Doc will not join Mike Brown and Avery Johnson in the fired coaches club this year.
The Celtics are at .500 and by any measure that's not a good place to be. It is particularly bad when you start every season with championship expectations. Danny didn't get every guy he went after this summer, but by all accounts he put together a decent team on paper.
The Lakers and Nets also started the season with title hopes and reloaded rosters and Mike Brown and Avery Johnson are now unemployed. So I guess I understand why some folks might start to look at Doc Rivers and wonder if a change needs to be made in Boston.
I respectfully and emphatically disagree. I believe that Doc Rivers is the best coach this team has had in years and is one of the top 3 coaches in the game today. Danny Ainge happens to agree.
"Doc (Rivers) has proven his worth as a coach," Danny Ainge, Boston's President of Basketball Operations, told CSNNE.com. "There's nobody I want more to coach my team, than Doc Rivers."
Ainge added, "One thing I've learned in this business is patience is a virtue. That's one of the reasons why I love Doc. Because when things aren't going well, there's no one I want in my corner more. Anybody can put on a smiley face and come to work with energy and enthusiasm and passion when you're winning. But it takes a special person to do it with an 18, 19-game losing streak with a bunch of young players and to still have that respect and work ethic before we were able to put a great team together and obviously, have some success."
If he stood behind him during that terrible season, I don't see any reason why he wouldn't do so now. Said another way, here's what's on his recent resume.
The Celtics have reached at least the Eastern Conference Semifinals in each of the past five years. During that span, they've reached the Eastern Conference Finals three times and the NBA Finals twice. Regardless of how they play during the regular season, the Celtics always seem to peak in the postseason -- except for that one year they began struggling for the first time once they reached the playoffs. And that was the year that ended with Boston's 17th NBA championship.
You don't sack a guy with that track record and the full support and devotion of the biggest stars on the team. The end.