Hours after Majerus' funeral, Doc returns to bench

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Hours after Majerus' funeral, Doc returns to bench

BOSTON Keeping his personal and professional life in their own individual boxes is easier said than done for Doc Rivers.

Days like today bring that point painfully home as Rivers arrived to the TD Garden hours before tip-off after attending the funeral of coaching great Rick Majerus in Milwaukee.

Majerus, 64, died of heart failure last week.

In 25 seasons as a head coach, he compiled a record of 517-216 which included 15 20-win seasons and a pair of 30-win seasons.

He is most remembered for leading Utah to the NCAA championship game in 1998 in addition to coaching at Marquette, Ball State and most recently, St. Louis University.

"It was a long day, and a tough day," said Rivers, visibly saddened by the events of the day. "Now we have a game. That's how I look at it."

Majerus was the man who gave Rivers his nickname, 'Doc,' after seeing Rivers at a basketball camp wearing a Dr. J. t-shirt.

When Rivers learned of the day that Majerus' funeral would be held, it didn't matter what the Celtics had going on.

He had to be there.

"Rick had a lot to do with why I'm here," Rivers said. "I've been with Rick since fifth grade. I felt like I had to be there; it was important for me."

Rivers is one who doesn't hide his emotions, coaching or otherwise. Because of that, one would think that he would have at least considered sitting this game out.

Not an option, Rivers said.

"No. If I really want to piss Rick off, don't coach the game," quipped Rivers. "So, I didn't give that much thought. Life is involved in what we do everyday. You deal with life and you deal with your job. So I always try to separate it when I can. Sometimes you can't."

WATCH: Bruins' Backes battles with Benn right after opening faceoff

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WATCH: Bruins' Backes battles with Benn right after opening faceoff

Now THIS is old-time hockey!

There's bad blood between the Bruins' David Backes and the Stars' Jamie Benn that goes back a long way, most recently in last spring's Dallas-St. Louis playoff series when Backes was still with the Blues. They met again today -- and the ungodly (hockey) hour of 11:30 a.m. Dallas time -- for a nationally televised game between Backes' new team, the Bruins, and the Stars.

And it didn't take long for the two to renew acquaintances . . .

Pistons to honor Hamilton, who had impact on several Celtics

Pistons to honor Hamilton, who had impact on several Celtics

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- The Detroit Pistons will retire the jersey number of former UConn star Rip Hamilton tonight, an instrumental figure in the Pistons’ success in the early 2000s that included an NBA title in 2004.
 
Although Hamilton never played for Boston, his impact can be felt within the Celtics locker room.
 
Boston’s Amir Johnson spent his first four NBA seasons as a teammate of Hamilton's in Detroit.
 
In that time, Johnson acknowledges how many of the positive things folks associate with him come from lessons he learned from Hamilton.
 
“He was so relentless when he ran,” Johnson told CSNNE.com. “I remember working out with him one summer. For him to even get his shot off, he sprints full court, goes back down shooting shots, and he just kept doing this over and over and over again, full court sprinting . . . To see that as a young kid, and at his age, just working hard like that, it was great to see.”
 
James Young grew up in nearby Rochester Hills, Mich., so he watched Hamilton’s scoring prowess up close and personal.
 
And as he continued to evolve as a player, Young would see Hamilton during the summer months while attending Hamilton’s basketball camps.
 
“I was there every year, won MVP a few times,” Young told CSNNE.com. “He’s a great guy, a great player.”
 
And, like Hamilton, Young has a lanky frame for an NBA player, which was among the many reasons Young acknowledged Hamilton as being one of his first significant basketball influences as a youth.
 
“For sure,” Young said. “His mid-range game was crazy, great shooter. He was always consistent.”
 
And that consistency has paid off in the highest honor an NBA franchise can bestow upon a player.
 
“That’s big time,” Johnson said. “He’s a champion, great father, great baller. To have his jersey retired is an honor. To see the success he had in the league, and to see his jersey retired with the greats, it's definitely an honor. I’m glad I’ll be there to see that. Kudos to him. He’s a hard worker. Had a great career. I had my high school jersey retired, but to get your NBA jersey retired, that’s great.”
 
Hamilton played 14 seasons in the NBA, nine of which were with the Pistons. A career 17.1 points per game score, he averaged 18.4 with Detroit and was named an Eastern Conference All-Star three times (2006-2008).
 
Although he is known as one of the greatest mid-range shooters of his era, Hamilton began to expand his range over time. During the 2005-06 season, Hamilton shot 45.8 percent from 3-point range (most of them being corner 3’s), which led the NBA that season.