Doc Rivers' son, Austin, coached by good friend Monty Williams

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Doc Rivers' son, Austin, coached by good friend Monty Williams

BOSTON Doc Rivers has a great amount of respect and admiration for all his NBA coaching brethren.

But he has said on may occasions that the bond that exists between him and New Orleans head coach Monty Williams is different.

So when the call came in that the Hornets were going to draft his son Austin with the 10th overall pick, naturally Rivers was ecstatic about the selection.

"I couldn't have picked a better guy for me, and for Austin," the elder Rivers said. "Monty's going to coach him. Austin is going to have to get used to that, and that's good."

Williams, who just completed his second season as the Hornets' head coach, attributes many of his coaching philosophy to Rivers.

"He's been a bit of a mentor; a bit of a sounding board for me," Williams said in an interview this past season. "Our families are close. And he's been willing to risk our relationship to tell me the truth. I find myself doing that."

Their relationship goes back to when they were teammates in New York and later, San Antonio. When Rivers became the head coach of the Orlando Magic, he wound up adding Williams to his roster.

One of the greatest lessons Williams learned from Rivers came during Williams' rookie season.

During warm-ups, Williams was asked by a couple teammates to dunk the ball.

He does a windmill jam. He follows that up with another dunk. And another. And

Rivers pulled him aside and, according to Williams, "just ripped me."

Instead of dunking, Rivers encouraged him to work on his game.

Otherwise, 'you're going to be out of this league in two to three years if you don't work on your game,'" Williams recalled being told. "And he walked away from me."

Williams added, "I was mad and embarrassed but I understood he was trying to look out for my career."

You can expect that kind of tough love with Austin Rivers, one of the top freshman in the country this past season at Duke.

"I'm not going to lie. It is different. You know, I'm looking at a kid (Rivers) that I watched grow up," Williams told reporters following the draft. "But you guys know me. If he messes with the game, I'll forget his last name real quick."

Which is just how his father - and Williams' good friend - would want it.

"I couldn't have picked a better guy to coach my son," the elder Rivers said.

A Pierce-Doc-Garnett reunion with Clippers - if only for a day

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A Pierce-Doc-Garnett reunion with Clippers - if only for a day

Less than a week after announcing his retirement on Instagram, Kevin Garnett was back in the gym with old friends Paul Pierce and Doc Rivers.

Cue the comeback rumors? "Anything is possible!"

The tweet from the Clippers called Garnett a “special guest” at the team’s practice on Thursday. 

Rivers, the current Clippers and ex-Celtics coach, told ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan last week he was willing to bring Garnett, who has a home in Malibu, to Los Angeles for one last season but KG, 40, chose to retire. So, apparently, the reunion Thursday with Doc, Pierce and Garnett was only temporary.

The Akron Beacon Journal reported that Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue, a former Celtics assistant under Rivers, wants Garnett to join his staff. 

 

 

Gerald Green's injury may give others a shot a Celtics camp

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Gerald Green's injury may give others a shot a Celtics camp

WALTHAM, Mass. – Gerald Green’s hip flexor injury isn’t anything he or the Celtics are overly concerned about.

They know Green as well as any player on this roster, so him missing a couple days will have no effect on his status in their eyes.

But in shutting him down for a couple days, his absence affords a number of players an opportunity to stand up in what is an absolutely pivotal, potentially career-altering season.

James Young is in his third training camp with the Celtics and no one has a real feel for where he fits into the pantheon of NBA players.

He hasn’t played enough to call him a bust, but hasn’t done enough to feel as though he has a bright future in this league either.

And then there’s R.J. Hunter, who came into the NBA with the reputation of being a spot-on shooter.

As a rookie last season, the 6-foot-6 shooting guard struggled knocking down shots when he got playing which for most of the season, was limited.

So, what does that have to do with Green’s injury?

His absence means those two players will get more reps on the floor, providing each with potentially more chances to impress the coaching staff.

It means Young will get a few more shots at showing the added strength, weight and improved skills will enhance his chances to not just make the 15-man roster but also compete for potential minutes.

As for Hunter, he has to make shots.

It’s that simple.

While he showed potential as a rookie to do a number of things on the floor, the easiest way for him to solidify a spot on the roster is to do what he does best which is make baskets.

At the end of the day, one of these guys will not be in a Celtics uniform this season. Between now and then, every opportunity they get to impress the coaches has to be taken advantage of which is exactly what they each will get courtesy of Green’s short-term injury.