Finally fed up with the Clippers and Donald Sterling, the Doc Rivers and Danny Ainge are (apparently) done dealing with them. They've called off the talks and Doc is no longer interested in coaching the Clippers.
Rivers informed the Clippers on Friday afternoon that he no longer had interest in L.A.'s job, sources tell Y! It's Celtics or TV now.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 21, 2013
Based on how the very public talks went down, I can't blame them one bit. This whole mess was a PR nightmare throughout and may have put a permanent stain on Doc's previously spotless reputation. The only thing saving him at this point is the fact that it is very believable that it was Sterling making the biggest mess out of this situation.
So what are his options now? Very simple. Return to Boston or head back to broadcasting.
Doc Rivers and Danny Ainge plan to talk through weekend and have a resolution on the coach's future with Celtics on Monday, sources tell Y!— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 21, 2013
I haven't the foggiest idea of what he's going to do, but if I had to guess I'd probably say it will be a TV gig. In fact, I'd go so far as to guess that was what he was leaning towards today when perhaps Danny convinced him to take the weekend to mull it over.
From a PR perspective, the cleanest thing for him to do is to say "I looked at other options but it didn't feel right and I need to take this time off from coaching to take a break." Nothing helps your rep better than smiling in front of a camera and charming the socks off of people.
After that, he could return to coaching, maybe even with the option of getting GM responsibilities (he was offered as much in Orlando a year ago according to Jackie MacMullan). I'm not sure how the clause in Doc's Celtics contract would play a part in that. Perhaps we could still get a future pick from his future employers, or maybe after a year Danny would waive that clause. I don't know how these things work.
Or perhaps I'm wrong about all of this and Doc will decide that he still has the coaching bug and is willing to roll with whatever plan the Celtics have going forward. Be it rebuilding, reloading, or maybe just more of the same. It would be awkward at first with all the questions he'd get. And at the first signs of trouble (say a losing streak or a big injury) the questions and whispers would be on everyone's lips once again. "Is he going to walk away at the end of the year? Or sooner?" This kind of thing can follow a coach around for a while.
Then again, this is pretty unprecedented stuff. I'm not sure any NBA coach has gone through exactly this in the past. And if anyone can flash a smile and make everything all better, it would be a personality like Doc Rivers.
So we'll see. The weekend will come and go and there will be a press conference and we'll see what Doc's decision is.
Oh yeah, and despite everything that's been said and done today, I don't think you can 100% rule out a re-surfacing of the Clippers talks either. It seems unlikely at this point, but you never know.