Well, the Clippers or Celtics could change that by backing out of the agreement again, and the NBA could always veto the deal, so perhaps Rivers’ departure is not so set in stone. Assuming Rivers actually is headed to Los Angeles to be the new head coach of the Clippers and the recently reported deal is not just another false start, the Celtics have a gaping hole on their bench to fill.
In all likelihood, the person the Celtics hire to replace Rivers will not have the experience or cache that their recently departed coach did. After nine seasons with the team, Rivers was the second longest-tenured coach in the NBA. His longevity and his 2008 championship ring gave him instant credibility from any new player who came to Boston.
There is no shortage of candidates for Rivers’ job, though. Former Celtic Antoine Walker threw his hat in the ring via Twitter, and while the Celtics hiring Walker is unlikely, it could be fun to think about — just like imaging Phil Jackson roaming the sideline at the TD Garden. Plenty of realistic candidates, like Brian Shaw and Lionel Hollins, are sure to interview as well.