Doc Rivers and Bill Simmons on ESPN: Well that was awkward
On the other hand, the best thing about Simmons is that he openly roots for the Celtics and makes no secret about how he feels about every single move that his beloved Celtics make.
That made things a bit awkward yesterday during the NBA Draft, when he said that former Celtics coach Doc Rivers quit on the team by leaving for the Clippers. When Shelley Smith interviewed Doc, she mentioned that to him, and his response was pretty awesome.
In case you missed it:
On one hand, Simmons is absolutely right. Rivers most definitely gave up on the Celtics. It became clear that they were moving into "rebuilding mode," and Rivers started making it clear that he would rather coach the Clippers than stay in Boston.
At that point, the Celtics were basically forced to let him go. Once a coach makes it clear that he doesn't want to be there, there's no point in keeping him around. It's not good for the coach, and it's not good for the team.
The Celtics ended up getting a first round draft pick for Rivers, which is exactly what they're looking for right now.
On the flip side, Rivers got to go to a team that is built to win right now, instead of sticking with a team that is destined for a few rough seasons.
Did he give up on the team? Yeah, kinda. But can you blame him? Not at all.
He did the right thing for the Celtics by leaving, and the Celtics did the right thing to let him go. This is the best situation for everyone, and it's a bit ridiculous for Simmons to be so openly upset about it.
In all reality, would Doc Rivers have been the right coach for Boston's rebuilding period? His tenure in Orlando with a mediocre team wasn't terribly successful, and there's no reason to believe he's a good coach for a rebuilding era.
This was a good move for Rivers and for the Celtics. Relax, Simmons.