The Boston Celtics are waiting for a decision from Doc Rivers, but they've already lost a head coach this offseason. Sure, Tom Thibodeau didn't hold that title during his tenure in Boston, but he had the chops and work ethic to be a head coach and finally made it official with the Chicago Bulls (which I believe was the best coaching vacancy of the offseason - thus far).
The Celtics were very blessed to have such an embarrassment of riches roaming the sidelines. Doc Rivers handled supersized egos with a velvet touch while Tom watched tape with the rookies. Doc drew up out of bounds plays while Tom shouted out defensive rotations. Clifford Ray yelled at Perkins to keep the ball high while Kevin Eastman gave Ray scouting reports on opposing guards. Over the years they developed a rhythm that allowed them to work in concert with each other.
Make no mistake, Doc was (and still is for now) the man in charge and the face of the staff. But right from the start he knew that the best way to look good was to surround yourself with top talent.
The early Doc years were defined by inconsistent youngsters that barely knew how to spell defense. When former Defensive Player of the Year Kevin Garnett arrived on the scene, he was greeted by a man that spoke his language. Rotations, hustle, teammwork, togetherness, blood, sweat, tears, and more sweat. It was a match made in heaven.
Sure, anyone could convince KG to play defense, but it took Doc to convince Ray and Paul to put stats on the back burner and it took Tom Thibodeau to show them how.
We may lose Doc in the coming days. We might have to say goodbye to Ray Allen and others. But we'll leave them for another day to raise a toast to our former defensive guru.
Best of luck in the Windy City Tom. Thanks for the memories. Thanks for helping bring us Banner 17. You will be missed.