The deal between the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Clippers is off. The two teams couldn’t reach an agreement to send coach Doc Rivers and Kevin Garnett over to L.A. Now that this is dead, what happens to Rivers? Can he return to Boston and lead this team? Danny Ainge has said that the Celtics will welcome Rivers back with open arms, but is that how the players feel? Jason Terry and Courtney Lee cited Rivers as the reason for them signing with the Celtics. Rivers heavily recruited the two players to come play for him and compete for a championship. Rajon Rondo has always been loyal to Rivers, but this might damage the relationship between the two. The Celtics have been built on trust and teamwork since Rivers arrived. Are the Celtics players ready to play for a coach who was willing to leave them and pursue another title elsewhere?
Rivers has three years left on his contract, but will he be in Boston to finish out the contract or is he a lame duck coach now/ The Celtics are about to rebuild their team, but do they want to do that with a coach who might not want to be there? This also affects potential free agents who might have been interested in coming to Boston. Players might not want to play for the Celtics knowing that the coach is considering bolting at any given time. There is a chance that all of this can get turned around if Rivers can build back the trust of his players and prove to them that he wants to be there. As for the city of Boston, that might be a little harder. Boston fans are loyal to their teams, and this could be seen as unforgivable among the public. If Rivers is committed to the Celtics, then he needs to get out in front of the media and do some damage control.
I am still a Rivers guy, and I hope he can come back and mend fences with the team. If the trade had worked out it would have benefited both teams and allowed the Celtics to get better. The Celtics and Rivers can move on from this, but it needs to happen quickly. If Doc is ready to leave he needs to come out and say so.