The return of Doc Rivers tonight has been met with great debate, and to some degree it's understandable - 'Will you applaud or boo' him is an easy topic for discussion for talk radio and the blogosphere alike. But I can't help but feel indifferent.
His accolades are obvious, but they're worth reviewing: He spent 9 years as the Head Coach of this organization. In that time the team won a championship and appeared in the finals another time. He showed himself to be incredibly charismatic and it's difficult to imagine anyone being able to handle the gelling of a 'superstar team' the way that he did.
He also left rather unceremoniously.
I understand why he did, and I think it's proven to work out for the best for all parties. The Clippers got a competent coach, we got a first round pick, and replaced him with a coach who seems clearly more suited for a rebuilding project.
It worked out, but it still doesn't sit really well with me.
Upon being hired, Doc Rivers immediately displayed a clear knowledge, and admiration of Boston Celtics history. He instituted 'ubuntu.' He embraced, and preached 'The Celtic Way.' Seeming to understand that type of unselfishness isn't just a Celtic thing, it's a Boston thing. When the Boston Bombings occurred, Rivers spoke about as eloquently as anyone could about the subject.
At the risk of coming off as melodramatic, he seemed different. He came off as one of us. Someone who understood what it meant to becoming one of the most important faces in Boston Celtics history. But we were wrong. He wasn't all that much different. He wasn't interested in staying through a rebuild and left our team for one that's more prepared to contend now.
Tonight he returns to Boston. Some may boo, some may cheer. I'll stay indifferent. He's just another coach on another team to me now.