BOSTON (CBS) – It’s a big reunion week for the Celtics, who are in Brooklyn on Tuesday night to face Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and the Nets before hosting Doc Rivers’ Clippers on Wednesday evening.
In advance of the homecoming of the former Celtics coach, Rivers joined Felger & Mazz on Tuesday to talk about his feelings heading into his return.
“I don’t think it’s a big deal,” Rivers told Felger & Mazz. “I think you guys make it a big deal. I put in nine great years here, and nine great years. There’s no controversy here about that. That’s the way I look at it. I’ve had such a good time today walking around the city and seeing a bunch of friends, going to my favorite places and restaurants.
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“There are always changes in life, and that’s what this was,” Rivers said of his departure. “It was the right time for all of us, in my opinion. It happened and you move on.
“Tomorrow will be an emotional day for me, I can tell you that,” said Rivers.
So will Doc be disappointed if the boo-birds show up?
“Of course, but I would be surprised by it. I’m sure some will, but I was booed at times as a coach,” said Doc. “That’s fine, but I don’t anticipate that. I’d be surprised by that, and if it happens it happens. I’d be disappointed by it, of course, but I’m a human being.”
Rivers signed a five-year extension with Boston in 2011, prepared to go through the next rebuilding phase of the franchise. After skipping town for the Clippers last year, some (or most) fans feel that Rivers walked out on the team.
“I did at the end of the day,” Rivers admitted. “You make choices in your life, it happens… It was a very difficult decision for me to make; whether to walk away and sit a couple of years, which was another way I was leaning, or if the right job presented itself to walk away and do that.
“I was afforded a great opportunity here with the Clippers. This is the first time I’ve been able to coach a team and run a team,” Rivers continued. “This may work, it may not work. It’s a far bigger gamble for me than anyone else. So I thought it was the right time to take it.”
Rivers also shared his thoughts on Boston’s early-season success, and the struggles of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett in Brooklyn: