BOSTON (CBS) – The Celtics will welcome former head coach Doc Rivers and his Los Angeles Clippers to the TD Garden on Wednesday night, Doc’s first trip back since leaving the C’s over the summer.
Rivers spent nine years on the Boston bench, helping lead the Celtics to their 17th title in franchise history in 2008 and another Finals appearance in 2010. There were dark times too, like the 24-58 season in 2006-07, and things certainly did not end well as Rivers asked out of his contract to go lead the Clippers.
Doc admitted that he walked out on the Celtics Tuesday afternoon on Felger & Mazz, but Adam Jones and Rich Keefe wonder if it was just a last-ditch effort to get on the good side of Celtics fans ahead of his return to the Garden.
“He took some responsibility for leaving Boston… My question is, is that too little too late?” Jones asked in Tuesday night’s “Celtics At 7.” “Is he just saving face at the last second and trying to talk his way out of getting his ass booed at TD Garden?”
“I think its going to be more split, but it’s not going to be a unanimous standing ovation,” said Keefe.
Ray Allen, who left the Celtics for the Miami Heat as a free agent in 2012, received a mixed reception in his return to the Garden. Both Jones and Keefe agree that if Allen got booed, then so should Rivers.
“Ray Allen got booed. He wasn’t under contract or one of the highest paid players in the league; he was a free agent who took less to go to Miami,” said Jones. “I think Allen should have gotten booed, but he was a free agent and could do whatever he wants. Doc Rivers was under contract and turned his back on the Celtics.
“What Doc Rivers did was a million times worse than Ray Allen, and if Ray Allen got booed, so should Doc Rivers,” said Jones. “I don’t think it’s a debate.”
“It doesn’t mean he’s an awful person, but he didn’t want to be here,” said Keefe. “He did not want to coach your team.”