Doc Rivers and Brad Stevens are more than just card-carrying members of the NBA coaches’ union. They’re also friends.
The Los Angeles Clippers detailed the bond he shares with the Boston Celtics head coach last week in an interview with The Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn. Rivers revealed he and Stevens often contact each other to discuss some of the finer points of basketball at the highest level.
“He?s a great basketball mind; we call each other during the season,” Rivers said. “I called Brad several times last year to ask his opinion about certain guys, certain players, certain situations. He does the same with me. It?s just on game day, we don?t talk anymore. Once that?s over, we can go back and be friends again.”
Although Rivers, 57, is considerably older than the 42-year-old Stevens, it’s good to see their respective places in Boston Celtics history have helped them form a close professional, and perhaps personal, relationship.
Stevens succeeded Rivers as Celtics coach in 2013 and has led the team to the NBA playoffs in five of his first six seasons in charge.
Rivers in 2013 left the Celtics for the Clippers and also has guided his team to the postseason in five out of his six seasons on their bench.
The Celtics and Clippers will face off twice in the 2019-20 season — on Nov. 20 at Staples Center and Feb. 13 at TD Garden. Those dates aside, Rivers and Stevens probably will strengthen their bond in the coming months, as they have done for years.