He was 49 years old and coming off a 56-win season, his fourth straight year with at least 50 wins. His son Austin was on his way to Duke for one season, and the television networks were on their way to his Orlando home with piles of cash and promises of two-day work weeks. Doc Rivers had been an NBA head coach for 12 straight seasons (including one when he was fired by the Magic after a month). His core players were mostly in their mid-30s, and his contract was up. The time was right to walk away or, even better, take a cart. There was a lot of golf to be played, and lot of cheering to do from the family section of Cameron Indoor. Life rarely has been bad for Doc Rivers, but in the middle of May 2011, it was particularly good. If ever there was a time to take a break and get away from the coaching grind, this was it. So what did he do? He re-enlisted. Without even taking a long walk on the beach to think it over. On May 14, just two days after his Celtics were eliminated by Miami in the second round of the playoffs, Rivers agreed to a new contract. And this time it was not a quickie one-year extension. It was a five-year, $35 million deal. Doc Rivers wasn’t just back. He was back and committed. He was in for the long haul.
Diagnosis: Celtics need Doc
Boston Herald | May 7