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Mixed emotions at TD Garden

Posted by Morena on December 12, 2013 at 11:45 AM

Lots of emotions got mixed up at TD Garden last night.

After 9 years as a head coach in Boston, he came back in Boston in charge of another team.

Memories were still coming back from the previous game against Brooklyn, and now, Doc is back in town. I was pretty curious to see how the crowd would react at Doc on the guest team bench.

Honestly, I had some mixed emotions about this comeback.

I always liked Doc. He's been the first coach I saw after beginning to follow basketball.

It's like he's been my first coach. And like a puppy dog, I recognized him as my coach. He made mistakes, sometimes I didn't agree with him, but he still was my coach, even if I didn't have the chance to see his first years on our bench. I got to watch his relationship with Rondo improve steadily during the years.

And I really respect Doc for the way he's been able to handle Rondo. He wasn't an easy guy to coach, and I think someone else could have quit on him. Instead, he recognized the greatness of the players in front of him and he didn't give up. Reportedly, he's been hard on Rondo, but I think that was for the best. He said yesterday that he's hard on every point guard.

With the years going by, their relationship improved, and Rivers stood by his point guard also during hard times or after the incidents with the league that Rondo had in the past couple of years. That's something I really appreciated. I think that a coach should be hard, but at the same time he should be very supportive of his players. As we say in Italy, he should use the carrot and stick approach. Players goes through hard times, and the mental approach is maybe the biggest challenge for a coach.


That said, Doc time in Boston is over now, and that’s because he decided so. I’m glad the crowd was so classy with him, but the taste he left in my mind during this visit is bittersweet. I can’t really blame him because he didn’t want to go through some sort of rebuilding process, but I can’t also deny that I’m a little disappointed by that. As I once said, he wanted to coach Chris Paul, and when it was clear that the Celtics wouldn’t be able to acquire him, he left and went to L.A.

If I was Rondo, my ego would be a little bit hurt after this. And I’m pretty sure his ego hurt as well. He said he’s not an emotional guy, but I don’t think that’s true. I believe he’s an emotional guy with an iron grip on his feeling. That’s a little bit contradictory, but I’m a little like that myself, so I think it’s possible. Rondo himself said more than once that he’s an emotional player.

I’m sure he was happy to see Doc again, but at the same time, he probably can’t wait to demonstrate him that he didn’t left for a better team with a better point guard.


What I don’t like in Doc interview, is when he said that he’s happy of being “the voice” right now. And right after that, he said that his relationship with Danny Ainge was the perfect relationship between a General Manger and a Head Coach. Nevertheless, he wasn’t satisfied by the situation and he left. I’m not sure what exactly bother me about this situation. On one side, I can understand the fact that someone wants to be in charge and that he prefers to be the one that shapes the team he’ll have to coach in the way he wants. On the other side, Doc was the first one to say that Boston is a special place, and that you can’t understand it if you don’t live it. So I don’t get it why someone would want to leave such a place. If you’re able to build a legacy in Boston, is way special than anywhere else.


Looking at both team now, Doc is happy where he is because he has more decisional power and he’s coaching the player he wanted to coach, and the Celtics are what looks more and more like a brilliant coach. Brad Stevens is really doing great, and as I said, I love his mathematic mind. I don’t miss Doc, and I think that with a young bunch of guys, he would have been a better coach. You have to be able to coach young guys, and he didn’t really seemed to like them.


Yeah, it was strange, there’s no denying that. But we moved forward yet.

Thanks for the memories Doc, but there’s a bright future ahead of us.


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Reply Greg
1:37 PM on December 12, 2013 
Lovely piece. He was also my first coach as a Celtics fan.
Reply Morena
3:50 PM on December 12, 2013 
Thanks Greg!! It's always strange when you have to say goodbye to the first coach.