He willingly and gratefully signed a humongous $35-million contract.
He regularly showered praise on his players, his boss, his owners, Boston fans and the city.
Yet Celtics coach Doc Rivers now wants to bolt town?
For the (gulp) Los Angeles Clippers.
I’m as big a Rivers fan as anyone but, Doc, I have two words for you.
The rumor mill has been in overdrive and it appears an unusual deal could happen as soon as today. Rivers would be a key piece in a major Celtics-Clippers trade that could include numerous players including Kevin Garnett.
According to reports, the Celtics really wanted L.A. guard Eric Bledsoe but that may have fallen through. It could be Rivers, the 37-year-old Garnett (who’d have to waive his no-trade clause) and a bloated contract guy like Jason Terry and/or Courtney Lee for athletic big man DeAndre Jordan, Caron Butler and his expiring contract and a first-round pick or two.
The addition of Rivers and Garnett likely would insure star free-agent point guard Chris Paul would resign with the historically inept Clips, who could then make a run at a title.
The eminently likable Rivers has helped guide Boston to a terrific six-year run including the 2008 NBA title, but the Celtics are ancient and they were ousted by a mediocre Knicks club in the first round of the 2013 playoffs.
In other words, their time has come and gone. Doc’s been here nine years and maybe it’s time for a clean break.
It has to be, because he’s burned his bridges by holding the franchise hostage since the end of the season. He’s refused to commit to the team since then.
If the Clippers deal falls through, Rivers should do the noble thing and resign.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports quoted an anonymous NBA executive: “There’s no putting the genie back in the bottle. You can’t pretend this didn’t happen and just go back to work.”
The Rivers charm won’t work this time. You want to leave after two years of your five-year deal, then leave.
We thought he was different. But he’s just another guy looking out for No. 1. That doesn’t make him evil, but save the crocodile tears about how special the franchise and the city are.
I was baffled that Doc re-upped a couple years back. He could have taken a year off, done TV work, and been the hot free agent coach. But he proclaimed his love for Boston (and the $35 million) and now he’s getting cold feet? Now he and president of basketball operations Danny Ainge aren’t on the same page?
This Doc adheres to the Hypocritical Oath not the Hippocratic one.
With his winning personality and winning record, Teflon Doc has received nothing but fawning press and fan support.
But don’t forget he was 273-312 in eight seasons with Orlando and Boston. He’d never won a playoff series. Then everything changed when Ainge worked his magic to bring in KG and Ray Allen to form the new Big 3 alongside Paul Pierce.
Doc certainly did his part, but no KG and no Ray means no ring. And no genius tag for Rivers.
Let him go, acquire some nice pieces in return and begin to rebuild.
And when you come back to the TD Garden Doc, don’t cry me a Rivers.
E-mail Michael Muldoon at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MullyET.
At a glance: the Celtics-Clippers deal According to ESPN yesterday, here's the latest proposal: To Clippers Name Age Remaining contract 2012-13 stats Comment Doc Rivers 51 3 years, $21 million Lost first round playoff Brings instant credibility, insures Chris Paul stays Kevin Garnett 37 2 years, $23.5 million 14.8 pts., 7.8 rebs Great leader, still can play Courtney Lee 27 3 years, $16.4 million 7.8 pts., 1.8 assists Warmed bench in playoffs Jason Terry 35 2 years, $10.7 million 10.1 pts, .434 shooting Was a major disappointment To Celtics DeAndre Jordan 24 2 years, $22.4 million 8.8 pts., 7.2 rebs Athletic 6-11, 265-pounder Caron Butler 33 1 year, $8 million 10.4 pts, .424 shooting Attractive expiring contract Also a future first-round pick or two Note: Celtics likely would deal Lee OR Terry