Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/13/14
Boston-celtics-denver
Doc Rivers is his own man with his own concerns, and if his worst crime is accepting $21 million to leave the dreary cold of Boston for the antiseptic beauty of Los Angeles, then there are a lot of would-be convicts out there. If you gave me $21 million to live in California, maybe I’d take it. Maybe I wouldn’t. I don’t know. Nobody has ever offered me $21 million to do anything before. They’re likely to do so, though. I know I’d like to see what would happen. Still, even as Rivers sets up his new digs 3,000 miles away, he has not given up performing damage control on his image in Boston. In a radio interview on Thursday, Rivers contested Danny Ainge‘s version of events, painting Rivers’ departure as ultimately Rivers’ decision. It was predictable, and not entirely noteworthy. Rivers and Ainge will likely be offering slightly different stories about this summer right up to the day Jackie MacMullan writes a book about it. But a keen listener’s antennae should have gone up at one comment made by Rivers on The Dennis & Callahan Show. It sounded like Rivers framed the situation when he signed his five-year, $35 million extension with the Celtics in 2011 in terms that were not, well, accurate. Sure enough, Ben Rohrbach at WEEI provided a transcript of Rivers’ remarks, and the former Celtics coach indeed seems to be either misremembering the circumstances around his re-signing or stretching the truth a bit in his favor. “I signed the deal because at the time it was the right thing to do,” Rivers said. “I was going to be a free agent. Kevin [Garnett] and Paul [Pierce] had three and four years left on their contracts with Ray [Allen], and at that time I wasn’t thinking about going anywhere else, but I was thinking about taking a break. I just didn’t think it was the right thing to do to the organization, so I signed a deal more for that than I did thinking about what happens three or four years from now.” Wait, what? No. Incorrect on all three counts, in fact. Garnett and Allen had one year each remaining on their contracts when Rivers signed his extension — you may remember the hand-wringing over what might happen if Garnett retired, and we seem to remember Allen making the not-too-popular decision to sign with some team whose identity escapes us — while Pierce had two more years, plus a team option for 2013-14. Under those circumstances, Rivers had to have understood that he would need to oversee a rebuild at some point, since his contract covered at least four seasons in which Garnett and Allen’s presence was uncertain. It therefore is much less plausible that Rivers would have been blindsided by Ainge’s moves this offseason to retool the roster. That doesn’t make Rivers look so hot for leaving the Celtics this summer, regardless of whether the decision was mutual. This is not to say Rivers was telling an outright lie. Lying involves deliberately altering the truth, whereas Rivers may simply have some mistaken memories. Yes, he loved it in Boston, that was clear. To help him come to grips, personally, with leaving a place he loved, maybe his mind has played tricks on him to ease his conscience. Perhaps believing Garnett, Pierce and Allen had multiple years remaining on their contracts when he re-upped makes it easier for him to accept no longer being a part of their lives on a daily basis. I don’t know. But I’m willing to try to figure it out for a fee, if you’ve got a spare $21 million laying around. Have a question for Ben Watanabe? Send it to him via Twitter at @BenjeeBallgame or send it here. Filed under: Ben Watanabe, Boston Celtics, Instant Opinion, NBA, Opinion, Top Stories
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Isaiah Thomas once peed himself to avoid subbing out

Report: ESPN employees want Britt McHenry fired

WATCH: Raptors fans shower Paul Pierce with vulgar taunts

Report: Vikings want first-rounder, starting CB for Peterson

Report: Jarret Stoll arrested for possession of drugs

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

CJ Wilson: Josh Hamilton’s relapse a ‘tame scenario’

Head coaching candidates for the Denver Nuggets

Check out these leaked Clippers jersey redesigns

Aqib Talib’s aggravated assault investigation suspended

Ohio State expects 80,000 at its spring game this Saturday

Bryant strikes out three times in debut; Cubs fans heckle him

Shaka Smart was quite popular at the Texas spring game

Ohio State sets spring game attendance record

WATCH: Bubba Watson raps on Christian rap track

WATCH: Jags mascot wins closest to pin at Sawgrass

Notre Dame wears 'Father Ted' patches during spring game

Five things to watch during the NBA Playoffs

Hanley Ramirez put hole in Green Monster during BP

WATCH: A-Rod belts two homers in win over Rays

Ubaldo Jimenez hit Pablo Sandoval with pitch, was ejected

NBA to track and post referees’ calls beginning in playoffs

MLB payrolls continue to rise

NBA playoffs: Los Angeles Clippers vs. San Antonio Spurs

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: McHenry's coworkers want her fired

WATCH: Raptors fans taunt Paul Pierce

Five things to watch in NBA Playoffs

Report: Jarret Stoll busted for drugs

CJ Wilson: Hamilton is 'ready to go'

Leaked Clippers jersey redesigns

Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase preview

Home runs ruined our ability to appreciate production

Why we love the NFL draft

The "worst" player on each NBA playoff team

Jim Harbaugh showed up at Ultimate Frisbee practice

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and the burden of legacy

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.