Rivers notes: Rondo working harder than ever

Rivers notes: Rondo working harder than ever
September 5, 2013, 12:00 pm
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BOSTON — No one knows for sure how Rajon Rondo will respond upon his return to the Boston Celtics lineup, or when exactly that time will come.

But during a 13-minute interview on WEEI's Dennis & Callahan show Thursday, former Celtics coach Doc Rivers discussed a recent conversation he had with the Celtics' four-time all-star who suffered a torn right ACL injury in January.

"I don't know (when he's returning)," said Rivers, now Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations and head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers. "I know that he's working hard. That's one of the things he told me, he's never worked harder in his life. I don't know if you guys have ever had that injury; I have. You have to work that hard, to come back. That's a hard injury not to come back from, but just to do the rehab. But when he comes back, he'll be 100 percent. It's just going to take time."

Here are some other topics Rivers touched on during his interview which was in part to announce his return to Boston on Sept. 11 as part of the ABCD program's Hoop Dreams fundraiser at the TD Garden.

Rivers on coaching the team that Brad Stevens will inherit

Doc: "It's something that I didn't want to do. I've rebuilt three times. That's a lot for a coach. You probably get it a little bit, but I don't think you completely understand ... it's extremely hard to do. I went through it once in Orlando, no, twice in Orlando. Once Grant Hill was injured, we had to do it again. And in Boston. That's my third time doing it. That's hard. I really didn't want to do it. But would I have done it? Yeah. I told Danny (Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations) that I would do it."

Rivers on signing five-year deal in 2011 but not wanting to rebuild again

Doc: "Honestly, I didn't sign the deal thinking that. I signed the deal because at the time, it was the right thing to do. I was going to be a free agent. Kevin and Paul had three and four years left on their contracts; with Ray. At that time, I wasn't thinking about going anywhere else, but I was thinking about taking a break. I just didn't think it was the right thing to do to the organization. So I signed that deal more for that, than I did thinking about what happens three or four years from now."

Rivers on Kevin Garnett agreeing to waive no-trade clause

Doc: "If he has one fault and there's not a lot of them as a player, he doesn't really allow a lot of people to get to know him. Kevin hates change, hates it; extremely loyal. At the end of the day, he felt like Paul (Pierce) was gone, I was gone, Jason Terry was leaving ... he was doing it for the right reasons. Not necessarily that he wanted to go. He just thought that this was something that Danny (Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations) wanted; Danny wanted to rebuild and reload. He just felt like he was doing the right thing. I don't know if he necessarily wanted to go, but he went. Now when you talk to him, he's excited about his new team and he really believes they have a chance of knocking Miami off in the East."

Rivers on his replacement Brad Stevens

Doc: "Brad and I talked before he took the Celtics job and it was about another job. And he just wanted my thoughts, should he come to the NBA. I said absolutely. He has the right make-up. I can tell you, he does. He's not one of those coaches who thinks it's all about him. And I just think if you watch his teams play and his demeanor, he'll be a very good NBA head coach."

Rivers on the ABCD program and the Hoop Dreams event on Sept. 11

Doc: "It's a great event. Think of it this way. We're raising money for ABCD. But what you get to do is, you get to play on the Garden floor, the parquet floor. Guys, companies, corporations ... there's a lot of people that have grown up in Boston and been to a lot of games and have never had the opportunity to pay on the parquet floor. It's really cool for them and you can see the joy that they have."