Someday, Doc Rivers will answer questions only about his current team, the Los Angeles Clippers, and not his former one, the Boston Celtics.
That day is not today.
In his latest interview with Yahoo! Sports Adrian Wojnarowski, Rivers once again addresses leaving the Celtics for greener pastures in L.A., admitting that the decision was made simply because he didn't want to be part of a rebuild in Boston again.
From Woj's article:
“It dragged out to a point where there were bound to be hurt feelings,” Rivers said. “The truth was this: I really didn’t want to go through a rebuild. I’ve been through three – when I first got to Orlando, and then when Grant Hill went down again. And I had been through one in Boston. It’s easy to say, ‘Just do it,’ but for a coach, it’s brutal. Showing up, getting your ass kicked, it’s brutal.”
“It takes a lot out of you. At the end of the year, when we lost, I had full intentions of doing it. The more I kept thinking about it, I knew it wasn’t in me again. At least not there again.
“But when the deal first fell apart, I told [Celtics president of basketball operations] Danny [Ainge], ‘I’ll coach again here, I’ll come back.’ And then, a day later, I told him: I don’t know if I can. That’s how wishy-washy I was. But when I said that, Danny said, “OK, let me get back to work and get this thing done.’”
This isn't a revelation. Rivers has eluded to the fact on multiple occasions that he wasn't on board with rebuilding. But he's a bit more frank about it this time speaking with Wojnarowski.
It obviously was a tough decision for Rivers to move on from Boston after all the years he spent coaching the Celtics, and it's also clear that Boston is still on his mind. In his perfect world Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett would have stayed and so would he, but we know Celtics GM Danny Ainge had no intention of keeping those players and watching the aging Celtics fade more and more out of contention by the season with nothing coming in return.
But Rivers got his wish in not having to coach a rebuilding team. Now, can he do what he was brought in to do in L.A.?
Expectations are extremely high for the Clips this season and in seasons to come. Rivers has a lot on his plate in Los Angeles, so the sooner he can move on from the Celtics in his mind, the better off he will be. Once training camp starts, new storylines will form and the focus will be on the here and now. Hopefully for Rivers' and the Clippers' sake, as well as the Celtics' sake, the breakup will stay in the rear view.