I can’t say I watched the Boston Celtics when they were coached by Jim O’Brien. Doc Rivers is the only Celtics coach I know. The guy has been through the best of times and the worst of times with the Celtics. Prior to the Big Three era (side note: I hate Ray Allen), Doc suffered through the atrocious 2007 season where the 24-58 Celtics finished as the second-worst team in the NBA. With Paul Pierce playing alongside the likes of Wally Szczerbiak and Sebastian Telfair, fans and reporters alike called for the firing of Doc. Bill Simmons started his January 12, 2006 column for ESPN with: “Doc Rivers stinks as an NBA coach. After watching him butcher my favorite team for 15 months and 134 games, I feel pretty comfortable making that assessment.”
Then all of a sudden GM Danny Ainge made a couple power moves, snagged Kevin Garnett and the guy that now wears #34 on the Heat and we are in a whole different world. The Celtics became good, won a championship, were minutes away from winning a second, and one unfortunately spectacular night from LeBron James at TD Garden away from being in a third. They won five straight division titles and all was happy on the parquet floor on Causeway Street. Doc was now an elite coach and, dare I say it, but the modern day Red Auerbach.
The theme of the third chapter in the Doc Rivers saga in Boston would be age. Everyone except Rajon Rondo on the Celtics seemed to be ‘old’. In what appears to be Doc’s last game as Celtic’s coach, the C’s were poised for a comeback for the ages against the New York Knicks, but were worn down when it really mattered. They were ousted from the playoffs and an era, the Doc Rivers/Paul Pierce/Kevin Garnett/banner 17/my quasi-Celtics fandom era, has now ended.