Doc Rivers‘ decision to leave the Boston Celtics is a little easier to understand now.
While addressing reporters during Thursday’s NBA draft, the new head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers was asked to react to the news that Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, two star players he had grown close to during his time as coach of the Celtics, had been traded to the Brooklyn Nets. While the rest of the league was shocked, Rivers acted as though it was old news.
“I knew it was coming,” Rivers told ESPN.com. “Danny [Ainge] and I had talked about that over the last 3-4 weeks. I knew all this was going to happen.”
It appears Rivers’ reluctance to coach through a rebuild was not just an abstract idea. He knew a blockbuster deal was coming and that he would be left with a stripped-down roster in Boston, so he decided not to wait, and to get out while he could. That’s a problem he hopes not to have with the Clippers, who gave him input in personnel decisions as senior vice president of basketball operations.