Marc Stein (ESPN.com) wrote a column a couple of days ago and briefly touched some teams with coaches at the end of their contracts - one of which was the Boston Celtics.

..."countless coaching insiders believe that Rivers will be taking no less than a one-year hiatus at season's end. No matter what happens in the playoffs ... Word is Doc is determined to free himself up to see his Duke-bound son, Austin, after work commitments prevented him from watching his other three children as much as he wanted to see them compete in various sports."

Now we all know how amazing Doc Rivers has been and still is. Allow yourself to drift back to 2004 when he was hired as the Celtics head coach after spending a year working as a commentator for NBA on ABC. He's arguably one of the few point persons in the league who in just a few years has transformed his image from one that was full of criticism (during his first years with the Cs) to one of the NBA's inner circle of elite coaches.

Credit might be given to the coming together of The Big Three (Garnett, Allen and Pierce) in 2007 for enabling Doc to skyrocket his coaching status from zero to hero. But as you already know, mere hype and talent normally doesn't imply that a team's already going to win a championship. There's obviously the issue of egos exploding and how the bench is going to fit in a superstar mix. And then there are other intangibles.

We owe it a lot to Rivers for integrating the team philosophy of Ubuntu right from the get go and transforming Boston into a selfless team with players whose main concern is not to rack up the stat sheet and improve their public self image every night, but whose one and only goal is to win games - make the playoffs - win games - make the finals - win games and win the title ... all together. Amazing. A lot can really be accomplished if nobody cares who gets the credit, as long as everybody wins.

Early in 2009, the Celtics lost Kevin Garnett to an injury but Doc made them believe they could still win the title without their prime defensive anchor. The mindset was enough to have the team advance in the second round and push the Magic to the brink of elimination.

In 2010, Rivers handled a depleted roster filled with injuries, illness and other personal matters. Met with criticism that they no longer had what it takes to win, Doc courageously shifted his priorities to health versus having a better record. The result at the end of the regular season was ugly, but their playoff ride was definitely a run to remember.

This year, we're seeing Doc do his juggling act again with the new-look Celtics. Time is of the essence and there are a lot of variables involved in this year's run and we're bound to see another exemplary effort from Marquette's finest come playoff time.

Everybody loves a great coach and that's why Doc's return this season was instrumental in the regrouping of the Boston Celtics. But as the regular season comes to a close and enters "the real season", there are two questions that are conspicuously tucked under every Celtic fan's pocket:

1. Are we actually a witness to Doc Rivers' last season with the Boston Celtics? and if ever ...
2. Who's going to replace him as head coach?

The answers to these questions of course may have a bearing on the outcome of this year's postseason for the Green and White. Everyone's eyeing the veteran trio for one last run together and if ever they do satisfy that longing - is it enough for Doc to finally call it quits?

Stein mentioned in his column the possiblity of having assistant coach Lawrence Frank take over the reins. Another option is Danny Ainge's longtime teammate, Kevin McHale. Then there are insiders that say that DA has been prepared for this kind of scenario since last year and he's got a couple of secret candidates already in mind.

Danny and Doc naturally would focus more on the opportunity at hand - of successfully bringing home Banner 18. The aftermath however, regardless of the result, would definitely be interesting.

Gerald Alden 3/23/2011 06:40:00 AM Edit
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12 Responses so far.

  1. Anonymous says:

    banner #18 first,, then the rest is good.!

  2. Tim says:

    Good article---I don't think there's any doubt that he'll consider taking a break to watch his son, but I don't read into these "insiders" and "sources" that aren't named. One thing at a time. Take this season, then go from there.

  3. Anonymous says:

    miami heat for doc

  4. I think it all depends on how the C's do. If they lose in the finals again, I can't see him leaving.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Good article. I agee w? Everone get banner 18 Up first. I hope Doc stays but if not Kevin McHale would be am excellent choice.

  6. Anonymous says:

    How the heck does Kevin Mchale get in the mix. He was a great player yes! Stunk it up as a GM and coach...

  7. Anonymous says:

    Doc is tha Best coach eva...we need u Doc

  8. Anonymous says:

    Ainge made it harder for #18 w/Perk trade. Another element in Doc's future - possible lock-out next year. All uncertain.

  9. JR says:

    Good call last anonymous. I usually don't listen to talk radio, but I was stuck in my car and former long time Celtics announcer Glenn Ordway actually made a really good point about Perk. Basically he was saying that playoff basketball is completely different then regular season basketball and guys like Perk are much more valuable in the playoffs. In contrast more finesse guys like Kristic and Green will be less effective.

    So whatever Kristic's and Green's stats are in the regular season don't really matter. if i recall correctly Green sucked last year in the playoffs vs the Lakers and the Lakers killed the Thunder at center. Hopefully the two do better this year, but the truth is (and some fans don't like to hear the truth. i know this) is that we might not fully realize how much harder we made it for Doc until we see some playoff basketball with this new crew.

    Shaq playing every post season game and 24 mpg is now a necessity. That's a lot of risk there.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Redo the trade ...

  11. Anonymous says:

    i'm not ready for another drama. i'm suppose to gettin ready for laugh happines and joy with celtics with our new guys. idk if i cant stand for this one, losing perk somehow still make me sad, if we losing doc, i'm...................................................................................................................

    i just love celtics.
    i love my family!!


  12. Anonymous says:

    Bring back Jim O'Brian!!! John Thompson Sr. is missed on the sideline as well. Next Town Larry Brown is always a great candidate! Let's get 18 first tho. Good job Doc & great choice to focus on family & leave the game while on top.

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