|Has Doc Rivers drawn up his last play in Boston?|
The Bruins and the Blackhawks are in the midst of arguably an even stronger series as they dual for the Stanley Cup, knotted at two games a piece heading into Saturday's Game 5 in Chicago.
Nonetheless, it is basketball I want to talk about. I want to talk about Doc Rivers and Celtic pride.
I would not be heartbroken to see Doc go to the Clippers. Ditto for KG. They are not the right kind of pieces for a transition and that is what the Celtics appear to be on the brink of if not already in the midst of. Rivers also doesn't seem to want to be in Boston, I'm not sure about Garnett. Both of these guys mean more to the Clippers than they do to Boston; however the deal plays out (if it does), the C's are getting good value in return.
Some things do upset me about this whole business, however. For one, I think that the attacks on Rivers "bailing" on the Celtics have been unwarranted. This whole Celtics-Clippers rumor mill has been a media circus heavy on speculation and light on fact-checking. The Celtics were the one's who initiated trade talks involving Rivers, not Rivers himself, as the Boston Herald's Steve Bulpett reminds us. What's more, Rivers never wanted to be part of a rebuilding process and he's never given any indication to the contrary. It's hard to hold his desire to win and win now against him. Every summer for the past few years he's appeared torn on whether to stick with coaching in the first place, citing the strain it places on his personal life.
I am also irked by how public this whole process has been. But I guess I really shouldn't be surprised. Danny Ainge has never had reservations about letting any and every name fly unabated about the rumor mill, with, seemingly, little heed for how much this damages morale and makes the team as a whole look bad. And it's not like this is a hopeless-because-it's-Boston-media issue; consider the track record of the infamously tight-lipped Patriots. (I know, interesting timing here.)
Letting Doc get dragged through the mud is only surpassed by the absolute travesty of how Paul Pierce has even been loosely linked to these talks. It goes virtually without saying that Pierce should retire a Celtic. Pierce and Ainge are said to have a mutual respect and loyalty for one another. It's time for Ainge to prove this and issue a statement showing his support for Pierce, who has shown a tremendous amount of loyalty to the Celtics over the years.
This fiasco has been a festering thorn in the side of a Celtic Pride that is already a bit on the ropes, with transitory years imminent and the Heat, now including the Game-6-clutch Ray Allen, gunning for a three-peat next season. If deals are going to happen, let them happen, and let them happen quickly. Good riddance.