- TADA! See, it was a win for everyone! I didn't want it sorta maybe!
I admired Doc. I really, really admired him. That did not mean I wouldn't criticize him: I had problems with his rotations, his diminishing creativity on clutch time etc., but he always did one thing right: He spoke his mind as it is. He made everything clear as much as he could for concerned fans. Well, at least he used to.
This whole Clippers charade could have been tolerable for me if Doc gave us the truth. Well, I mean he had signed a 5-year contract totally knowing that rebuilding would come at some point and he had made it clear that he was OK with it, but you can't judge people for having a change of heart. However, you can judge people for BS. Unfortunately, to my great disappointment, Doc has been walking that line since he officially signed with the Clippers.
Ben Rohrbach has a fantastic breakdown of the inconsistencies of his statements at the press conference 3 days ago. I urge you to read the whole thing as it is impossible to quote every important detail in this post, but I will do my best to summarize: Doc is saying one thing to the Clippers media and another to the Celtics one, he's making incoherent remarks about what happened since the Celtics were eliminated, and he's trying real hard to sugarcoat the obvious fact that he didn't want to coach the Celtics this year.
A brief example: Doc was quite clear about his disappointment in Ray's departure unless "pissed at" has a new positive meaning that I'm not aware of, but now he says the following because he is doing something very similar to what Ray Allen did:
“I didn’t leave for the same reason as Ray [Allen]. This is not like I was in this by myself. This is something that me and them kind of agreed upon — that it would be the right thing to do — and so this is a totally different situation. Having said that, I wasn’t in favor of [fans turning on] Ray.”
Or this statement (italics are Rohrbach's commentary):
“I honestly don’t even remember the letter.”
Ainge said Tuesday the Celtics informed Rivers by letter on May 9 that they expected him to fulfill his contract.
“Honestly, I can tell you that I never read that letter. I’ve never seen that letter.”
OK, then. This seems to be the root of the problem. Generally, I make it a point to open letters from my employer, especially when my future is in question. But that’s just me.
Doc, it turns out, is trying to bend the truth as much as he can to present that his decision to leave was one taken with mutual consent, that the Celtics organization was OK with it, that everyone was aware of what he had been thinking since the season ended. Ainge and Grousbeck is saying one thing, Doc is saying another. One major diference between those points of view: Ainge and Grousbeck's are coherent, Doc's isn't.
That brings me to his feud with Bill Simmons. First of all, "I would call him an idiot, but I'm too classy for that." is the least classy statement possible because i) You are clearly calling the guy an idiot and ii) classy people don't call themselves "classy". I think Simmons is a great writer in terms of entertainment, I love his wild ideas but I often disagree with his basketball mind. However, in this particular case, I'm 100% with him. Doc Rivers gave us a new version of the story yesterday, and I still doubt it's the ultimate truth based on what he had said before.
Doc quit on the Celtics. It's fine. You don't need to fulfill every contract you sign. Things change. Just come out and tell the truth as it is, though. Don't try to pull a LeBron on us. The Celtics fans hate for Allen grew last summer mostly because he just wouldn't stop trying to justify his exit. He wanted to win, he left. Cool. It was a business decision. Doc's is too. So why all this show, all this pretending that it's not?
We're hurt that Garnett and Pierce are no longer Celtics. We're already trying to deal with the pain of the are-we-tanking-or-not season that is ahead of us. The knife is already in, Doc: Please don't play with it any more.