Celtics coach Doc Rivers showed how much trust he has in his assistant coaches and players Tuesday night when he left their preseason game against the Nets and let them run the show in the second half.

Or, he just really wanted to check out the presidential debate.

That’s what Rivers had some people thinking Tuesday night when he didn’t return to the sideline as the Celtics lost to the Nets at TD Garden. While Rajon Rondo and company just about pulled off the last-minute win, Rivers was nowhere to be seen — leading to speculation that he was more concerned with the battle between President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

The debate, which featured Obama and Romney really going after each other in a town hall-style forum, got plenty of attention on Twitter, even from those flipping back to the Celtics game.

It turns out Rivers was actually watching his team — and seeing his star pupils do him proud.

While it would have been interesting to hear Rivers’ thoughts on the presidential race, his disappearing act didn’t appear to taint his reputation among some of his fans.

Hey — you can always write in your choice on the ballot.

Mitt Romney photo via Facebook/Mitt Romney