Rivers earns 400th career Celtics win


Rivers earns 400th career Celtics win

TORONTO Under Doc Rivers' watch, the Boston Celtics suffered through the longest losing streak in franchise history in 2007.

A year later, they were NBA champions.

Indeed, Rivers has experienced the many highs and lows that come with coaching a franchise so rich in tradition, the standard by which many franchise measure themselves up against.

Throughout that journey, Rivers has won some games - OK, he's won a lot of games.

In fact, Wednesday's 99-95 victory over the Toronto Raptors was Rivers' 400th regular season win as the C's head coach.

He becomes just the third coach in franchise history to win 400 or more regular season games pacing up and down the Celtics' sideline.

Comcast SportsNet basketball analyst and Hall of Famer Tommy Heinsohn had 427 regular season wins in Boston, and the late Red Auerbach (also a Hall of Famer) holds the franchise record for regular season victories with 975.

Rivers didn't find out he was in such elite company until after Wednesday's victory.

"That's cool," said Rivers, who initially thought it was his 400th career win and not 400 in Boston. "To be behind those two guys is pretty special to me."

Boston would have to finish the regular season with a 28-6 record or better for him to pass Heinsohn which seems unlikely.


Kevin Durant solidifying invitations for free agent meetings, including Celtics

Kevin Durant solidifying invitations for free agent meetings, including Celtics

The wheels of the Kevin Durant free agent train have been set in motion.

"Durant’s representatives at Roc Nation are working to solidify invitations" for meetings with a list of six teams, which includes the Boston Celtics, according to The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski. The other teams listed are the Warriors, Clippers, Heat, Spurs and Thunder. The Nuggets, Knicks, Lakers, Rockets, and Wizards could "could still find audiences with him," but they are considered outsiders.

Wojnarowski says the Thunder remain the frontrunners, but "the Warriors have Durant's attention."

If Durant chooses the Warriors, it could happen very quickly. Warriors restricted free agent Harrison Barnes could sign an offer sheet for a contract on July 1, which would mean the Warriors would have only have three days to match the deal. They'd likely need a decision from Durant before then, or they'd risk losing one of their valuable pieces without being able to fill his role.

Durant plans on making his decision before July 9 anyway, according to Wojnarowski, because that's when he's leaving for a publicity tour in the Far East.

The fact the Celtics are even on Durant's primary list shouldn't come as a surprise considering his actions after his game in Boston against the Celtics earlier this year. They do have tough competition though. Both the Warriors and Heat have the cap space to absorb Durant's likely max contract worth about $26.4 million, and the Spurs can easily create the space if necessary.

The Clippers are interesting though, because they'd have to deal one of their stars (Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan, or Blake Griffin) to free the cap space to sign Durant. If he does choose the Clippers, maybe Danny Ainge could help Doc Rivers swing a deal. How about something involving Blake Griffin and Jae Crowder?

But the Celtics have an edge. They're the only team listed that can sign two max contract free agents. If Durant wants to play with his buddy Al Horford, or anyone else for that matter, the Celtics can make it happen. How about a 2007 draft class reunion with Durant, Horford, and Jared Dudley? It's an odd trio, but Dudley has already expressed interest in joining the Celtics.

No matter what happens though, the Celtics are in the race. Fans might be disappointed after Thursday night, but we're just getting started, folks.

Kevin O’Connor can be followed on Twitter: @KevinOConnorNBA