a lot of time thinking about health?

No I don’t. I can’t worry about that. They’re healthy. Everyone’s healthy. Kevin’s 100 percent healthy and his game’s just going to keep getting better. So you don’t worry about that. You just worry about minutes and the minutes have been great this year. That’s the only thing you actually have any [control over], along with the gameplan.

What is it that you miss by not practicing. Is it physical? Is it mental?

I think you have slippage. When you play a lot of games and you don’t have a lot of time to adjust to some of the things that you’re slipping in, it just goes further. The discipline in that is execution offensively and defensively.

We did it at both ends last night, and that’s clearly a couple of things. Number one, they’re more rested and that’s both physically and mentally. But the most important thing is their execution. When you play eight games in 12 days you don’t have time to work on things and you lose a lot. You could see it in that game last night. Early on, one of my assistants, Kevin Eastman said, ‘It’s amazing what a couple of practices can do.’ Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Dennis & Callahan, Doc Rivers,
Doc: ‘I understand and appreciate the day’ 11.11.09 at 7:01 pm ET
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Every Veterans Day has special meaning to Glenn ‘Doc’ Rivers.

His late father, Grady Alexander Rivers, was in the Army and he carries that memory with him now.

“I think a lot of kids look at this day as a day off,” Rivers said before Wednesday’s game. “My dad was a veteran, so I do understand the day and I appreciate the day.”

So with that inspiration in mind, he’ll take the chance to remind his team before the game with the Jazz about why today is important.

“Today, and I do it all the time, but I’ll share some veterans’ stories,” Rivers said. “I’m going to ask the guys if they even know what day it is because a lot of people don’t. If it’s a certain day, like Martin Luther King Day, or any of these days I think it’s a good for us to bring it up. It’s not just a basketball game. I always think it’s important to bring it up.”

Read More: Celtics, Doc Rivers, NBA, Veterans Day
Doc on Kareem: we hope things work out 11.10.09 at 2:53 pm ET
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WALTHAM  –  When he came into the NBA with the Atlanta Hawks, Doc Rivers played against Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and soon found out why the center was considered one of the best ever in the sport.

Following Tuesday’s practice, Rivers was informed that the Hall of Fame center has been diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia.

“Obviously, sad, Rivers said of his initial reaction. “Obviously, we hope things work out but that’s tough.”

The 62-year-old basketball legend, born Lew Alcindor, was inducted into the basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield in 1995, the first year of eligibility after his retirement in 1989.

Abdul-Jabbar won six NBA titles, including five as the post player for the Lakers during their dynasty of the 1980s.

Read More: Celtics, Doc Rivers, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Lakers
Doc Rivers on D&C, 11/5 11.05.09 at 10:34 am ET
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Celtics coach Doc Rivers joined Dennis & Callahan to talk about how important his bench has been, the now-infamous Rajon Rondo vs. Chris Paul tiff, how getting more sleep has helped the Celtics, and his problems with Tim Donaghy.

Does it bother you when people start talking about winning 70 games?

No, it’s unrealistic, but it’s talk and people can talk about it, obviously. But it’s not what we’re focused on, I can tell you that.

On the Minnesota game:

You could see it early on, it was just one of those nights. Nothing was going for us. It didn’t look like we had legs, which happens during the year. Rasheed Wallace, Eddie [House] and Ray [Allen] were wide open on a lot of shots and some of them weren’t even close, so you knew it was one of those nights. Sometimes it’s a good thing when you can win with that, especially down the stretch, the last two or three defensive possessions we held them from scoring, it’s a good sign for your team.

Is it difficult to keep focus?

It’s not difficult at all because we have so many things to do defensively. We have things to do to get better offensively. We have yet to put in things. We’re not getting to the third and fourth options because we just don’t know them well enough yet, so we have a ton of work to do. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: D+C, Doc Rivers,
Rivers on Rondo’s Contract: ‘I Can Fine Him More’ 11.02.09 at 3:36 pm ET
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Rajon Rondo now has security in the form of the five-year deal to which he’s agreed in principle. At the same time, Celtics coach Doc Rivers also has a form of security in knowing that he will have the dynamic point guard beyond the 2009-10 NBA season. And so, Rivers felt little need to hide his enthusiasm for the deal. 

“I love it. Whenever we can lock up a player like him, that’s what you want to do,” said Rivers. “I said last week that I really thought he’d be a Celtic for life. Now, with the contract, at least for the most part of it, he will be. That’s a good thing.” 

That notwithstanding, Rivers suggested that the deal — which has yet to be finalized — will do little else to change the Celtics. Rondo will be treated as the same player, and the team is unlikely to view the point guard differently just because he received the lucrative deal.

“I just look at him as a player. I’m not going to look at him today any differently than I did yesterday. When he screws up, I’m still going to yell at him. I can fine him more. I guess that’s the good news of the contract. We treat him the same. We treat everyone the same. Our motto here is we’re going to coach you the way you should be someday, not the way you are today. That goes for everyone,” said Rivers. “It’s obviously a topic of conversation because everyone talks about it all around. It’s funny – no one made a big deal of it [at practice] today. They kidded him about it. We just went about our business. That’s pretty much who we are.”

Rivers did not seem to think that complacency would become an issue for Rondo in light of the financial security of incredible wealth. The idea of a player achieving peace of mind through such a contract, the Celtics coach suggested, was exaggerated.

“As a player, you just play. It’s all within. You keep your drive. You keep pushing forward. He’s 24 years old. I think that is for guys, that 32-year-old age who get that last contract, that’s peace of mind,” said Rivers. “But at this point in his career, I don’t think he thinks of it that way. I think he looks at is as something I’ve earned, something I’ve worked extremely hard for, and I want a couple more of these big deals.”

Read More: Doc Rivers, Rajon Rondo,
Doc: Baby has plenty of time for apologies 10.28.09 at 7:41 pm ET
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Doc Rivers said before Wednesday’s game that Glen Davis had yet to address his teammates and offer up an apology for Sunday’s fight that led to a fractured right thumb, putting him out of action for at least six weeks. 

“No, not yet. He’s got plenty of time,” Rivers laughed. “We’re not worried about that really. We had Cleveland last night, Charlotte tonight. That stuff will take care of itself.”

Rivers added that Davis, suspended by the team on Tuesday, was not in the building for Wednesday’s home opener. Danny Ainge indicated on Tuesday that he expected Davis to apologize to the team sometime on Wednesday when the team returned for the home opener.

Read More: Celtics, Doc Rivers, Glen Davis,
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