By Matt Yoder, Awful Announcing
Reports over the weekend indicate the Boston Celtics may be willing to more or less "trade" head coach Doc Rivers and Kevin Garnett to the Los Angeles Clippers in a blockbuster deal. As of this moment, the deal between Boston and LA is far from a certainty.
The championship window for the Celtics has closed and with 3 years left on his contract, Doc Rivers is trying to force his way out, plain and simple. Only a handful of coaches in professional sports could try and maneuver a power play like this without getting creamed by fans and the media. Doc Rivers is one of them. Because he's so well liked by the media and has won a title in Boston, he can force his way out under contract and try to land in a better situation.
But if the trade doesn't work out with Los Angeles, it's looking less and less likely Rivers will coach another game in Boston. It would be just a tad awkward seeing as how he's trying to find a way to not coach the Celtics next season.
Another outlet for Doc could be the broadcast booth, where he worked for NBC at last year's Olympics and most notably for ESPN/ABC in 2004, when he announced the Finals with Al Michaels. A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN New England reports Rivers may return to announcing and take a break from coaching:
"A league source tells CSNNE.com that Rivers has not entirely ruled out taking some time off to resume his broadcasting career and return afterwards to coach.
"You guys (media) have been around Doc long enough to know that's always been something he's talked about," the source said. "So it shouldn't come as a surprise. And frankly, now is probably as good a time as any for him to go that route."
In recent years, Rivers has said on more than one occasion that he would most likely take a sabbatical from coaching to recharge as well as spend more time with his family."
This could just be a way for Rivers and his people to provide more leverage in trade negotiations by basically telling the Celtics it's either the Clippers or the media. Rivers would be a top signing for any NBA network. He was excellent in the studio for NBC's Olympic coverage and I think he'd be a better game analyst than he was 10 years ago working with Al Michaels - that was a team that never really clicked for me. Although the networks could slot him anywhere, Rivers would be a perfect addition to the still rudderless ESPN/NBA studio show.
If the Celtics hold out in this deal, you could very easily see Doc Rivers "retire" and take up a broadcasting job. The bridge back to Beantown has to be burned at this point. In fact, I'd say the probable landing places for Doc at the start of the 2013 season would be ranked as follows - 1) LA Clippers 2) ESPN 3) TNT 4) Boston Celtics.