By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com Celtics Insider
BOSTON This summer, Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers traveled to China to watch his son, Austin, a member of the Duke basketball team. Later this week, he's headed to Belgrade to see his oldest son, Jeremiah. And you can bet he's checked in a few times with his daughter, Callie, whom Rivers says is in graduate school at the University of North Carolina.
After deep playoff runs with the Celtics that took up most of the spring and left him drained in the summer, Rivers loves being able to hit the road and see his kids seemingly whenever he wants to.
"I needed a little break," he said on Monday as the C's celebrated their 25th year as a corporate partner of New England Baptist Hospital. "I have it now."
Rivers, like most NBA coaches and fans, media, etc. is ready for the NBA season to get started.
But there's this itty-bitty snag in that plan, better known to you and me as the NBA lockout, which is now in its fourth month of existence.
The players union and owners have been meeting more frequently the past couple of weeks, but progress toward a new deal has been moving with glacier-like quickness.
Some preseason games (43) have already been canceled, with more expected to be wiped out soon.
Each day passing without a deal in place puts the expected Nov. 1 start of the season in greater jeopardy.
"It's tough," Rivers said of not knowing when the season will begin. "You're just used to working, preparing and getting ready."
While the work load isn't nearly what it usually is this time of year, Rivers and his staff haven't spent the entire summer on the golf course.
Rivers said he's "driving his coaches crazy" this week as they gather to start discussing this upcoming season.
They'll meet every day until he leaves to see Jeremiah play for KK Mega Visura, a team in Serbia's A League.
Just because there are no games to be played and no players they can work with doesn't mean Rivers and his staff can sit back and relax.
"We have to do our jobs," Rivers said. "We have to prepare and when they say go, we'll be ready to go."
Every season presents a different set of challenges for Rivers, and this one will be no different.
However, making things more complicated are the many unknowns for both the Celtics and the NBA as a whole.
That's why Rivers and his staff were up late Sunday night, brainstorming over the various options that they'll have to consider once the NBA owners and players union reach an agreement on a new CBA.
"Well, we have all kinds of plans," Rivers said. "But we don't know what the plans will be until everything is done. We're just going to be patient and when they say 'go,' we'll be ready to go."