Paul Pierce, Doc Rivers Discuss Tom Thibodeau's New Job With the Bulls
Doc Rivers did his best to not comment too much on it, and refused to confirm that Thibodeau had actually taken the position. But he did talk a little about the situation, and was clear in pointing out that whatever happens with the man who has essentially been his defensive coordinator, it will not be a distraction during this series.
"It won't have an impact, right now we're focusing on basketball," Rivers said. "I'm not going to confirm it. I hope it's true, but we're not going to comment on it, I can tell you that. We're focused on the NBA Finals, and there's two teams: there's the Lakers and the Celtics, and that's what we're going to keep the focus on.
"But on Tom, he deserves a job. I think he's the best candidate out there. I've said that for three years now. But other than that, we're going to leave it at that."
Paul Pierce was a little more forthcoming, and talked about the influence Thibodeau has had on this Celtics team.
"[Thibodeau] has been major to a lot of things we do, but so have a lot of other coaches on our staff," Pierce said. "I think Doc does a pretty good job of expanding their roles. Before Doc got here with his staff you really didn't see too much of that with the past coaches. Especially [Thibodeau], everybody knows his role with this ballclub is mainly with the defense, even though a lot of us believe he can do other things, but that's just his role and I think his influence, just defensively on this team has been major for us in getting to the point we're at right now."
There had been rumblings before the postseason that Rivers might choose not to come back as head coach next year, for a variety of reasons. But when asked whether Thibodeau's leaving would impact his decision one way or the other, Rivers didn't seem to think so.
"No, [Thibodeau] and I are very close, but that won't have an impact," Rivers said. "I want all my coaches to get jobs. They work so hard, Kevin Eastman and [Armond Hill], those guys are gems, they really are. And some day, they probably will [get jobs].
"But that won't have an impact, and honestly I haven't thought enough about it. So I guess I would say I don't know, but I don't think it would have an impact."