Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald refers to a source that says Doc Rivers had no intention of being a part of an eventual rebuilding process with the Celtics, and that the team knew he felt that way when he signed his latest contract. The same source also said that Rivers did not intitiate the process that led to talks between Boston and the Clippers, adding that he had been contemplating between returning to coach the Celtics and stepping away from the game before team brass asked him if he was interested in any of the coaching opportunities around the league.
According to Bulpett's source, Rivers then learned that the front office had already held preliminary discussions with the Clippers about making him available (by releasing him from his contract) and seeing what they could get in return. At that point, Rivers was reportedly intrigued at the prospect of moving west and allowed Danny Ainge to try to work out the best possible deal. In the meantime, the 51-year-old coach was given permission to see if he could reach a separate agreement with the Clippers, which he eventually did (most notably, it would allow him to have control over player personnel).
With the deal now slowed by the fact that the agreement doesn't exactly comply with the rules of the CBA, Bulpett writes that Rivers could choose to do television work for the next one to two years rather than decide between coaching the Celtics or stepping away from the game altogether – that is, if the deal with the Clippers falls through. Interestingly enough, on the notion that Rivers had once said he'd be willing to continue coaching in Boston during a rebuilding process, some sources have called it an obligatory statement that was meant to preserve the stability of the team at the time, all while the front office would work to find pieces to complement Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce accordingly.
As we gear up for the seventh and deciding game of the NBA Finals, here are more of tonight's miscellaneous notes from around the Association:
- Mike Bratz, currently the director of player personnel for the Nuggets and former Kings backup point guard, has reached an agreement with Sacramento to become the team's assistant general manager (Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee reports).
- Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski reports that shortly after firing George Karl, the Nuggets had offered the Celtics a first round draft pick as compensation to pry Rivers out of his contract. Once Denver's offer was rebuffed by Danny Ainge, they quickly moved their focus onto Brian Shaw and Lionel Hollins, who both are said to have made strong impressions on team president Josh Kroenke and general manager Tim Connelly. Sources have said that at the time Kroenke had made his bid for Rivers about ten days ago, Boston was not ready to start the process of letting Rivers leave, and the negotiations never went beyond one brief conversation between Kroenke and Ainge.
- There has been growing confusion (as well as anger, in some cases) among outside agents about who exactly the Roc Nation Sports agency represents and which athletes are part of its partnership with CAA Sports, writes Liz Mullen of SportsBusinessDaily.com. Some agents have privately expressed anger that Roc Nation has been reported to represent athletes who are still clients of other firms.
- Janis Carr of the OC Register writes that Dwight Howard is still undecided on his future (subscribers only).
- Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News tweets that Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni will be continuing interviews to fill out the rest of his coaching staff through next week, and that much of it will depend on how the head coaching hires around the league turn out.
- The city of Sacramento is being asked to write its first big check toward the development of a downtown sports arena, says Ryan Lillis of the Sacramento Bee. City development staff is expected to ask the council for $6.5MM in city funds, of which some will be used to hire a team of financial, design, and legal consultants. The team of consultants are said to be needed as the city begins negotiations on "definitive agreements" of an arena financing and construction plan with the private investment team that owns the Kings.
- The Grizzlies should strongly consider selecting D.J. Stephens on draft night, opines Geoff Calkins of the Memphis Commercial Appeal.