Source: Rivers could leave C's for broadcast booth

Source: Rivers could leave C's for broadcast booth
June 16, 2013, 8:00 pm
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SAN ANTONIO — The potential trade with the Los Angeles Clippers that would have freed up Doc Rivers to coach them is still considered a no-go.

But that doesn't necessarily mean Rivers will be back on the sidelines as the Celtics head coach this season.

A league source tells CSNNE.com that Rivers has not entirely ruled out taking some time off to resume his broadcasting career and return afterwards to coach.

"You guys (media) have been around Doc long enough to know that's always been something he's talked about," the source said. "So it shouldn't come as a surprise. And frankly, now is probably as good a time as any for him to go that route."

In recent years, Rivers has said on more than one occasion that he would most likely take a sabbatical from coaching to recharge as well as spend more time with his family.

That might be a good idea when you consider the likely backlash Rivers will face upon a return to Boston.

It would be a lot worse right now if not for the New England fan base being so focused on the Boston Bruins and their quest for a second Stanley Cup in the last three seasons.

For years, Rivers has been among the most respected and well-liked coaches in the NBA.

Multiple league sources contacted agreed that those same qualities are still evident and the way he's viewed in NBA circles will not be dramatically impacted by his interest in the Clippers job despite having three years and $21 million left on his contract with the C's.

But there are many who have been scratching their heads at the way in which Rivers has handled this situation, which is significantly different than the way he dealt with the Orlando Magic when they made overtures to him a few years ago.
 
"This is not like Doc," one league executive said. "This was kind of sloppy and Doc has always done a good job of staying away from this kind of sloppiness."

If Rivers does return as the C's head coach, the need for damage control will certainly be a work in progress.

But the biggest concern has to be with the locker room, especially if most of the players from last season are back.

Rivers is well known for his ability to motivate players, getting them to believe in putting the team ahead of their own individual goals and agendas.

But his tryst with the Clippers seems to contradict that feel-good, ubuntu mantra.

"No matter what he does, it's not going to be easy for him to fix this, if he can at all," the source said. "But Doc is Doc; he'll figure out how to make it all work. He always does."