I read the rumor about Doc contemplating retirement the other day and I've been chewing on it ever since. When I listened to Doc's interview on Mike & Mike this morning I was struck by the fact that he worked very hard to brush off the rumor without doing anything whatsoever to refute it. Maybe it is reading too much into it, but I'm more convinced than ever that Doc is leaning heavily towards leaving after this year. And I'll toss this out there for you to do your own chewing: Maybe Doc is happy that the story is out there.
Now, I find it somewhat hard to believe that Doc would plant this story just to get a rise out of his players. But why not shoot it down? Doc strikes me as being pretty straightforward but he knows that his words have weight as well. He's very media savvy and he knows what he says will have an impact on the players in his locker room - sometimes more impact than if he said something behind closed doors.
Perhaps he wants to give the players a little extra reminder that their time together as a core unit is limited and may be getting shorter by the day. I mean, most of us fans look at next year and don't give them much of a chance of limping through the regular season to compete for a title. We see this as their last shot anyway, but they might not see it that way. Don't forget how proud and self-assured (deluded?) these guys are. Maybe he thinks they need to know that this could very well be it. Ray could be gone. Doc could be gone. Lots of change is coming this offseason and it is hard to imagine the Celtics shifting on the fly this offseason to keep this train running without drastic change.
I think Doc sees that too. He says his decision is all about his family and I believe that. But it doesn't hurt that he's got a fantastic plan B if he decides to hang it up. He can get a part time gig doing TV commentary (with a flexible schedule to spend time with the family while keeping his name relevant) and pick and chose from a number of job opportunities that might come down the line. In fact, I've been sort of expecting something like this to happen since early in the season. Why would he want to stick around for the death rattle? Why would he want to hang around for another rebuilding plan? He did his time and was rewarded for his patience but that ring means he doesn't necessarily have to be patient any more.
So I have to say, I think he's leaning heavily towards leaving and I think he's fine with his players knowing it. I think he wouldn't mind seeing them rally around each other for one last push for a title. After all, what's the harm? It isn't like the team could play any worse than they have since Christmas.
The playoffs may be providing the team a fresh start, but they are also a reminder of the end that is fast approaching. So go out there and win one for
the Gipper, ... I mean Doc.