Doc Goes Hollywood
Doc Rivers decided to take his coaching talents to Hollywood, signing a 3yr- 21 million dollar contract with the Los Angeles Clippers, after the NBA approved a deal late Sunday afternoon between the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers in which Boston will receive a 2015 unprotected first round pick in exchange for Doc, who has coached the Celtics since 2004.
This deal had all the makings of a great Hollywood blockbuster. It all started the day after the Celtics were ousted from the playoffs at the hands of the New York Knicks when on his show “First Take” on ESPN 2, Stephen A. Smith made a bold prediction that the Clippers could potentially strike a deal with Boston for Doc, KG and Pierce in exchange for Clippers star Blake Griffin and an assortment of other assets.
The deal was widely refuted by the local beat writers and the smoked, which should have led to an illuminating blaze of Doc on a plane to L.A, seemed to lead nowhere. Most assumed that in the coming days Doc, now faced with the question, would come out and ease the minds of Celtics fans and announce that he would be with the team in 2014 and years to come. The hours after Stephen A’s proclamation turned into days, then weeks and Doc was still silent.
The only rumblings out of Celtics camp were GM Danny Ainge’s pubic assumption that Doc Rivers was going to be back, but that’s all it was, an assumption. Sure, Doc was under contract for the next three years and was due to make 7 million in each of those three seasons but Danny never asked Doc flat out if he was going to be back. Both had been talking about offseason moves and the future direction of the team so he, again, assumed that he would be back.
It could be possible however that Danny already knew what the answer would be if he approached Doc, so he hoped by remaining silent Doc would cave to father time and submit to coaching an aging roster with the max potential of a one and done performance in the playoffs yet again.
Fast-forward to this past week when Celtics and Clippers fans were sent on a roller coaster ride of conflicting tweets and articles from local and national reporters. The first proposed deal consisted of Eric Bledsoe, DeAndre Jordan and 2 first round draft picks to Boston for Doc, KG and Peirce, but the deal ultimately fell through because of the Clippers unwillingness to give up their talented young guard, Bledsoe.
After the Clippers kept taking assets off the negotiating table and offering a mere second round pick for one of the NBA’s best coaches, the Celtics walked away.
The trade was considered dead to most and the Clippers seemingly had moved on as they were interviewing Brian Shaw, now a possible successor to Doc, and Byron Scott for their head coaching position. Then Clippers star PG and unrestricted free agent Chris Paul told the Clipper front office that he wanted Doc as his coach. Talks resumed.
So, Friday afternoon after both sides, going back and forth for what seemed, in most NBA fans eyes, an eternity, walked away yet again from the negotiating table leaving the deal dead and Doc still a Celtic. Rumors started to leak out now that Doc would no longer pursue the Clippers job and he along with Danny Ainge would hold a press conference early in the week declaring his return to the Celtics.
That leads to Sunday, when talks between the two teams went from 0-60 in seconds and just as quickly as the talks started up again Doc was gone, a Celtic no more.
So what does this mean for the 2014 Celtics and beyond? Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce are still wearing green, but for how much longer? Trade talks between the Celtics and Clippers for KG will be blocked by David Stern and the NBA due to the assumption that deal would include some compensation for Doc thus eliminating a possible reunion in La La Land.
With the Clipper seemingly out as a possible landing spot for KG where else would he allow the Celtics to trade him? Maybe back to Minnesota where he started his career, Houston makes the most sense as a possible destination for the Big Ticket because of his close relationship with head coach Kevin McHale and he could realistically compete for a title with James Harden leading the pack. Or he could simply call it a career and fade out the NBA locker-room forever.
Then there is Paul Pierce, the forgotten soldier, who has been linked to trade rumors with Cleveland and Dallas for draft picks and has also been rumored to soon be bought-out by Danny Ainge making him a free agent.
Celtics fans do not know what is in store for their beloved franchise with the Doc Rivers era resulting in a Hollywood ending and the KG-Paul Pierce era seemingly in its final act, but one thing is for certain; “Anything is possible.”