Heading to Monterey to pick up Alex after working a month of CSUMB Otters’ summer basketball camps. The blog will return Saturday.
The Doc Rivers deal eventually got done but each team lost something. Although the Celtics knew they were going to lose their head coach, the “trade” with the Clippers was kept relatively quiet. At least no one told me. And while I don’t make it my business to hunt down basketball rumors (as some people have chosen for their occupation), I usually have somewhat of a pulse of what’s happening in basketball in this country.
Whatever the case, because the original deal was leaked, i.e. Doc and Kevin Garnett for DeAndre Jordan (and maybe someone else - although not Eric Bledsoe) and a first round pick (or two), the two teams cannot trade players until the end of next season. A deal still got done and the reason, apparently, is due to the (lack of a) relationship between Doc Rivers and his insanely talented (and quite possibly, insane) point guard, Rajon Rondo.
If ever someone was made to be a coach, it’s Doc Rivers. One of the brightest, yet eager to learn, leaders in just about any industry, Doc was destined for the bench once his playing days were over. Greatness in leadership came as no surprise to those who know him as his people skills are nothing short of sensational. The fact that Doc, a former point guard, and Rondo, the Celtics’ PG, couldn’t find common ground, had to really chafe the outgoing boss of Boston. This post is probably slanted some because I have made Doc’s acquaintance (a soon-to-be blog) and have never met Rondo. However, I do know that Rivers, for several reasons, tried on many occasions to understand and find a common ground with his floor leader.
Last season must have been the worst. Rondo dropped two words on his head coach (Hint: one was profane, the other pronoun) in the locker room. This must have been the proverbial straw which provoked Rivers to physically go after Rondo (as in fight him). Any coach knows, if you can’t coach (or at the very least, co-exist) with your point guard, you can’t win. Heck, sometimes you don’t have a good relationship with your point guard and you do win - but still lose your job - which is why the Clippers gig is open in the first place.
TV commentators, former players and coaches use the term “locker room guy” often. What occurred (is occurring) in Boston is an example of what former great Steve Young meant when he was asked about the importance of the “locker room”:
“Football IS the locker room.”