Slam recently transcribed a Doc Rivers interview that has been getting views on YouTube. According to the interview, Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers has instilled a sense of hatred into his team towards the Miami Heat. From the interview, Rivers stated:
My hoenst thought as a coach right now…I have my eye squarely on Miami. I come up to my players during the year — they’re in the facility now — I bring up Miami every single day to them. I want them to hate them. I want them to beat them. That’s got to be our focus.
Now this is the definition of a coach who will do whatever he can do under his power to make sure his players are all on the same page. By constantly reminding his players to hate the Miami Heat, they will step onto the hardwood to do whatever they can do as players to beat them. Some head coaches believe in balancing out the mentality of their players by meditation a la Phil Jackson. Some other coaches just draw up the X’s and O’s and let that determine their mentality and ability on the floor.
For Doc Rivers to flat out make the Miami Heat his bullseye, we could potentially see a great battle between those two teams. To make things interesting, Ray Allen, who helped the Celtics win a championship in 2008, joined the Heat this past summer.
For Doc, honesty is the best policy. There is no need or time to beat around the bush and pretend to like an opponent. Of course, Miami Heat fans are furious at this idea. On the other hand, why would anyone show love to another team/player you are trying to beat? This is a sport of winning and not necessarily a time to admire your opponent from afar.