After the Los Angeles Clippers fired Vinny Del Negro, they immediately began searching for his replacement. The “other” team in Los Angeles has too many good pieces to be swept in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. In Boston, Doc Rivers found himself in a predicament of his own. Celtics GM Danny Ainge is threatening to press the reset button on the aging core of his team. Paul Pierce is reportedly going to be bought out. Kevin Garnett is considering retirement unless he will accept a trade. Without Pierce, Garnett is very unlikely to return. Both players coming back to Boston would have been enough to keep Rivers from thinking about a move. Instead, Rivers as publicly said he and the Clippers have mutual interest in each other. Is this the end of an era in Boston?
Doc Rivers may have more than just one reason to leave Boston. Not wanting to be apart of a major rebuilding effort in favor of a playoff contender is enticing enough. L.A. has much nicer weather and is very far away from Boston and Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo. Reports have surfaced today that Rivers has a strong dislike for Rondo, and even came after him after Rondo dropped an “F-bomb” at Rivers during a team meeting. Rivers immediately went after Rondo, but the confrontation was broken up before anything physical happened. As we all know, this is not the first time someone has come out and said I want to leave Boston because of Rajon Rondo. Ray Allen is currently in his own paradise after he and the Miami Heat won the NBA Championship in Game 7 on Thursday night. Allen publicly said his relationship with Rondo was very confrontational but never gave any detail. Here is new information about why Rondo and Allen just couldn’t be friends:
This quote is courtesy of Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald:
“He said the friction with Rondo began in 2009 when Rivers and Celtics president Danny Ainge proposed a trade that would have sent Allen and Rondo to Phoenix for Amare Stoudemire, Leandro Barbosa and the 14th overall pick in the 2010 draft. Allen said that, at the time, Ainge and Rivers “didn’t get along” with Rondo. ‘So, I called him and I told him, ‘hey they’re supposedly trading us to Phoenix because you and Danny and Doc don’t get along,’ ’ Allen said. ‘ ‘So, whatever you can do.’ So, for some reason, I guess he thought that I was … that I had something against him, or there were some issues. And I had no issues with him. I won with him.’ Now, Allen says if Rondo ‘had issue with me, that’s on him.’ “
If Doc Rivers takes a lesson from Ray Allen, he may get the better end of the deal. The Clippers appear to be primed and ready to be a contender in the West. Rivers already has a 2008 championship ring that tells you the guy can win. Without Pierce and/or Kevin Garnett, the Celtics don’t look to be going anywhere but down. Ray Allen shed Rondo for the beaches of South Florida and two more championship rings. Will Rivers run out of Boston for the beaches of Southern California and a playoff contender?
I highly doubt Rivers wants to coach a team that may miss the playoffs next season, even though he would contractually be obligated to do so. The proposed trade of Garnett and Rivers to L.A. for Deandre Jordan, Eric Bledsoe, and draft picks was shot down by the NBA because of Rivers’ involvement. Let’s say Rivers goes to L.A. and the Clippers make the deal with Boston for Kevin Garnett and forfeit Jordan and Bledsoe. Who gets the better deal? Both sides would be happy because Rivers can leave Boston and Rondo, and L.A. gets the coach. The value of the players the Clippers are going to give up is what weighs this deal in favor of Boston. L.A. would receive Garnett, who maybe has 1 more year left going into his 19th NBA season. If Celtics GM Danny Ainge’s plan is to “reset” his aging roster, Jordan and Bledsoe would fit the mold just fine. I don’t think Rivers is worth the players the Clippers would have to forfeit. The coach doesn’t score the buckets or play the defense.