Thursday, September 11, 2008

Boston Celtics reward coach Doc Rivers with a 3-year contract extension.

For turning the team's fortunes around from a 24-58 win-loss record in the 2007 season to 66-16 the following season, the Boston Celtics added 3 more years to coach Doc Rivers' expiring contract, which only had a year left to run, to the tune of around $5.5 million a year. Fitting reward for the man who turned the team around from owning the second-worst ever season in the NBA to possessing the league's best record for the following season and setting the third-best record in the franchise's history in just a year's time.

"They sure showed me the money!"

Sure, acquiring Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett in separate trades were, without a doubt, big factors that contributed to the Celtics' quick turnaround from sorry has-beens one season to definite title contenders the next. And sure, they lost a lot of promising young players to trade for those two, particularly Al Jefferson who was developing into a promising forward/center. But it was Rivers' leadership ability to be able to handle veteran superstars after guiding
inexperienced players that was much, much needed.

And like I said before about Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers (and no, this is not another Favre vs. Packers sob story), for the Boston Celtics' management, at the end of the day, it's still a team business that has to be run. And it just so happens that, with both the Seattle SuperSonics and the Minnesota Timberwolves amenable to trading Allen and Garnett respectively for what the Celtics had to offer, the Celtics just had to jump at the chance to become instant title contenders by fielding those two along with Paul Pierce to create a triumvirate in their starting line-up reminiscent of the Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman trio for the Chicago Bulls or the Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy troika for the LA Lakers.

And after all, it was definitely a smart move because Allen and Garnett are still in their prime, are relatively injury-free (particularly KG), and hopefully, after winning the championship ring they've been long due, they're still hungry to win more.

One thing's for sure, though; that was a much smarter move than what the Phoenix Suns did to get Shaq.

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