Doc remembers C's struggling, too

Doc remembers C's struggling, too
January 8, 2014, 10:00 pm
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(AP Photo)

As much as fans know Doc Rivers for leading the Celtics to Banner 17 in 2008, the season prior to that was one of the most trying for him and the franchise.

The Celtics endured the worst season in franchise history, which included a franchise-record 18 straight losses.

Fast forward to 2014, where Celtics new coach Brad Stevens is riding a five-game losing skid that he and the Celtics will be hard-pressed to end Wednesday against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Rivers, now coach and Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations for the Clippers, was asked if he had any sage words for Stevens in how to handle the struggle that come with losing lots of games.

"Brad's smart as me; I think acutally Brad's smarter than me," Rivers told reporters before the game. "There's no words that I can give him. He'll go through it and he'll be better because of it. I guarantee you he will be."

Stevens acknowledges this season has been trying in many ways both for him and his players.

"This is hard; this is really hard," Stevens told reporters. "It is not something I enjoy. It's not something that any of our guys enjoy."

Stevens had a conversation on Wednesday with Rajon Rondo, the lone player still around who was part of the Celtics' franchise-record 18 straight losses.

"He's been through the ultimate highs and lows of this," Stevens said. "At the end of the day, we would like to get the result we want. More than anything as a basketball coach and a guy who loves basketball, I want to play well. I think our guys agree with that. We've done that for the most part, but we're sour from last night's performance [a 129-98 loss at Denver]."

One of the first things a coach has to have is a short memory.

Look at Doc Rivers.

When asked about the losing streak in Boston, his first response?

"What year? Huh?" Rivers quipped.

"For a coach," Rivers said. "I don't think it changes much. During that stretch, I remember the next game was the one you turn it around. As a coach, you have to convince yourself that tonight's the night. I'm sure a lot of people didn't believe that going into it outside of what you were doing, but you did and you had to get your players to believe that. It's a hard job. Every night, you're back up and back at it."