Rivers: I'm really proud to be part of Boston

Rivers: I'm really proud to be part of Boston
April 16, 2013, 2:00 pm
Share This Post

WALTHAM, MA — After learning of the Boston Marathon bombings, it didn't take the Celtics long to realize the best way to show their support for the victims and families was to cancel tonight's previously-scheduled game against Indiana.

"After learning about it, within an hour we picked up the phone and called the NBA to get their opinion and get their feelings as to whether or not we should go ahead and play this game," said Rich Gotham, president of the Boston Celtics. "The mutual feeling was that it would be OK to cancel this game, that some things are bigger than basketball."

The bombings which occurred near the finish line of the marathon on Monday afternoon, killed three people -- one of whom was an 8-year-old boy from Dorchester -- and injured at least 170 people.

"After seeing the events yesterday, everyone across Boston and New England shares the same feelings about what a terrible day it was, what a terrible tragedy," Gotham said. "Even a day later, the notion of playing a basketball game in these circumstances just didn't feel right to us."

Some Celtics players shared a similar sentiment.

"It would have been very difficult (to play tonight)," said Boston forward/center Shavlik Randolph. "Obviously, I don't think anyone is thinking about basketball at a time like this. It absolutely puts things in perspective. You think about the people that were affected, the people that were hurt by that."

Celtics forward Jeff Green and head coach Doc Rivers both live within blocks of where the bomb blast went off, and both were on their way home from practice when they got the news of the explosion.

"You never think anyithng like that can happen . . . something like that happen here, right down the street from where I live, hits close to home," Green said.

Rivers lives just a couple blocks away from the finish line.

"I had just gotten out of the tunnel when the bomb exploded," Rivers said. "It's just awful. It takes the joy out of sports. That's what sports is supposed to bring, joy. It took all the joy out of the event, and out of the day. It was a long day for everyone."

Having spent more than a decade in Boston, Rivers has no doubts that this town and its people will not allow the events of Monday afternoon to keep them down.

Rivers saw the resiliency within minutes of the bombing.

"Being in the city, the thing I will say is I'm really proud to be part of Boston," he said. "I saw people who didn't work for the police or anything like that, directing traffic, showing people were to go . . . I just thought the spirit of Boston was phenomenal. In a tragic event, it either separates you or brings you together. Clearly, it brought the city of Boston together which was awesome."