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Doc Rivers On Ray Allen: “we Don’t Want Him To Leave And We Don’t Think He Will Leave”

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Doc Rivers on Ray Allen: “We don’t want him to leave and we don’t think he will leave”

The Celtics were up three games to two against the Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. They were on their own home court and could taste a return trip to the NBA Finals. Instead, thanks to incredible performances by LeBron James, Miami wouldn’t allow it to happen and Boston was shoved into an offseason with a ton of uncertainty about the future of their team, especially the Big Three. It appears Boston has made the choice to try to keep the team together and take another shot at an NBA title. The only problem is their window of opportunity has closed. You can never underestimate the heart of a champion and Boston was able to advance further than anyone expected this past season, but their Big Three continues to age at a rapid pace and they may end up regretting their decision. Doc Rivers joined ESPN Radio New York to talk about why this season was so difficult yet special for him, whether he thinks Ray Allen will be back in Boston, on the drafting of Fab Melo, if he was surprised Jared Sullinger fell to the Celtics in the draft, and on his son, Austin, being drafted by the New Orleans Hornets.

On why this season was so difficult yet special:

“I did. I had to kind of go away and as a player you kind of invest yourself too but as a coach you invest yourself not only to the team but to every player on the team, at least that’s what I think you should do and that’s what I do. This was a unique group. They were a great group to coach, they had a lot of things thrown at them, you think there has been three hard things in the last 10 years and we had two of them in the same year, we had Avery Bradley and we just had a lot of stuff happen. Nothing ever bothered them. It was just a unique group so I wanted it so bad for them especially because Miami was obviously the favorite to win it all. That one hurt. One thing I always tell all my players, ‘to win something is hard and if you really want it you have to let your guard down and you have to do it time in and time out.’ You have to do it every year you try to win it and when you do that you have a chance of getting hurt and I tell our guys it’s worth it, it’s worth the pain, the journey’s worth it and that’s basically what we went through.”

Whether he thinks Ray Allen will be back in Boston:

“We don’t want him to leave and we don’t think he will leave. If someone comes in and blows him away financially then he is going to have to think about that. Other than that I think we have an excellent shot at him. Our thoughts going into this summer was we needed to add pieces and I think people listened to that and thought that meant we needed to take away pieces. We like our team, we like the starting lineup and we would love, if we can build the right bench, to give Kevin (Garnett), Paul (Pierce) and Ray (Allen) more rest. That’s what we’re trying to do right now. We’re hard and heavy into this free agent thing and now I know what Coach K and all those guys have to go through with all the recruiting. It’s no fun I can tell you that. That’s what we’re doing.”

On the drafting of Fab Melo:

“We have no tests and I told him that yesterday (Laughing). I jokingly told him, ‘we’re going to introduce you tomorrow and we’re going to do a Read to Achieve Thing, are you okay with that?’ He said he was fine, just don’t test him.”

If he was surprised that Jared Sullinger fell to them in the NBA Draft:

“We heard all the rumors about the back and everything and I kept saying ‘well whatever it is, if he comes to us we’re drafting him.’ We’re really fortunate. It happens. Mike Finley had something where he was one of the better college players at Wisconsin and some kind of rumor got out and he fell all the way to Dallas so it happens, not every draft, but it does happen and I’m hoping that we benefit from it.”

On his son, Austin, being drafted by the New Orleans Hornets:

“It will be interesting. I can’t trash talk him that’s for sure. That will be hard to do but it’s something that we were laughing about sitting at the table on draft night. I said ‘Austin you better pray for New Orleans over Toronto’ and he was like ‘why?’ I said ‘because you don’t have to deal with me but twice if you go to New Orleans.’ I said ‘the other way it’s four times.’ He laughed and Austin is not shy so he shot right back.”

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