Boston Celtics: 4 Reasons Doc Rivers Should Walk Away at Season's End
It's no secret Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge is ready to make drastic changes. The Celtics are hoping to update their look with some fresh faces and Championship rings.
Ainge’s attempt at an intense facelift for Boston could start with coach Glenn “Doc” Rivers. Although he just signed an extension with the Celtics, here are four reasons why walking away at the end of this season could be good for both Rivers and the team.
A man known for his kids, Rivers has plenty of family pride.
Austin Rivers is a star on the court for Duke Blue Devils, and a top prospect going into the next NBA draft. His older son, Jeremiah Rivers, currently plays professionally overseas. Callie Rivers is busy as ever acting as her father's motivator, and Spencer Rivers, the youngest of the Rivers clan, is following in his father and brother's footsteps and growing into a well-rounded prep school player.
His family is growing up fast.
They have proven to be his guiding force and rock time after time. After spending a great deal of time living a “long distance relationship” with them, Rivers may want to reunite with his family.
The Era Is Ending
The Big Three of Boston was the dream talent Rivers always wanted. They had a good run, but even the big guy is noticing the times are a-changing.
In an interview with ESPN Boston, Rivers admitted that the Celtics can’t rely on the Big Three to carry the team anymore. The franchise is open to the idea of breaking up the Big Three and getting their money’s worth since plenty of teams could use their talent.
Just a year ago, Rivers turned down the New York Knicks to renew his contract with the Celtics. This year he turned 50, meaning he still has at least a decade to snatch some rings.
The Downward Spiral
There is nothing wrong with playing for the love of the game. However, sports fans and franchises have very short term memories. A championship four years ago is easily forgotten in a title-hungry town like Boston, and fans are eager for another.
Rivers is starting to feel that pressure. After just four seasons with the Celtics, Rivers led Boston to a championship win in 2008. This was the first championship for the franchise in two decades. However, in the years following 2008, the Celtics have come up short in the playoffs despite another finals appearance in 2010.
This year, they will not be contending at all.
The decline in performance is leaving both the Celtics' organization and its fans to search for a fix. While not all the blame can fall on Rivers, it will begin raising the question of his effectiveness as a leader.
Retirement Always on the Brain
It would seem as though every year since returning from retirement, Rivers has needed coaxing to convince him to stick around.
In 1999, Rivers came out of a three year retirement to coach the Magic. In 2004, he moved to Boston. Over the last three years rumors about Rivers' intentions have flown fast and furious. Boston papers praised his family and the Big Three for convincing him to ink his name to a five year extension in May of 2011 after his retirement had seemed imminent.
It seems as though Rivers has priorities other than coaching. Before he burns himself out, Rivers should consider bowing out.