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BOSTON (CBS) – It was uncertain when the Boston Celtics walked off the floor of the American Airlines Arena after their season-ending Game 5 loss to the Miami Heat if Doc Rivers would coach again in Boston.
But for Doc, who signed a five-year extension just two days after Boston’s season ended, there really were no other options when it came to his future.
“At the end of the day, this is where I want to be,” Rivers told WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche for Sunday’s Sports Final.” I’m not stupid; I knew free agent-wise you could have gone other places. But I couldn’t take all those guys with me, I couldn’t take Danny (Ainge) with me, and I couldn’t take the Celtics name with me.”
“I know it’s corny, but I just though in the day in time, when everyone is moving, stay where you’re at and see how it works out,” said Doc.
“It was funny, when I was a player against the Celtics, I was always jealous,” said Doc of his days as an Atlanta Hawk and New York Knick, going up against Boston in the 80‘s and 90’s. “I didn’t like them because they acted like they were better than people. I always tell Danny that, ‘you all acted like you had a fraternity that you’re from Boston.’ Now I feel that same way. I’m sure people don’t like me outside of the Celtics, and that’s fine by us. It’s a neat group to be a part of.”
Rivers is also part of a rare group, with the four current Boston/New England coaches all owners of at least one championship in the last six years. It’s a fraternity that Rivers is proud to say he belongs to.
“We’re going to do a picture at some point,” he said of himself along with Claude Julien, Terry Francona and Bill Belichick. “I told all the guys we need to all get together with the rings and trophies and take a picture. That would be really neat.”
Read/Watch: Doc On Sports Final: Claude “A Made Man Now”
It has been three years since the Celtics won the 17th championship in franchise history. They came close last season, coming up six minutes short of beating the LA Lakers, but know the window is closing for their aging veterans.
“They want to win this one more time. They understand the window is closing,” Rivers said of his three future Hall of Famers, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce. “We all understand that. The urgency through them is high.”
The Celtics currently have just six players signed through next season, the Big Three, Rajon Rondo, Jermaine O’Neal and Avery Bradley. Jeff Green is a restricted free agent, with forward Glen Davis unrestricted.
Davis has said he would like to become a starter, or go to a team that would let “Glen be Glen.” He admitted recently his head was not in it during the postseason. He has had a few maturity issues during his time in Boston, and Rivers does not think the four-year player has grown up enough in the past few years.
“It doesn’t sound like he’s there yet,” said Doc of Davis. “I think all players, and Baby’s been terrific for us, but at the end of the day you want players that want to be here, number one, and players that want to buy into team. You want players talking in terms of I want to be a Celtic I want to be a team player. And that’s all we’re looking for.”
Catch Sports Final and Sports Final OT every Sunday night on WBZ-TV starting at 11:35 pm.