BOSTON — Before all the punching and posturing started, with three players given the boot after a skirmish set off by Rajon Rondo and Kris Humphries, the opposing coaches could not exchange enough expressions of affection for each other.
“I played with him with the Spurs, and he’s probably one of my best friends,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said of Nets coach Avery Johnson. “I don’t know, I don’t rank them, but he’s probably one of my best friends in the league. We talk a lot, families talk a lot.”
Johnson had just as many nice things to say about Rivers, whom Johnson said challenged him in practice in their playing days and helped Johnson improve from a defender who was “below average, at best” to “average.” If Rivers and Johnson’s shared competitive fire made them fast friends, then judging by Wednesday night’s events, their respective teams should be BFFs before long. Rondo and Humphries, in particular, must be eager to see each other again on Christmas Day.
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