Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers will return to the team next season, general manager Danny Ainge confirmed on Thursday.
Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe broke the news:
Danny Ainge confirms that Doc Rivers is returning next season as #celtics coach. "We've got a coach everybody would love to have."— gary washburn (@GwashNBAGlobe) May 16, 2013
Rivers has overseen the Celtics since the 2004-05 season, and he has served as the stabilizing force at the core of Boston's success in recent years.
The longtime Big Three of the franchise—Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen—keyed the Celtics to an NBA Finals triumph over the Los Angeles Lakers following the 2007-08 campaign. Rivers guided that Celtics squad to a magnificent 66-16 record during that regular season.
This is a big first step taken by Rivers, as he is committing to at least one more year to the organization. It may even be enough to keep Pierce and Garnett around.
The absence of injured star point guard Rajon Rondo beginning in late January hindered Boston’s bid to make a legitimate playoff run. His return is sure to help the team next season.
Will the Boston Celtics be NBA Finals contenders next season?
Rivers was a former NBA point man himself, and has been crucial in developing Rondo's on-court abilities and overall maturity. With all those All-Star egos to juggle in the locker room, the job Rivers has done with the talent at his disposal has been remarkable.
The news of the Celtics retaining Rivers has to have Boston fans thrilled. Rivers will be the anchor and likely keep the franchise competitive as it enters an inevitable transitional phase in the coming years.
Flux is imminent for the C's, but they can take solace in the fact that Rivers will remain in the fold.