Those Celtics-Clippers trade talks involving Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett, DeAndre Jordan and others look to be dead. This is routine for the players involved, but it's uncommon ground for a coach. Are Rivers and the team on awkward terms?
President of basketball operations Danny Ainge and Rivers plan to meet tomorrow and figure that part out—Ainge is adamant that he wants Rivers there—but it really shouldn't be seen as that outrageous if Rivers stays after being so close to darting with one of the team's leaders. It's not the first time Rivers has considered abruptly leaving the team.
Consider how the team achieved that dominant 2007-12 run. Garnett and Ray Allen, two parts of the Big Three, came into Boston during the later parts of their careers via trades. This era of Celtics teams eschewed building around multiple young players in favor of getting excellent now. Yes, Rondo developed into one of the best point guards in the NBA, and it probably helped that there wasn't any pressure to fast-track his development, since the majority of points were courtesy of the older guys.
After losing to the Lakers in seven games two seasons after their accomplished championship, it became a "one more year" mindset. The days were always numbered. Rivers knew that, and the younger players had to have known. If Rivers comes back, it seems doubtful that hurt feelings will be one of the prominent team concerns.
It's trite to say, "It's a business," but it is. Chances are the fans would be more furious than the actual players if Rivers committed to a return. Maybe Rivers and the Celtics do part ways. That's also fine. As long as the replacement isn't Vinny Del Negro.
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