Josh Newman, SNYNets.com
Scratch Doc Rivers from the Nets’ head coaching search.
The Boston Celtics’ head coach will return to oversee what is expected to be a reshuffling of the roster, President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge told the Boston Globe on Thursday afternoon at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago.
“Yeah (he’ll be back), Doc and I are talking about our team next year,” Ainge said. “(No suspense) from my perspective. We’ve got a great coach. We’ve got a coach everybody would love to have and he’s got three years left on his contract and I think Doc likes Boston, too.Coaches get tired, though. It’s a hard job.”
Rivers, who signed a five-year extension with the Celtics following the 2010-11 season, said following the Celtics’ Game 6, season-ending defeat to the Knicks that he would think about his coaching future.
Rivers’ comments during that postgame press conference, combined with the fact the Celtics could potentially enter next season without Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, sparked optimism that he would ask out of the remainder of his contract and seek a new opportunity, namely with the Nets, who are looking for a head coach following General Manager Billy King announcing that interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo would not be retained.
Rivers ending up in Brooklyn was always something of a long shot due largely to the fact of the amount of years remaining on his Celtics contract. Had Rivers taken steps towards asking for and actually gaining his release, he most certainly would’ve shot to the top of King’s wish list. To date, the only candidate King has reportedly called is Phil Jackson, who declined King’s overtures, maintaining he would prefer a front office position.
In 14 years as a head coach, Rivers is 587-473 to go along with a 64-57 mark in the postseason. He was the NBA Coach of the Year in 2000 in his first year as a head coach with the Orlando Magic, and coached the 2008 Celtics to their last NBA championship with Garnett, Pierce and Ray Allen together for the first time.
Josh Newman is SNYNets.com’s Field Reporter. Follow him on Twitter for up to the minute news and banter on all things related to the Brooklyn Nets and the NBA