NBA players & head coaches care about what people say & think about them. Doc Rivers is trying to make like his breakup with the Boston Celtics was about the team moving on from him, but there’s no doubt that the move to the Los Angeles Clippers came all from him, no matter how much he tries to hide it.
He’s telling one version of the story, but there are quite a few examples of Rivers is constantly contradicting his story over the last few weeks, making his departure from Boston look like a train wreck, especially in the situation the Celtics have been left.
Bill Simmons isn’t all Celtics fans, and there is a problem with someone being in such a powerful and influential media position taking advantage of the power he has to settle personal scores and act like he’s just a fan on a couch somewhere, but Rivers, who isn’t everyone’s cup of tea when it comes to his coaching abilities, hasn’t done himself any favors by the way this whole thing has played out, and even after.
There’s no reason the Celtics would suddenly decide to get rid of their head coach (they’ve given a five-year, $35 million contract to) because they’re hitting rebuilding mode, especially not for a draft pick from the Los Angeles Clippers, who aren’t likely to give them something too special over the next few years.
Yet Rivers makes it sound like the Celtics were the side that offered him to go to LA, so he can pursue his goal to coach for another championship and not be part of the rebuilding program. Instead of admitting the truth, which is probably along the lines of Rivers not wanting to be a head coach of a team that was going to have a losing record in 2013-2014, he’s trying to come off as righteous, naive and innocent as to how the NBA business is handled, hoping the Celtics fans don’t view him as a traitor or something similar, like many of them look at Ray Allen now.
Is Rivers a great NBA coach? He has an NBA title and another finals appearance, but there was nothing special about his offensive schemes for the Celtics, while their defensive ability over the last few years is usually attributed to the presence of Kevin Garnett. Rivers himself? He’s more respected than Vinny Del Negro, which should help the Clippers re-sign Chris Paul, but it’s hard to say he’s a much better head coach than him.
Even under contract, a player or a coach is allowed to leave and seek a better situation elsewhere, as long as he complies with the rules. But to make it sound like something that simply doesn’t make sense at pretty much every level is disrespectful to current and former fans, not to mention the team Rivers just left, leaving it in shambles and with a very unpromising near future.