The similarities also go beyond championship jewelry, which both Belichick and Rivers have been fortunate enough to obtain during their time in New England. According to Celtics guard Jason Terry, Belichick and Rivers actually have very similar coaching styles.
“He’s the Bill Belichick of basketball because of his execution of what he draws up in the timeouts, in practice,” Terry said of Rivers. “We go over it time and time again. And there’s a big emphasis on doing things the right way, whether it’s defensively doing our coverages or offensively, the little things. Setting screens, making sure you make the proper cut, just being focused on every single possession is so critical, like it is in football. That’s why I say he is the Bill Belichick of basketball.”
Rivers, who is currently in the midst of his seventh season as head coach of the Celtics, has led Boston to two NBA Finals appearances, including winning it all in 2008. Belichick, however, has led the Patriots to three Super Bowl wins and has established himself as one of the greatest coaches in NFL history, so Terry is certainly giving his head coach a great deal of praise.
“[Rivers] might have been stealing things from Belichick this whole time he’s been in Boston because everything he does is all about execution and winning every possession, not just the game but every possession,” said Terry, who joined the Celtics last offseason. “I think that’s very critical to our success and it’s a big emphasis.”
Both the Celtics and Patriots figure to be contenders again this season, so perhaps the two head men will be sharing a few more secrets in the coming months.