6. Doc Rivers goes West
It turns out he did not want to stay around for the rebuilding. From 2004 to 2013, Rivers guided talented Celtics teams to seven playoff runs, six Atlantic Division crowns, two finals appearances and one NBA championship in 2008. In 2011, after rumors that he would retire from coaching to be closer to his family, Rivers signed a five year, $35 million contract extension with Boston, where it was assumed he’d be the steward of a rebuilding process.
On June 25, the Celtics and Clippers agreed to a deal that let Rivers out of the remaining three years of his contract so that he could sign a deal with Los Angeles, where he also became the senior vice president for basketball operations. Rivers finished his career with the third-most wins of any Boston coach at 416, trailing only Tom Heinsohn (427) and Red Auerbach (795), but many fans feel he forced his way out of Boston and gave up on the Celtics.
Last week, Doc received a rousing ovation in his return to the Garden as a member of the Clippers. Now it will be interesting to see if his Clippers can do battle with the powers in the West come playoff time.