Rivers agrees to 5-year extension

Rivers agrees to 5-year extension
May 13, 2011, 3:40 pm
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Breathe a little bit easier Celtics fans, Doc Rivers will be with the team for at least five more years.

The team's director of basketball operations, Danny Ainge, told CSNNE'sGreg Dickerson that Rivers has reached an agreement on a five-yearcontract extension. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports that the Celtics will pay Rivers 35 million over that period.

After being eliminated by the Heat in the second round of the playoffs, Rivers stated that he was "leaning heavily" towards coming back. The length of the contract, however, comes as a bit of surprise. Rivers has taken the last couple of years on a year-by-year basis, stating numerous times that he eventually wanted to take time off and spend it with his family. Many assumed that he might ride out the Big Three era and part ways, but the new extension proves otherwise.

Doc just finished his 7th season as Celtics head coach, and currently has the 3rd most regular season wins by a coach (336) behind Red Auerbach (795) and Tommy Heinsohn (427).

His coaching career as a Celtic has been nothing short of a roller-coaster. Rivers wasn't always as highly regarded as he is now, and was in fact a lot of fans' target during the Celtics franchise worst 18-game losing streak before Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen came to town.

Because he had the trust of the Celtics front office, Rivers was kept on.

Now, that relationship is stronger than ever, as Rivers and Ainge have perhaps the best on-the-court and off-the-court relationship among all NBA teams' owners and coaches.

With the core players and Rivers returning for next season, another title run is in the works, with plans to build a solid and capable bench around them.

The extension allows Rivers to have a hand in the post-Big Three era, an era that at least for now seems to be centered around Rajon Rondo and (presumably) Jeff Green.

Chevrolet SportsNet Central at 6:00pm and CSNNE.com will bring you the entire interview between Dickerson and Danny Ainge later today.