So it has finally come out. Doc Rivers is thinking about retiring as the Celtics coach following the conclusion of this year’s playoff run. Can you really act like you didn’t see this coming? I mean Rivers has done a pretty weak job this season considering his Celtics are about to finish 4th in the once “lowly” Eastern Conference. This was the team with the Big 3. This was the team when healthy, that was the hands down favorite to represent the East and take down the mighty Los Angeles Lakers. And yes, I admit I was one of the people who picked the Celtics to represent the East in the NBA Finals on my NBA preview..
You know what, they still could. I know that the Celtics have played very up and down basketball all season. They have endured many injuries and have had the experts scratching their heads all year. And the East has three very good teams at the top in the Cavs, Magic, and extraordinarily talented Hawks (my sleeper pick in the preseason). The Celtics won the title with ease 2 years ago. They had the Big 3 and rode them to a championship. Well the Big 3 are still there. If these guys can get their act together and play a month and a half of basketball that they are capable of, there is no reason why this team cannot secure their 2nd title in 3 years and shock the League. Now I am not saying that I think this is going to happen. It will be very tough to knock off any of the top 3 seeds especially without home court advantage. What I am saying is that it would not be an impossible feat with the team they have.
But Doc is looking ahead to the future. And can you really blame the guy? He says he wants to spend more time with his family. I guess this is valid. But really what it comes down to is, this is the last year of his contract. He has lots of money having been a former NBA player himself. The Big 3 saga appears to be coming to a short-lived end. Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett are both aging stars that have struggled with the injury bug. Ray Allen, the man with the prettiest stroke in the game is in the last year of his contract and getting up there in age. This team is unlikely to make a run to the Finals according to most. So there appears to be an implosion coming in the very near future.
And what better time to implode. I mean the best free agent class of all time will be available this summer. The likes of LBJ, D Wade, Chris Bosh, among others will all be on the open market. Therefore, imploding may not be such a bad thing in that with this free agent class, you may not have to rebuild over the course of multiple years. The rebuilding could take place over the course of a couple of days with a few big signings.
So should Doc Rivers reconsider and stay? That is up to him really. If he wants to spend more time with his family then so be it. That is a valid reason and should not be scrutinized. Does he want to prove that he can win with another group of guys and show people that he is a better coach than he has demonstrated thus far this year?
Maybe he should roll the dice and stay..In the words of Bugs Bunny, “What’s up Doc?”
Stay tuned for the next edition of Sportskraze.