I’m going to try and write about each head coach in the NBA over the next few days.
Today I start with Doc Rivers of the championship Boston Celtics.
I loved Doc as a player, especially his early days with the Atlanta Hawks. He ran the show at the point pushing the ball in transition finding guys like Dominique Wilkins, Cliff Levingston, Antoine Carr and John Battle. Along with his high basketball I.Q., Doc was a very good defensive player.
I had a chance to meet Rivers while I was a doorman at Planet Hollywood while Doc was a member of the New York Knicks late in his career. I knew right there he was a great guy!
Rivers began his coaching career with the Orlando Magic in 1999, where he coached for more than four NBA seasons. Rivers won the Coach of the Year award in 2000 after his first year with the Magic. That season, he led the team that was picked to finish last in the league to a near playoff berth. He made the post season in his next three years as coach, but was fired in 2003 after a disastrous start to the season. After spending a year working as a commentator for The NBA on ABC, he took over the Boston coaching position in 2004. Rivers won his first NBA Championship as a head coach. -Wikipedia
Boston Herald has a piece on Rivers – good read.
“I love coaching,” said the man whose Internet critics, in particular, made a living for several years insisting almost daily that he couldn’t. They then disappeared when he was given the kind of team that could win and did just that with it.
“Even when it was bad I loved it. I love the winning and I’m miserable when we lost any time, but whether we were good or bad, whether we were the favorite or the underdog, I still convinced myself we would win.
“I thought we’d win every game I’ve coached. You get your heart broken every night when you lose, but to me it’s a joyous job. Miserable joy, but it’s great work.”