|Posted on August 1, 2012 at 7:15 PM|
I got on Doc's case last season, when he battled to make the right decision to start Bradley , or Ray. Media reports surfaced saying Ray was unhappy with the move to the bench. But he put on a show for the media, but deep inside Ray was already gone. Doc made the best choice for the Celtics. The bad news was that Ray had to go back in the starting unit after Bradley tore up both shoulders for good in the second round against Philly.
If you didn't have respect for Doc before. After this interview, Doc looks like a great leader. He took the blame, and why should he allow the media to latch onto Rondo. Because at the end of the day. Ray left Boston because he was a spoiled baby, who didn't want to let go of the spotlight. Doc didn't give him the playing time that he wanted. Doc knows this is Rondo's team, and for the latter part of last season. The tug of war between Pierce, Allen, and Rondo was obvious. It was also obvious to see that when both Pierce, and Rondo played without Ray. The Celtics as a whole played much better. The offense was alive,and the Celtics didn't kill time, by looking for Ray.
In the end, Ray leaving isn't bad at all, and I think we sounded off on that a lot in the past month. Of course it's hard to see him go, because he could have been a huge part of this team, but like Doc said. The team would suck if he was unhappy. The weapons that are here in Boston, will allow Rondo to be fully in charge of this team. Great move by Doc.
"People can use all the Rondo stuff -- and it was there, no doubt about that -- but it was me more than Rondo," Rivers told Yahoo! Sports in an interview conducted at the London Olympics, where the coach is working as an NBC analyst. "I'm the guy who gave Rondo the ball. I'm the guy who decided that Rondo needed to be more of the leader of the team. That doesn't mean guys liked that -- and Ray did not love that -- because Rondo now had the ball all the time.
"Think about everything (Allen) said when he left, 'I want to be more of a part of the offense.' Everything was back at Rondo. And I look at that, and say, 'That's not Rondo's fault.' That's what I wanted Rondo to do, and that's what Rondo should've done."
Rivers also told Yahoo! that Allen was bothered by losing his starting job to Avery Bradley, but the coach said he didn't regret the decision to start Bradley because it was what was best for the team.
Allen turned down Boston's two-year, $12 million offer to accept half that from the Heat, who could offer only a $3 million annual salary utilizing the taxpayer's mini-midlevel exception. Rivers questioned the notion that Allen will find a bigger role with the Heat.
"Ray's got to do what's best for Ray," Rivers told Yahoo! Sports. "But having said that, he's not going to start in Miami. And I doubt he gets the ball more. But I do think, for a guy like Ray and Paul (Pierce) and Kevin (Garnett) and Kobe (Bryant), it's easier to go somewhere and do that, than have it taken from you where you're at."
Focusing on doing what's best for the team instead of worrying about how individual players feel allows him to "coach free," Rivers told Yahoo! Sports.
"I always tell my guys: If I'm wrong, hopefully I'm smart enough, or my staff, or one of you guys -- because I do listen to you -- will tell me that I'm wrong," Rivers told Yahoo! Sports. "But not one player ever told me, 'Hey, I don't think you should start Avery.'