Former Celtics head coach and now head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers Doc Rivers had some words to say about the Celtics future, Brad Stevens and how Danny Ainge operates. Doc Rivers stopped by the Orlando summer league and joined the commentary team and had a bit to talk about.
"I think Danny’s going to be patient," Rivers said. "I mean, everybody wants to win now, but sometimes you just have to be patient. I thought we did a great job with that when I was there, and I think Danny’s going to do it again. I think Danny’s as good as anybody. It’s funny. He has the nickname ‘Trader Danny,’ but he knows when to do that. I think he’ll be fine."
Doc also had some words for new head coach Brad Stevens
"I love him," said Doc. "I’ve been getting to know him, and I have major respect for him. He’s first class. We always get back to each other right away. But he’s going through it now. He knows it’s a long-term plan, but it’s still hard."
"The Celtic fans get it, but you have to be able to deal with it," he said. "Look, when Brad would draw up a play last year, it could be the best play in the NBA, but the chances of it working are not as good as I had with the guys I had this year or the guys I had when I was there.
"It’s good that he has Danny. In my first few years, Danny would come in and say, ‘Doc, we’re good. You’re good.’ I don’t know how many times he would come in and say, ‘Hey, man, I’m sorry. I told you this was going to be hard. I understand what you have out there. Just know I know the type of coach you are. Just hang in there with me.’ I thought there were times when Danny thought I was thinking, ‘I can’t take this anymore.’ I was never at that point, but it was frustrating."
"Oh, it was brutal," said Rivers. "There’s no fun losing. I mean, losing sucks. I don’t care where you’re at. And the bigger the franchise, the harder it is to lose. Being in LA this year and watching what Mike (D’Antoni) had to go through with the Lakers, I felt for him. I know how it is. I’ve been there. I would assume it was the same for Woody (Mike Woodson) in New York.
"When you lose for franchises like that, it’s hard. It’s hard because you know you’re doing the right thing by the franchise, but you know personally for you it’s brutal. You know, any competitive person that says they’re OK with losing is not being genuine."
But Rivers wasn’t finished and also spoke about the fan base in Boston
"When we were bad, they still came — and not only did they come, they actually cared," said Doc. "There were people on me and on Danny, but we never wavered. And there were really more people who totally understood what was going on and what we were doing.
"Even when we were about to make the big trade to change our team, I remember being in the grocery store and having fans come up and say, ‘Don’t trade Al. Don’t trade the young guys.’ They know the game. They study the game. And they love the young guys. You know, they didn’t want to see Gerald Green leaving and Al Jefferson leaving. Even though they knew there was a chance we could win it all by trading those guys, they still loved the young guys and they saw what they could become.
"I don’t know if there’s any other place where a guy is there for so short a time and people always love them. I guarantee you when Al comes into Boston, he’s still one of the favorites — and he hasn’t played there for (seven) years. That’s cool."
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