Apr 28, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers during game four of the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs against the New York Knicks at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Danny Ainge Didn’t Think Doc Rivers Leaving Would Really Happen


While some of the Boston Celtics fan base is till trying to process that Doc Rivers is no longer the head coach, some in the front office are just as shocked. Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge is one of those who didn’t think that the deal would actually go through.

“It still probably hasn’t hit me,” said Ainge, via ESPN Boston. “Because I didn’t really think it was going to happen. I have not talked to one coaching candidate at this point. I think yesterday it, for the first time really, I thought, ‘This is going to happen. This is probably going to happen.’ Up until that time, I never really thought it was going to happen.”

The back and forth nature of the negotiations, the on-again and off-again feel left him doubting that a deal would ever get done and Doc Rivers would stay with the Celtics for the 2013-14 season.

But at a press conference Tuesday, Ainge had nice words for the departing Doc Rivers.

“Doc Rivers is going to be the coach of the Los Angeles Clippers,” said Ainge. “I would first just like to thank Doc for nine years of friendship and great coaching. He was a great teammate and the Clippers have a really good coach. We don’t have a championship without Doc Rivers in 2008 and he did an unbelievable job making it to the Finals in 2010; a long history of great success with us over the last nine years and we wish him the best in Los Angeles.”

Tags: Boston Celtics Danny Ainge Doc Rivers