Doc Rivers Says He's Returning to Celtics
"I'm coming back," Rivers said in a text message, according to The Boston Globe. "I want another crack at it with this group."
Rivers, who has coached Boston for six years and led the team to an NBA championship in 2008, drove the Celtics to the NBA Finals this past season, where they lost in seven games to the Los Angeles Lakers. After the playoffs ended, Rivers talked about taking a break from coaching in order to spend time with his family.
Rivers has two sons playing basketball in Jeremiah, a senior at Indiana, and Austin, a senior at Winter Park (Fla.) High and regarded as one of the best prep players in the nation.
"It's a tough one," Rivers said last week when asked about his coaching options. "It really is, and it's a serious one either way. So let's just wait, and we'll figure it out soon."
Although Boston general manager Danny Ainge did not publicly pressure Rivers to make a decision before the league's July 1 free-agency contact period begins at midnight, Rivers said it was important to him not to leave the Celtics in limbo.
"I don't think there's a better organization," Rivers told reporters on draft night. "That's something I've known pretty much for a while. You can't get this anywhere. Danny and I, our relationship ... he's my boss, but he's one of my best friends. When you look around the league, you don't see that. You don't see the two getting along. You don't see the two being able to fight and argue and then go golfing right afterward. That's a tough part of it."
With Rivers returning, the Celtics now seem to have a good chance of bringing back their core players. Even though forward Paul Pierce opted out of his $21.5 million contract for next season, many NBA experts believe that Pierce will likely sign a new deal with Boston, which also is expected to re-sign veteran shooting guard Ray Allen, who will become an unrestricted free agent July 1.