Clippers head coach and president of basketball operations Doc Rivers made an appearance in Boston at the annual ABCD Hoops Dream fundraiser at TD Garden on Tuesday, and made time for a discussion with reporters. Given the location of the event, it was no surprise that many of the questions focused on the NBA futures – or lack thereof – for the Celtics’ old “big three” of Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett.
In addition to discussing Pierce, Allen, and Garnett, the Clippers’ coach addressed a few other topics, including the offseason’s Blake Griffin trade rumors. ESPN’s Chris Forsberg has a nice round-up of Rivers’ comments, so let’s check out a few of the highlights….
On whether Pierce will be back for his 19th season, as has been reported:
“Depends on the day I talk to him. Paul has had the summer, he’s gone back and forth. … Paul didn’t have the best year last year. I don’t think he wants to go out that way. So I think that’s why he’s working to try to come back. But he still may change his mind next week. So we just have to wait. I told him if I see him at training camp, I’m assuming he’s playing.”
On Pierce’s eventual retirement:
“The day [Pierce] retires, he’s going to retire a Celtic. He has to. Paul’s a Celtic. So when he retires, he’s got to retire as a Celtic. I don’t think anyone disagrees with me.”
On whether Allen will return to the NBA:
“I don’t know. I won’t talk about what we talked about. I think if Ray was in the right spot, he may play. I think Ray wants to golf a lot too, right now. But Ray is in amazing shape. I don’t know how he does that. I didn’t know how he does that as a player; I don’t know how he does it as a non-player. He’s probably in top-five shape in the NBA. So could Ray play? Absolutely, I believe he could.”
On Garnett’s situation with the Timberwolves:
“I think Kevin – and I know it, because I talk to him – loves the young guys on his team. He loves how they work. He thinks they have an old-school mentality. So I think he’s really gotten into Kevin, the teacher. And I honestly never saw that coming, either. Yet he was a phenomenal teacher with [Boston]; I just didn’t think he would have the patience to do it. And I think Kevin loves teaching these young guys.”
On the Griffin trade rumors:
“We knew none of it was true. We figured that was one of you guys starting these rumors here in Boston. I was trying to find out who it was … No, it happens, unfortunately. Blake and [Chris Paul] are free agents [after this season]. Just like last year Oklahoma [City] had to deal with that, now it’s our turn.”
Be sure to check out the rest of Rivers’ comments right here.