Doc update: Rivers has "burned this bridge pretty good", reached "point of no return"

Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated went on the Dan Patrick show to talk about, among other things, the ongoing Doc Rivers/KG mega-deal.

Mannix echoed many of the latest reports, saying that the deal hinges on Eric Bledsoe, and that both sides are still working, although no progress has been made since Saturday.

However, Mannix said pretty clearly that Rivers is basically done in Boston, whether the teams finalize the deal or not. Here's what he had to say (link to interview).

"Doc hasn't taken a lot of grief, because Doc's a great guy the media loves him, myself included, and he's done a fantastic job in Boston. But I'm not sure Doc can go back to Boston either way. I think he's burned this bridge pretty good. I'm not sure how he walks back into that Celtics locker room and looks at some of these young players in the eye and basically says "I didn't want to coach you".

You know he wants to coach the veterans that are still there, he wants to make one more run, but the guys that are going to be part of this team long term — the Rajon Rondo's, the Avery Bradley's, the Jeff Green's, the Jared Sullingers — I'm not sure how he goes back to them and says "I'm still ok with coaching you, you still have to have the same level of respect for me." I think that you can't really put the genie back in the bottle here, and I think we may have reached the point of no return on Doc Rivers."

It's unfortunate to say the least that Rivers nine year run with the team appears to be ending like this, but unless Doc really wants to broadcast, and the Clippers really are fine with an unproven guy like Brian Shaw — doesn't this just basically guarantee that the teams will work something out?

The Clippers reportedly want to hold on to Bledsoe to make him available for another deal (possibly for the Magic's Aaron Afflalo), but if this deal really locks Chris Paul into a return, don't they need to make it? KG is a massive upgrade over DeAndre Jordan, and Doc is a much better coach than Vinny del Negro was for them. Those two upgrades alone should bring them from mere playoff team to Western Conference contender. Sure it costs them Bledsoe, but you need to give up something to get something, and Jordan (and his bloated salary) sure as hell isn't enough.

Everything still points to this deal getting done, and before next Thursday's draft. At this point it's a waiting game, but the evidence continues to overwhelmingly mount that we've seen the last of Doc in Boston.

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