The trade deadline came and went yesterday in the NBA and even though there were numerous rumors about the Boston Celtics possibly breaking up The Big Three or adding to the roster to make one last run, the Celtics decided to stand pat. While I won’t fault general manager Danny Ainge for his decision it seems like he was caught in no-man’s land at the trade deadline and was pretty indecisive about what he wanted to do with the roster.
While the Celtics have shown some flashes at times this season, they are far too thin and have been way too inconsistent to think they have any shot in the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Celtics decided to stand pat at the trade deadline because they couldn’t get a deal they wanted and now they will likely be forced to watch both Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett leave Beantown in free agency following this season. Doc Rivers joined WEEI in Boston with the Big Show to talk about how he feels about the Celtics not making a deal at the trade deadline, how Kevin Garnett has responded to being moved to center, what he thinks about the Magic hanging onto Dwight Howard and everything that is going on in Orlando, why he decided to stay in Boston knowing that a possible rebuild is on the horizon, and how tough it will be to duplicate what the Celtics did a few years ago putting the Big Three together.
On how he feels about the Celtics not making a deal at the trade deadline:
“I feel good about that. I didn’t think we would do too much. Obviously there was talk but nothing ever surfaced to be honest. We were looking for another ‘big’ if we could get one but I think you guys have been around sports long enough to know that teams aren’t just handing out ‘bigs’ right now. There was really nothing out there.”
How Kevin Garnett has responded to being moved to center:
“I didn’t. I didn’t ask, I can tell you that. We came back and I just said ‘hey this is our lineup and this is what we’re doing.’ Kevin, I give him credit. I don’t know if he liked it or not, I know he didn’t at first, he didn’t say a word about it. He just played. That’s why you love KG. He just does what you ask him to do. I did tell him I thought it was good for the team. Once he thinks it’s good for the team it’s doesn’t matter if he’s a point guard, he will play.”
On the situation going on in Orlando:
“That’s the first thing I thought was ‘oh my gosh they have to do this thing all over again, now for another year and through the whole summer,’ my guess is they’re going to do whatever they can do to get him to sign a longer deal this summer. The way I look at this is it gives management time to bring in pieces to make Dwight say ‘you know what this is the place I want to be’ and if they don’t pull that off and Dwight leaves he can say ‘I gave you the chance to build the team I wanted to build. You didn’t do that and now I can leave.”
Why he was willing to stay in Boston even though there is a rebuild on the horizon:
“Danny. It really was. Our relationship, the logo, and the passion of the city, it really was. You’ve been in different jobs so you understand when you work with people. The grass isn’t always greener and clearly this year I could’ve sat out, could’ve done TV, could’ve coached somewhere else, and probably could’ve made even more money but I wouldn’t have been working with the people that I work with. When you find someone that you have a great relationship with, that you can work with, that you can have disagreements with, drag out disagreements with and then go golf with them it makes your life easier. I love going to work knowing I can trust the guy I work for. My wife, she kept saying ‘all I know is the guy you work for you can trust. I know the last time you didn’t feel that.’ She just kept saying ‘I don’t know if you can get that anywhere else. It may look good but that is your call.’ My wife paints the picture and then backs out and makes me make the decision.”
How tough it will be to duplicate the deals the Celtics made to put the Big Three together:
“We’re not going to duplicate that. This is going to be a harder one. Danny is going to have to go through that and I think I should be there with him. It’s going to be hard. I get that and nobody wants to rebuild. That’s not fun. It’s hard and losing is hard and when you rebuild losing follows. I told Danny, ‘let’s go for it.’ If it doesn’t work and it makes us both unhappy or me unhappy then I will walk away but I want to try it, I want to do it again, I’ve been through it twice. In Orlando, we started getting that turned around a little bit but Grant Hill got hurt and Tracy (McGrady) was Tracy. We tried it again here in Boston but we were just so young and I loved the relationships I formed with some of the young guys, I just knew we weren’t good enough to win so let’s try it again and let’s see if we can get it right.”