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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 »

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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.”

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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.

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Doc: ‘Baby is not a bad person’ 10.27.09 at 8:00 pm ET
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CLEVELAND  —  Doc Rivers and Danny Ainge both sounded like upset brothers before Tuesday’s game when they spoke of Glen Davis‘ indiscretions that resulted in a fractured thumb and a team-mandated suspension.

“Baby is not a bad person,” Rivers said before the game, speaking at length for the first time since details surfaced about Davis’ Sunday scuffle. “He made a bad mistake and he made a bad judgment. Unfortunately, it only takes one second or five seconds to make a mistake and then you have to live with it at times. And right now, he has to live with that mistake.

“But he’s not a bad kid. He’s growing, he’s maturing. Obviously, he has some ways to go. But we want to help him do that. I really feel that’s part of my job as a coach to help him as a person and not put him in ways like that.”

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Turn up the volume: C’s not living in past 10.23.09 at 5:25 pm ET
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WALTHAM  —  Before this season ever starts, nearly everyone in a Celtics uniform wants to make one thing clear. This is NOT 2008.

On Friday, the Celtics held a two-hour practice before going home to get clean and ready for their team dinner Friday night in Boston.

Here’s what a number of them had to say about this year, comparisons to two seasons ago and other miscellaneous items.

Paul Pierce said the team is plenty motivated this season.

Pierce said he hasn’t heard any ‘experts’ picking the Celtics.

Doc Rivers said there’s only one set of expectations that matter.

Rivers said he likes where the team is at.

Kevin Garnett said he likes what he saw in the preseason.

Garnett said Tuesday in Cleveland against LeBron and Shaq will be exciting.

Read More: Cavaliers, Celtics, Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett
Doc: ‘We’re ready’ at 3:26 pm ET
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WALTHAM  —  Celtics coach Doc Rivers put his team through a spirited workout on Friday afternoon at the team’s practice facility, four days before the team opens the season on Tuesday in Cleveland against LeBron James and the Cavaliers.

Rivers said following the practice that he senses his team is geared up and ready.

“I like where we’re at,” Rivers said. “I’m very happy where we’re at. We’re going to add things all year. We’re ready to play. Even if I didn’t add anything else all year, I think we’re ready to play an NBA game.”

Read More: Cavaliers, Celtics, Doc Rivers, LeBron James
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