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Boston Celtics Sign Doc Rivers to a Contract Extension

Rich Thompson reports that Doc Rivers recently signed a 3-year contract extension:

"The length and financial terms of the contract were not released.

Earlier reports speculated that Rivers would earn a base pay of $5.5 million per year through the 2010-2011 season with playoff incentives that could push the salary as high as $7 million." - Rich Thompson

To put that in perspective only three players on the roster - Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett - make more.

It's funny how the NBA works. For example, it's not out of the realm of possibility that Cleveland could have won game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Hypothetically what happens if P.J. Brown doesn't hit that shot down the stretch? Or what if the Truth runs out of gas? Of course that is oversimplifying the issue. A lot more went into it. And just because the Celtics did not roll through the first 3 rounds like the Lakers, it does not mean they got lucky. Still, now is as good a time as any to reflect on how much that championship did for Rivers. It enhanced his reputation as a coach and made him a lot of money. You could even make the case that it saved his job.

And yet I'm not sure how I feel about Rivers going into the 2009 season. I've always found myself gravitating around the middle in the "Doc Rivers as a coach" debate. I was never delusional enough to think he was holding the 2007 Celtics back from achieving greatness. Furthermore, I like to think I gave credit where credit was due after championship 17. In fact I'm not sure we'll ever know all of the challenges that went into coaching the 2008 season. However, last year seemed to be as much about managing egos and personalities as it was about basketball. That's right in Rivers' wheelhouse. The roster looks different this time around. Yes, it's easy to forget that Kendrick Perkins, Leon Powe, and Rajon Rondo all made significant strides last season. And Rivers deserves credit for that. But now he needs someone from the Patrick O'Bryant, Tony Allen, Bill Walker, J.R. Giddens, Gabe Pruitt group to step up and produce. It's a lot easier to send James Posey out there.

Regardless, it's staring to feel like basketball season again. I'm excited.